See you in September!

Candice Jones


The Flaming Lips, Guided by Voices, Drive-By Truckers and Superchunk to headline

The Independent Weekly proudly announces its second annual Hopscotch Music Festival, the state’s biggest (and most diverse) music festival that has, this year, gotten just a touch grander. Scheduled for Sept. 8–10, 2011, in downtown Raleigh, with 136 bands in 12 venues, Hopscotch has grown to offer fans even more local, national and international choices in just about every genre imaginablefrom classic indie rock and Southern hip-hop to experimental heavy metal and guitar orchestras, Hopscotch again thrives on the variety and quality of its bands.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m., through and

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 aggressive San Francisco pop band The Dodos opening. And on Saturday, Sept. 10, The Flaming Lipsthe Oklahoma psychedelic pop band that consistently creates one of music’s most thrilling live spectaclesheadlines City Plaza. Merge Records flagship band 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 communitythe fans and bands upon which the local music scene is builtremains.

“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 Hopscotchthe 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.”

In its first year, Hopscotch, owned by Independent Weekly founder Steve Schewel, lost more than $50,000. But in an editorial that ran just days after last year’s debut ended, Schewel vowed Hopscotch would return with even more for Raleighnext year, and for a long time to come. Hopscotch II delivers on Schewel’s word.

“The salient fact about Hopscotch is that it’s a huge one-weekend risk, and we’re not used to that at the Indy. Suppose it rains? Suppose it hurricanes? Suppose the Music Gods are in a bad mood?” says Schewel. “But we’re doing it. We’ve got the big fluffy dice out, and we’re rolling them. We know we can throw one fantastic music festival in downtown Raleigh again this year with more great music, wild nights, streets full of people having fun and enjoying what turns out to be the coolest place in the known world for this one weekend: downtown Raleigh.”

Concludes Lowenhagen: “Because of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans and bands last year, we were more convinced than before about our plans to produce another festival. Ultimately, we’re really thankful for the community’s support.”


Admission for Hopscotch Music Festival is designed to suit a wide range of fans. Individual tickets for the shows in Raleigh City Plaza are available. The Friday, Sept. 9, show featuring Guided by Voices, Drive-By Truckers and The Dodos costs $32. The Saturday, Sept. 10, show featuring The Flaming Lips, Superchunk and The Light Pines costs $34.

For $65, fans can buy a wristband that allows entry into all 11 festival clubs, including Fletcher Opera Theater, for all three days. For $105, fans get into those 11 clubs plus both City Plaza shows, a combined savings of more than $25. A very limited number of $155 VIP wristbands are also available. Those wristbands include priority access to all shows and a VIP festival kickoff party on Thursday, Sept. 8. Last year, VIP wristbands sold out in less than a week, and all wristbands sold out before the festival started. Wristbands go on sale Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m.

In cooperation with sponsor, Hopscotch Music Festival is offering wristbands and tickets to all fans with reduced service charges. To purchase tickets and wristbands, visit or


All Tiny Creatures, Andrew Cedermark, Annuals, Apache Dropout, Apex Manor, Apple Juice Kid, Bandway, Barn Owl, Beach Fossils, Beans, Bird Peterson, Black Lips, Black Twig Pickers, The Body, Bombadil, Braids, The Budos Band, Bustello, Caltrop, The Caribbean, Carlitta Durand, Cassis Orange, Charlie Smarts, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Chip Robinson, Cold Cave, D&D Sluggers, Dan Melchior und Das Menace, David Daniell, Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, Des Ark, Dinosaur Feathers, Disappears, The Dodos, Drive-By Truckers, Duane Pitre Sextet, Dustin Wong, Dylan Gilbert, Earth, Embarrassing Fruits, Empress Hotel, Family Dynamics, Fight the Big Bull, Filthybird, The Flaming Lips, Flight, Ford & Lopatin, The Foreign Exchange, Frank Fairfield, Frontier Ruckus, Future Islands, Gauntlet Hair, Generationals, Grandchildren, Gross Ghost, Guided by Voices, Heads on Sticks, Hog, Horseback, Invisible Hand, Jack the Radio, Japandroids, JEFF The Brotherhood, Jennyanykind, Jesse Sparhawk & Eric Carbonara, J Mascis, John Vanderslice, Jon Lindsay, Julianna Barwick, Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes, King Mez, KORT, Krallice, Last Year’s Men, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Le Weekend, The Light Pines, Little Scream, Liturgy, The Loners, Lonnie Walker, Lost in the Trees, The Love Language, Lower Dens, Mandolin Orange, Man/Miracle, Man Will Destroy Himself, The Moderate, Mount Eerie, Mount Moriah, Mouthus, The Necks, Old Bricks, The Old Ceremony, Oneohtrix Point Never, Onward Soldiers, Organos, Oulipo, Oxbow, PC Worship, Peter Lamb and The Wolves, The Prayers and Tears, Prurient, Reading Rainbow, Rhys Chatham G3, Royal Bangs, Royal Baths, Shit Horse, Sir Richard Bishop, Soft Company, SPCL GST, Spider Bags, Steve Gunn, The Strugglers, Superchunk, The Super Vacations, Swans, Tender Fruit, The Tomahawks, Thien, Toro Y Moi, Twelve Thousand Armies, Twin Shadow, Tyvek, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Weekend, Wembley, Wesley Wolfe, Whatever Brains, William Tyler, Wooden Wand, Woodsman, Xiu Xiu, Yair Yona, Yardwork, Yelawolf


