I have never been the type to make a tradition out of a anything, much less a festival. Maybe that’s because I just don’t have “habits.” I don’t really even put on deodorant on a regular basis. My life, including my personal hygiene, is just kind of spontaneous? There is one thing that has stuck very true to me, however. And that is, you guessed from the title, Hopscotch Music Festival!
This year will be my 6th year attending, and I would say 7th, but I was still in high school/under the age of 18 for the first year Hopscotch was held. You may be wondering why I am so loyal to this festival. And I must say, if you are wondering, you are missing out. Fret not. Tickets go on sale on May 12th. This festival is hands down without a doubt the most amazing festival in the country (No, they did not pay me to say that).
The lineup never disappoints. It’s always a mixture between legendary foundational rock stars, like Thurston Moore, and up and coming local artists, like Boulevards, which I love. Not to mention, Hopscotch does not stick to one type of music. In the same year I saw Sleep and Earl Sweatshirt, for example. Very different vibes…clearly no discrimination in genre. The location is perfect. Downtown Raleigh is small and homey, yet lively and full of youthful energy. Raleigh is a very inviting city for a festival like this. It’s not one of those super artsy cities where people who eat meat, work 9-5, and listen to 95.1 are intimidated to come. It’s not one of those big cities that you will get lost in and even Google Maps can’t save you. Raleigh is just like a happy-medium-everyone-is-welcome-no-one-will-get-lost-unless-you-drank-too-much kind of place. Lastly, my favorite part about Hopscotch is I have run into the same guy every year, for the past 4 years–always at a hip hop show. His name is Eric. I think he is the ONLY person I have had a conversation with in the past 8 years that I am not Facebook friends with. Because of this, I have to remind him of my name every single time. See you again this year, Eric!
Anyway…you wanted to hear about the lineup, so let’s talk about it. I am going to name off 3-must-see acts that you may or may not already listen to. I will try to shy away from the obvious.
First, and foremost, Kooley High, ladies and gentlemen. Do not miss this set! I think the first time I saw Kooley High was when I was 19 because my ex boyfriend said it would be a good idea. I really don’t like that guy, but I will give it up to him for my current exceptional taste in music. Kooley High is a pretty sweet Hip Hop group composed of 6 super rad dudes, who met as students at NC State University (my alma mater, woot woot!). My favorite part about this group is the retro vibe. It’s very reminicient of the flow in 90s hip hop, which we all know and love. Listening to Kooley High is kind of a nostalgic feeling. In the same song you will find an emotional story juxtaposed to a smooth, relaxing beat that brings you back to that one time when…
Earthling. Earthling is basically just your run-of-the-mill-ray-of-sunshine metal groups from Harrisonburg, VA. If you wanna feel like someone is sledge hammering your face off while a crazy old man is chasing you to steal your pizza, this is the show for you. It’s just a giant head banging catastrophe gone right. Songs will bounce between hell shattering vocals to brain destroying guitar ripping, coupled with face melting drum banging. I hope they play at Slims. Rock and Roll mannnnnn! Just listen to this album…
I dare you to miss the Stooges Brass Band because if you do, you will have royally screwed your Hopscotch experience. This band is straight out of the one and only, New Orleans. I have yet to have the opportunity to see them in person, and have only lived vicariously through the internet. BUT they are known for their charisma on stage and encouragement of crowd participation. Not that you need to be told to dance to this music. People have been flocking to this group since 1996 because of their unique, yet classic sound–incorporating elements of Hip Hop, R&B, and Jazz. I personally cannot wait to have the chance to witness this group in person!