Flaming Lips, Guided by Voices, Drive-By Truckers and Superchunk to Headline Hopscotch Music Festival
This year's event will take place on September 8-10 in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina and will feature 135 bands in 12 venues. Here are the details we were sent:
The festival will be highlighted by two nights in Raleigh City Plaza, the city's most captivating downtown space. On Friday, Sept. 9, the indie rock mold-makers Guided by Voices will join Southern rock re-inventors Drive-By Truckers in the Plaza, with punchy San Francisco pop band The Dodos opening. And on Saturday, Sept. 10, The Flaming Lips—the Oklahoma psychedelic pop band that consistently creates one of music's most thrilling live spectacles—headlines City Plaza. Merge Records flagship act Superchunk opens, along with Chapel Hill buzz band The Light Pines.
The 130 other bands perform in 11 clubs throughout the festival's three days. A sampling of these bands includes: Swans, Yelawolf, J Mascis, Japandroids, Twin Shadow, Black Lips, Cold Cave, Toro Y Moi, Krallice, John Vanderslice, Earth, Beans, Braids, The Necks, Bird Peterson, All Tiny Creatures, Future Islands, Beach Fossils, Rhys Chatham G3, Liturgy and KORT.
Hopscotch has carefully selected the best Triangle talent to accompany this strong mix of national and international guests. This year, locals representing the depth of the area's rich music scene include The Love Language, Annuals, Mount Moriah, The Old Ceremony, Horseback, King Mez, Des Ark, Soft Company, Spider Bags and Last Year's Men. While the festival has grown some, its commitment to community—the fans and bands upon which the local music scene is built—remains.
"The festival is slightly bigger, but it shouldn't feel bigger to the attendees," says Hopscotch founder and director Greg Lowenhagen. "From the beginning, the key element has been fan experience. It drives every decision we make. While we've expanded to 12 venues in 2011, we've maintained a close-knit, walkable downtown footprint."
Hopscotch hasn't just added venues, though. The new rooms and the experience of having already booked the festival once allowed Lowenhagen and Hopscotch co-director Grayson Currin to be even more aggressive in selecting and attracting this year's talent.
"This year, Greg and I had a more concrete idea of how we wanted to book Hopscotch—the artists we wanted to pursue the most, the risks we really wanted to take, the craziest ideas we could make happen," says Currin, the Music Editor at the Independent Weekly. "Ultimately, I think this year's programming is just deeper, whether that means five of the best acoustic guitarists in the world or one of independent hip-hop's original weirdos. There's a lot of bold music here."