Since its inception in 2003, the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance has provided guests with opportunities to celebrate music, movement, art and education. The four day festival takes place in Pittsboro, N.C., and takes place twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. This year’s Shakori Hills spring festival will take place Thursday, May 5, through Sunday, May 8.
Musical acts are scheduled throughout every day of the festival. From the gypsy folk circus rock band Dirty Bourbon River Show, to Punch Brothers — a country-classical acoustic chamber band — to the hard soul band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, the genres of music the festival will feature are wide-ranging. Some of the other many musicians and ensembles listed on the festival’s lineup included guitarist/singer/storyteller/buck dancer John Dee Holeman; supernova folk-hop band I, Star; accordionist Preston Frank; and experimental reggae band Uma Galera. Many of the bands, such as River Whyless, Steph Stewart & The Boyfriends, Temple5, Unknown Tongues, Lakota John, Lizzy Ross and Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey hail from North Carolina. Donna the Buffalo, one of the founding bands of the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, is also scheduled to perform.
In addition to music events, the festival will hold a variety of other events and workshops. Some of the happenings include pottery demonstrations and workshops with Durham-based artist Sarah Howe, a chance for guests to make and play their own didgeridoos under the instruction of Piedmont Earthskills Gathering’s Fuz Sanderson, a Spring Celebration Parade and an aerial silks performance.
Shakori Hills features events geared towards guests of all ages. The event’s Family Cabaret Tent and Kids Area are dedicated to providing activities and events to families and kids. Musical performances geared towards children, yoga for kids, the Kids Arts & Crafts Market — for kids 15 years and younger to sell their own hand-made crafts — and an afternoon of learning about the importance of earthworms are among the many things families have to look forward to.
The Outpost — an area for guests ages 10-18 — will also feature a variety of opportunities, such as an aerial skills workshop, a teen open mic event, a beginner’s harmonica workshop, therapeutic coloring and a tie dye workshop.
Other workshops, geared towards all guests, cover dance, movement and music. Dance workshops include clogging, salsa dance, zydeco and Cajun dance and hoop dance. Movement workshops cover tai chi, Nia dance and multiple kinds of yoga. Music workshops include opportunities for guests to learn about old-time music, Afro-Caribbean drumming and chant and South African guitar.
On Friday and Saturday, guests at Shakori Hills will have the opportunity to express themselves and compete during the Poetry Slam, the GrassRoots Band Contest and the Old-Time and Bluegrass Contest. The Poetry Slam, which will be hosted by the poetry organization Sacrificial Poets, will award free passes for the 2016 Fall Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival to the most original poem, the best poem that celebrates another poet and “the best poet who got robbed by the judges,” as described in the festival’s information booklet.
On Sunday, May 8, the festival will celebrate Mother’s Day — or “Mother’s Day for Peace” — by creating a space where guests are welcome to bring a photo or representative object as a way to honor mothers who have left the Earth.
Food vendors at the festival will offer a variety of food options for the weekend. Vendors will include Blue Moon Burritos, Coffee Barn, Kerala Curry, Pork Palace, Salvatore Pizzeria, Shakori Hills Ice Cream and Vickrey Farms, which serves hot dogs and burgers. Shakori Hills is also serving beer from Carolina Brewery and Foothills Brewing, as well as wine from Old North State Winery.
About 30 craft vendors will also be at the festival, displaying and selling works such as jewelry, photography, batiks, pottery, clothing, chainsaw sculptures and more.
Tickets for the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance can be purchased online (at http://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/festival/tickets-info), by phone (at (919)-542-8142) or in person at Townsend Bertram & Co. in Carrboro, Regulator Bookshop in Durham or Circle City Books & Music in Pittsboro.