Indy calendar editor Peter Blackstock scoured our database and came up with this guide to the fall. See our online calendar for details about these events and more.


4–5 AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Live music, arts & crafts market, specialty items and food vendors, etc. City Plaza in downtown Raleigh.

4–5 TRACY MORGAN: The Saturday Night Live alumnus and 30 Rock star brings his stand-up act to Goodnight’s Comedy Club in Raleigh.

4 STAN RIDGWAY: The former Wall of Voodoo frontman helps longtime Raleigh club-scene mainstay Kings Barcade celebrate its grand reopening.

5 DUKE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: A free “pops” concert on the East Campus Quad.

9–11 HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL: Independent-sponsored event featuring more than 100 bands over 3 nights at 10 downtown venues: City Plaza, Berkeley Cafe, Deep South, Five Star, The Hive, Kings, Lincoln Theatre, Pour House, Slim’s Downtown and Tir na nOg.

10 LEWIS BLACK: The caustic comedian brings his “In God We Rust” tour to the Durham Performing Arts Center.

10–11 BULL DURHAM BLUES FESTIVAL: 23rd annual music event features local and national performers, including Buddy Guy, Bettye LaVette and Ruthie Foster, in shows Friday at Hayti Heritage Center and Saturday at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

11 BUGFEST: A day of bug-centric entertainment & educational activities for kids and adults alike at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

11 DEMETRI MARTIN: The comedian and actor known for his TV show Important Things With Demetri Martin brings his show to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.

11 GARRISON KEILLOR’S A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION: The beloved Lake Wobegon radio host brings his “Summer Love Tour” to the Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

11 THE MONTI: A new season of simple storytelling and personal narratives from local authors and luminaries at the ArtsCenter. Tonight features Greg Taylor, George Singleton, David Gessner, Belle Boggs and Janet Babin.

13 KINGS OF LEON: OK, so they cut short a show on tour this summer when a bird reportedly pooped in the singer’s mouth from the rafters. Probably won’t happen again! At Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion.

15 EARL SCRUGGS WITH THE RED CLAY RAMBLERS: Living legend of bluegrass banjo teamed with top-notch contemporary Carolina outfit for a Carolina Performing Arts event at UNC’s Memorial Hall.

15 SHELBY LYNNE, CHARLIE MARS: Grammy-winning country-pop singer brings the tour for her new album Tears, Lies & Alibis to the ArtsCenter with opener Charlie Mars.

16–19 SPARKCON: A showcase of creativity, talent and ideas presented by Visual Art Exchange at locations throughout the Triangle. Includes programs of music, art, theater, film, fashion, poetry, dance and more.

17–19 MEGAFAUN & FIGHT THE BIG BULL FEATURING JUSTIN VERNON OF BON IVER & SHARON VAN ETTEN: Duke Performances presents an intriguing collaboration between local and national indie-folk acts performing songs from Alan Lomax’s Sounds of the South collection. At Hayti Heritage Center.

18 ALABAMA AT DUKE: Beware a Blue Devil obliteration, but it’s a chance to see college football’s defending BCS champ and preseason No. 1 team in action at Wallace Wade Stadium.

18 TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, JOE COCKER: Top of the line in classic rock, at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion.

18 BILLY BRAGG: The iconic punk-folk-rock electric-acoustic Englishman songwriter and political spokesperson visits Cat’s Cradle, with opener Darren Hanlon.

18–19 CENTERFEST: More than 100 juried fine artists, craftsmen and performers convene in the Downtown Durham Central Park District for this 37th annual event presented by the Durham Arts Council.

17–26 >LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: The theatrical rock ‘n’ roll spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies comes to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.

19 DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: The kings of indie Southern rock take to the street outside the Lincoln Theatre with guests the Henry Clay People and American Aquarium.

22–25 SIGNAL FEST: The Southeast Electronic Music Festival descends upon Chapel Hill and Carrboro for a series of shows at Cat’s Cradle, Local 506, Nightlight and other venues.

23 LADY ANTEBELLUM: The hottest act in contemporary country music comes to the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, with David Nail opening.

24–25 NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY: Pianist Navah Perlman, violinist Giora Schmidt and cellist Zuill Bailey are featured in a program of Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler at Meymandi Concert Hall.

24 CITY OF MEDICINE: Transactors Improv Company unveils the fourth season of its improvisational-comedy spin on the serial medical drama genre at Common Ground Theatre. Continuing episodic performances on Oct. 29 and Nov. 26.

24 LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III: Father of Rufus, eulogizer of dead skunks, occasional sitcom actor and always-engaging songwriter pays respects to an N.C. legend in a Duke Performances program titled “High Wide & Handsome: A Tribute to North Carolina’s Charlie Poole.”

