The second annual Hopscotch Music Festival turned Raleigh into what was basically an indie rock fan’s wet dream. The weekend was a 24-hour smorgasbord of casual day parties, official venue shows and all-night after parties.
The festival is like a younger cousin to SXSW or CMJ. It’s loaded with afternoon label showcases and corporate parties, then the official performances at a dozen venues across town. However, where the enormity of cities like Austin or New York make it all but impossible to jump between bars without spending your entire festival en route, Hopscotch is small enough that skipping between shows actually makes sense. Plus, roaming the streets between can’t-miss acts leaves lots of time to run into new friends, get sidetracked into unexpected shows or end up on a random adventure. And there was plenty of that.
This year’s lineup included some big names like Swans, Black Lips, Guided By Voices, Drive By Truckers and The Flaming Lips. But the festival’s real charm was in the deep cuts, lesser-known indie acts like Toro Y Moi, Beach Fossils, Braids, Lower Dens, Woodsman, Future Islands and Titus Andronicus (the list goes on … ). Jubilant fans thronged the small downtown clubs well into the early morning. For those who love to discover new music in bars (especially those who don’t read music blogs religiously), Hopscotch is a dream come true: dozens upon dozens of up-and-coming acts who haven’t reached the mainstream, but just might get there at any moment.
Bands from The Triangle area (or bands with local connections) played heavily into the mix, especially at the day parties. And local acts proved to be some of the weekend’s highlights (Lonnie Walker and T0w3rs come to mind). There was a palpable sense of community on the streets of Raleigh during Hopscotch, and nowhere was it more apparent than at the local showcases; old friends mingled, out-of-towners discovered hidden connections and everyone had a hell of a time.
Check out some highlights from the weekend, shot on the iPhone 8mm app, below.
Thanks to the very beautiful and inventive The War in Hipstamatic for iPhone inspiration.