The 15th Annual Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival

A&E Shakori Hills Music Fest Emily Cramton Credit for photo is Jake Guild (1)

Jake Guild


Emily Cramton
Staff Writer


The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center will host their 15th annual spring festival of music and dance from May 4 to 7. The event is a collaboration with the GrassRoots Festival Organization in Pittsboro and will feature over 50 bands and musicians performing on four different stages. This festival is a highly anticipated event by both musicians and community members every year.


Hosted by the “socially conscious yet eternally danceable” band Donna the Buffalo, the festival has a lineup of bands from a wide variety of styles and influences. Donna the Buffalo itself is a band with a sound that blends all different genres of American music, from country, to reggae and rock. They started the GrassRoots outside of Ithaca, New York, 25 years ago, and the festival tradition has spread down the coast to North Carolina.


Other bands set to play include Boone-based indie rock group, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Honduran musician, Aurelio Martinez. The bands featured at the festival will be all across the board, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.


The Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival prides itself on being a family event, and people of all ages are welcome.


One of the major efforts of the festival is raising awareness of and encouraging sustainability. Held in a natural outdoor space of over 72 acres, caring for the environment is an important goal for the festival every year.


Besides music, the festival offers a multitude of other activities and ways to connect with nature. There is always something to do here, and the four days of the festival might not be long enough to try everything.


The festival  offers an assortment of local food and craft vendors. The food vendors serve meals and snacks of many different cultures, from all-natural Indian food, to authentic North Carolina style barbeque and  small-batch kombucha based out of Durham. Overall, the festival’s food offerings focus on the healthy, the natural and the organic; but burgers and fresh doughnuts will be available as well.


Craft vendors are a big feature of the festival, and many products are often made locally. Various art, home decor and personal care items will be available for sale. Types of art range from pottery, to original stained glass and glass sculptures. Some vendors are also offering their homemade lotions, soaps and jewelry, including clothing. At the Gopi Arts stand, you can get your own natural henna body art, natural temporary tattoos made from the henna plant of India and the Middle East.


The festival also offers a secluded, shady area for healing arts, where festival-attendees can escape and clear their minds. The Healing Arts area features movement classes, massage and other methods of natural healing.


Because the festival is so closely tied to nature, camping onsite is an option and even encouraged. Bring your RV or your tent and camping gear to fully immerse yourself in nature, or you can rent camping gear at the festival.


Though the GrassRoots festival is the main event for the season, there are always activities and other events going on at the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center. The 2017 Summer Workshop Series offers classes in folk music, art and more. You can sign up for West African Drumming classes, or learn how to make and play your own Didgeridoo. There are also multiple art classes available in creating your own crafts from various cultures.


This festival is eagerly anticipated each year, and it is sure to draw a crowd of music and nature lovers alike. Everyone is welcome, and there will definitely be something for everyone to enjoy. One-day or four-day passes are available, along with options for camping and further donations. Find more information and purchase tickets online at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Uncategorized

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