25 TRIANGLE UNCORKED: A supersized wine-tasting event featuring hundreds of wines at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

25 CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS & JOE HENRY: The nationally renowned Piedmont traditional string band collaborates with an adventurous songwriter and producer for a Duke Performances concert at Reynolds Industries Theater.

26 CARRBORO MUSIC FESTIVAL: The 13th annual event features over 160 local acts on 25 stages across Carrboro for an all-day celebration of free music. This year’s performers include the Bradshaw Quartet, Birds & Arrows, Chocolate Martini Therapy, the New Town Drunks, The Mighty Gospel Inspirations, Big Fat Gap, Saludos Compay, Nikki Meets the Hibachi and the Magnolia Klezmer Band.

28–Oct. 3 PANDEMONIUM: The creators of Stomp! and the Lost & Found Orchestra bring this spectacular tour de force to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.


1 MAVIS STAPLES: The sensational soul and gospel singer comes to Durham’s Carolina Theatre, with Jolie Holland opening.

1 OZOMATLI: Grammy-award winners put funk, hip-hop, world music and more in a blender for a Carolina Performing Arts concert at UNC’s Memorial Hall.

4 THE NATIONAL: One of indie rock’s hottest bands comes to Memorial Auditorium, with opener Owen Pallett.

5 STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB: Alternative rock bands old and new take the stage at the new Raleigh Amphitheater.

7–10 SHAKORI HILLS GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL: The twice-annual music & dance extravaganza presents its fall event in the hills of Chatham County. Performers include Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Chatham County Line, Mandolin Orange, The Old Ceremony, Marshall Tucker Band and Paperhand Puppet Intervention.

7 DIANE REHM: The NPR current-affairs diva comes to the Stewart Theater on the N.C. State campus to promote her book about her dog, Life With Maxie, in an event co-sponsored by Quail Ridge Books & Music.

8 AVETT BROTHERS: Carolina indie-roots little-train-that-could moves on up to the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, with opening act Brandi Carlisle.

8 CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET: One of the elite companies in contemporary dance, featuring 16 top performers from around the world, presents a show of works by top emerging choreographers at UNC’s Memorial Hall as part of the Carolina Performing Arts series.

8–9 MINUS SOUND RESEARCH WEEKEND: A local collective designed to promote visual artwork of local musicians celebrates its 5th anniversary with two nights at the ArtsCenter featuring music by The Kingsbury Manx, The Moaners, American France and others, plus an exhibit of new works by Mac McCaughan, Casey Burns and others.

9 DEERHUNTER: The acclaimed Atlanta ambient-punk band pays a visit to Cat’s Cradle with openers Casino Vs. Japan and Ducktails.

10 BUILT TO SPILL: Longtime indie rock heroes from the Northwest come to Cat’s Cradle with opening act Revolt Revolt.

14–24 NORTH CAROLINA STATE FAIR: The grandest fair in all the state makes its annual appearance at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, with prize-winning livestock and agriculture and arts & crafts and concerts and ferris wheels and carnival games and deep-fried everything under the sun. This year’s musical performers include Chris Young, Honor Society, Gloriana, Casting Crowns and The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

14–31 DRACULA: Carolina Ballet presents principal guest choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s new work based on the Bram Stoker novel at the Fletcher Opera Theatre.

15 THE AMERICAN BEAUTY PROJECT: A Duke Performances collaborative event features the band Ollabelle with singer-songwriters Jim Lauderdale, Catherine Russell and Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan, plus instrumentalist David Mansfieldall gathered to cast a light on some of the Grateful Dead’s classic 1970 LP. At Page Auditorium.

21 THE MERCHANTS OF BOLLYWOOD: The international dance spectacular from India with dozens of performers and hundres of costumes is presented at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.

22 GUIDED BY VOICES: Robert Pollard’s granddaddies of indie rock are back on the nightclub path and playing at Cat’s Cradle with Sweet Apple Music.

22 ANDRS SCHIFF: The masterful Hungarian pianist performs works by Mendelssohn and Schumann for a Duke Performances concert at Page Auditorium.

22–23 NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY: Resident conductor William Henry Curry and cellist Bonnie Thron are featured in a “Composer Portaits” program focusing on Tchaikovsky at Meymandi Concert Hall.

27 JEFF DANIELS: The comic actor turns singer-songwriter for a performance at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.

27 CAROLINA HURRICANES: In its season home opener, the NHL franchise faces off versus the Washington Capitals at the RBC Center.

28 SFJAZZ COLLECTIVE: The eight-piece collective of stellar musicians presents a Duke Performances program titled “The Music of Horace Silver” at Page Auditorium.

29–31 THE GHOSTS OF FAYETTEVILLE STREET: A Halloween-themed promenade performance featuring Burning Coal Theatre Company actors travels from the Raleigh City Museum down Fayetteville Street.

29 BOMBAY BELLYWOOD: An evening of Indian music and dance plus dazzling dress presented by the Bellydance Superstars at Durham’s Carolina Theatre.

