Look no further than the Durham Music Festival’s evolution for evidence of a resurgence in Durham’s musical activity and artistic pride. In three years, this annual event has gone from a one-day program with a dozen performers to a two-day, multi-venue festival with over 35 local–and branching out this year to include national–artists. This Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20-21, the music will be cued up at six downtown spots within walking distance of each other: Latin Grill, the Durham Arts Initiative, the Durham Armory, Joe and Jo’s Pub, Star and Blue Coffee. Alongside the musical goings-on will be various nonprofits, record labels and artisans setting up, adding to the street festival feel. As a nonprofit event organized by the folks at the Durham Association for Downtown Arts, the festival, according to its mission statement, ³aims to promote and showcase independent musicians from numerous genres representing Durham, the Triangle, and the region. In collaboration with local independent businesses, the festival supports existing and works for future music venues in downtown Durham.

With this festival being presented by DADA, along with the City of Durham and a host of other sponsors, there should be some cross-pollination happening on a local level. On a wider scale, here’s hoping the benefit of expanding to include artists from outside the Triangle is great. With more exposure for our neighborhood musicians to music-lovers from all over, and with a centralized location for the out-of-town bands to play for N.C. crowds, the expansion move has the potential to grow the festival even more. Folks strolling around downtown Durham listening to live music and cruising the boulevards can only be a good thing, and this festival can potentially be a great foothold in the cultural growth of the city. See page 42 for a rundown of the schedule.

In addition to the festival proper, there’s a pre-party at Ooh La Latte on Thursday, Aug. 19 with Mosadi Music (doors open at 8 p.m.) and a post-party at a location to be named later with Midnight Gladness Band, Three Torches and Lud (5 p.m.-til).

For more information, visit www.durhamdada.org/dmfe/ schedule.html .