EXCLUSIVE BOOKINGS: This year’s Hopscotch offers a lot of attractions that don’t happen in Raleigh every weekendor decade, for that matter: Brooklyn black metal band Krallice has never played in North Carolina. New York legends Swans have not played Raleigh since their 1982 tour with Sonic Youth. Chicago’s Disappears will feature Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth, playing perhaps the smallest Raleigh room he’s played since that tour three decades ago. Australia’s The Necks have played barely more than a dozen American shows, and they built a tour around Hopscotch. The Duane Pitre Sextet has rarely performed outside of New York, while The Dodos routed their entire fall around making it to Hopscotch. Prurient has not performed in the Triangle since the last No Future festival, while KORTfeaturing Kurt Wagner of Lambchophas yet to tour America.

BAND-CURATED BILL: This year, Hopscotch again asked one of its favorite local bands, Raleigh’s Lonnie Walker, to curate its own show. They built a five-band bill for the festival’s first night that includes friends from around the country. Grandchildren, Woodsman, Dinosaur Feathers and Lower Dens will all join Lonnie Walker at Kings Thursday, Sept. 8.

A BIG BUT INTIMATE ROOM: Not long after the first Hopscotch ended, leaders at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts approached Hopscotch about using its multi-venue space for the festival’s second year. Fletcher Opera Theatera beautiful 600-capacity room with the farthest seat just 70 feet from the stagemade the most sense for its rare combination of intimacy and capacity. Those features allowed Lowenhagen and Currin to pursue several rare engagements, including a performance of the legendary Guitar Trio by Paris composer Rhys Chatham, the reunion of atmospheric and erudite Raleigh folk act The Prayers and Tears, and the aforementioned Swans set. Other bands scheduled for Fletcher include Bombadil, The Necks, Lost in the Trees, Julianna Barwick and Sir Richard Bishop.

MORE TO COME: In the next several weeks, Hopscotch will announce the return of its highly successful Edward McKay Used Books & More Artist-and-Author Series, at Raleigh City Museum. Last year’s three-day series featured Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Rolling Stone‘s Christopher Weingarten, Megafaun’s Phil Cook and Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whiteman. Details on an official Hopscotch poster contest and parties hosted throughout the city during the festival are forthcoming.


Hopscotch Music Festival remains located entirely in downtown Raleigh, but two more venuesWhite Collar Crime and Fletcher Opera Theater in Progress Energy Center for the Performing Artshave been added this year, bringing the total to 12. All venues are encompassed within eight blocks. The venues returning to Hopscotch are The Berkeley Cafe, Deep South the Bar, Five Star, The Hive at Busy Bee, Kings, Lincoln Theatre, The Pour House, Raleigh City Plaza, Slim’s and Tir Na Nog.


“Contrasting the live experience with watching music on computers and iPhones, the veteran hip-hop firebrand Chuck D told the audience that music’s future depends on nurturing strong and vibrant local scenes through adventurous grassroots festivals like Hopscotch.” Mark Kemp, Rolling Stone

“My favorite part was the energy of a crowd out to see some music. Nothing was going to stop them from seeing music. They were going to see all the music. That sheer determination converted me: I slipped into the crowd and immediately abandoned all pretense of maintaining an academic disinterest in the bands I’d only heard of peripherally. It swept away my staunch decision to maintain no bias when seeing a band I kind of love right now.” Whitney Baker, Paste

“A crazy mess of success.” New Raleigh


Steve Schewel and David Birkhead, both longtime Durham, N.C., residents, dreamt of founding an alternative newspaper in the South during the early ’80s. In 1982, they hired their first editor and did just that, publishing the first issue in April 1983. In the 28 years since that debut, the Independentor the Indy, as it’s often calledhas helped change the state’s press coverage and political culture by influencing the mainstream media, pressuring political leaders and moving its readers to positive action.

The Independent has also served as a consistent and strident cultural critic in North Carolina for decades, regularly winning awards for its arts and music writing, not to mention its long legacy of award-winning news coverage.

Greg Lowenhagen has worked at the Independent Weekly since 2009 and served as its Marketing Director since 2010; Grayson Currin has served as the paper’s Music Editor since 2006.