29 LAST COMIC STANDING: The NBC comedy television series brings its show on the road for a performance at Meymandi Concert Hall.

30 DEL MCCOURY BAND & PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND: Dueling monumental forces in bluegrass and New Orleans jazz, respectively, share the stage of Page Auditorium for a Duke Performances event.


4 RA RA RIOT: Quirky indie pop band from the Northeast brings the tour for its new album, The Orchard, to Cat’s Cradle.

5 OMARA PORTUONDO: One of the foremost singers from the renowned Buena Vista Social Club collective of Cuban musicians visits UNC’s Memorial Hall for a Carolina Performing Arts concert.

5–6 RALPH LEMON: The renowned dancer, choreographer and conceptual artist presents a program for Duke Performances that he has cheekily titled How Can You Stay in the House All Day & Not Go Anywhere? At Reynolds Industries Theater.

6 MIKE BIRBIGLIA: One of the fastest-rising stars in stand-up comedy takes his act to the Carolina Theatre in Durham.

7 ALLEN TOUSSAINT: The New Orleans music legend Toussaint teams with jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton and first-rate Big Easy group the Joe Krown Trio for a Duke Peformances concert at Reynolds Industries Theater.

7 PUNCH BROTHERS: Mandolinist extraordinaire Chris Thile is now well into his post-Nickel Creek career with this adventurous neo-bluegrass ensemble, which visits Cat’s Cradle.

12 DOC WATSON: The dean of Carolina folk music is joined by his longtime accompanist David Holt and his grandson Richard Watson for an evening at Meymandi Concert Hall.

13 ANTHONY BOURDAIN: The renowned author and chef brings his “No Reservations” program to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.

16 THE WEEPIES: The exquisite West Coast husband-wife folk-pop duo brings the tour for its new album Be My Thrill to the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh.

17 CELTIC THUNDER: A smorgasbord of Celtic music by top Irish and Scottish musicians makes a stop at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

17 CARRIE RODRIGUEZ, BEN SOLLEE: Up-and-coming Texas singer-songwriter and fiddler Rodriguez is joined by the inventive cellist and singer-songwriter Sollee, known for his work with the Sparrow Quartet, in a Carolina Performing Arts concert at UNC’s Memorial Hall.

18 AZURE RAY: Singer-songwriters Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink reunite their duo project to tour behind a new album, Drawing on the Moon, including a show at the ArtsCenter.

19 MARGARET CHO: The comedienne delivers her trademark raunchy, socially relevant and politically charged brand of humor at Durham’s Carolina Theatre.

19 RETROFANTASMA FILM SERIES: The ongoing monthly series at the Carolina Theatre in Durham celebrates its 12th anniversary with screenings of Happy Birthday To Me and Alice, Sweet Alice.

20 NC STATE AT UNC: The Wolfpack pay a visit to the Tar Heels in the annual battle for Triangle college football bragging rights, at Kenan Memorial Stadium.

20 HANDEL’S MESSIAH ROCKS: Get geared up for the holidays with this not-quite-traditional take on the seasonal chestnut at Memorial Auditorium.

24–28 PINOCCHIO: The Pacific Northwest Ballet production based on the string-puppet story enjoys a holiday-week run at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium, with favorites from the Carolina Ballet repertory also included.

26–27 NORTH CAROLINA SYMPHONY: A “Holiday Pops” performance features the Broadway Tenors and the Concert Singers of Cary.

30–12.5 BURN THE FLOOR: A ballroom-dancing theatrical production comes to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium.


3 VIJAY IYER TRIO: The promising young jazz piano talent and his bandmates play a Duke Performances concert at Reynolds Industries Theater.

3–15 A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Theatre in the Park’s musical comedy adaptation of the Dickens classic, starring Ira David Wood III, is presented Dec. 3–5 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and Dec. 8–15 at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. and

4–5 CAROLINA BALLET’S NUTCRACKER: Some holiday traditions will endure till time immemorial, as this Carolina Performing Arts presentation at UNC’s Memorial Hall attests.

5 WINTERFEST CONCERT: The Meredith Chorus, Chorale, Encore!, and Sinfonietta present a holiday program for free at Jones Auditorium on the Meredith College Campus.

11 OPUS ONE: The chamber music supergroup performs works by Beethoven, Brahms and Lowell Lieberman in a Duke Performances concert at Reynolds Industries Theater.

14 HOLIDAY POPS: A yuletide musical celebration featuring the Triangle Brass Band and the NC Master Chorale, at Meymandi Concert Hall.

14 VINCE GILL & AMY GRANT: The superstar country-pop couple brings their “Twelve Days of Christmas” tour to the Durham Performing Arts Center.

16 NATALIE MACMASTER: The breathtaking Celtic fiddle sensation delivers a holiday program titled “Christmas in Cape Breton” at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.