Hopscotch Music Festival runs Thursday, Sept. 8–Saturday, Sept. 10, in downtown Raleigh. Throughout the festival, follow Hopscotch on Twitter (@hopscotchfest and #hopscotch11) and via Facebook.

Tickets for Friday’s City Plaza show with Guided by Voices and Drive-By Truckers are still available, as are tickets for Saturday’s show with The Flaming Lips and Superchunk. Buy them at Hopscotch’s website, where you can read about and listen to almost every band playing this year’s festival and see the complete schedule and festival map.

In this era of social circuitry and information everything, time is an accelerated mess. More seems to happen in the modern week than in the medieval decade. Staying updated has virtually replaced comprehending. Fundamental elements of everyday interactionFacebook, smartphones, Twitterare all less than eight years old, yet it sometimes feels as if life didn’t exist before they did. Perhaps this is why, on the eve of Hopscotch II, it’s difficult to put this weekend into any real context. It’s three days of music where most everything seems equally accelerated.

In the summer of 2009, when a few of us at the Independent Weekly began discussing how a larger festival in the Triangle might unfold, we never imagined we’d be here for the second time, deliriously awaiting more than 150 of our favorite bands on 13 downtown Raleigh stages. When we set out to pair this area’s abundant local talent with notable national and international artists, we could only hope that bills imagined during hopeful conversations would actually turn into cohesive shows. We never thought the owners and managers of various venues, a naturally competitive bunch, would wholeheartedly embrace the role of hosts. Most pointedly, we never dreamed the fansfrom down the street or across the pondwould so quickly and completely make Hopscotch their own. In just two years, what began as a way to bring bands together has become a place to bring people who like bands together.

So, during the next 72 hours, whether you’re punching air at a punk show or absorbing an acoustic drone, take a minute to slow down. Look around. Think. Remember. These days, when rewound, don’t have to be forgotten so fast. Greg Lowenhagen, Hopscotch Director