Now in its sixth year, the Hopscotch Music Festival has become an annual tradition in downtown Raleigh, NC. Comprising three days of music spread this year between eleven local venues, along with large outdoor concerts held on a large temporary stage raised on the street of the City Plaza, the festival is unique in that it is a large event that manages to maintain the feel of the city that hosts it.
What is most notable about Hopscotch is the sheer variety of available options. In any given day of the festival, it may be possible to see a well-established indie rock act like TV on the Radio, experimental musicians like Jenny Hval or Prurient, the alt-country of Lydia Loveless or River Whyless, the industrial metal of Godflesh, and up-and-coming hip-hop acts like Lizzo and Cakes da Killa. The schedule can be a bit overwhelming at times, as festivalgoers run between venues often many blocks apart to get from one show to the next and are forced to choose between many conflicting alternatives (the toughest part of the festival). But such a diverse schedule means that there will always be something for everyone. Raleigh is a city uniquely suited to host such a festival, with so many good venues in relatively close walking distance to each other.
Equally important to the festival are the unofficial day parties that take place during the daylight hours at venues throughout the city, both official festival venues and others. There it was possible to catch acts that might have been missed due to schedule conflicts in the nighttime shows, with many artists such as Flock of Dimes and Leverage Models playing a second set, as well as musicians local to the Raleigh area such as Brett Harris, Skylar Gudasz, and Jack the Radio.
Overall, possible arguments about the overall quality of the lineup compared to past years aside, the Hopscotch Music Festival remains an event not to be missed. With so much happening, it’s doubtful that anyone came away from the weekend without having gotten to see a few favorites and having made a few new discoveries.
All photos by Matt Condon. Click to embiggen.
Check out PJ Sykes Hopscotch 2015 Portraits HERE