Festival Coverage

Initial 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival Lineup


“Hopscotch is now the premiere experimental and underground music festival in America.”—Ad Hoc

Hopscotch Music Festival, recently called “America’s (Secretly) Best Festival” and “the premiere experimental and underground festival in America,” celebrates its fifth anniversary in downtown Raleigh, N.C., this Sept. 4-6, 2014. The festival, noted for its diversity and selective programming, features nearly 160 bands in a wide range of genres. With today’s initial lineup announcement of 115 acts, Hopscotch reaffirms its commitment to showcasing North Carolina’s thriving scene alongside notable artists from around the world. For the fifth year in a row, approximately 40% of the festival’s artists hail from in-state—a figure few, if any, nationally recognized music events can claim. An additional 40 bands will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“While most of our bigger slots are programmed and now public, we chose to break up the lineup to limit information overload,” notes Hopscotch’s founding director, Greg Lowenhagen. “We’ve presented everyone at once in the past, and because the festival is still five months away, we thought it made sense to pull back and reveal artists in two stages. We hope this approach is more welcoming and makes the lineup easier to digest.”

Hopscotch 2014 will be highlighted by two nights in Raleigh City Plaza, the city’s most inviting downtown space. On Friday, Sept. 5, Spoon—prolific pop experimentalists and one of indie rock’s most commercially and critically acclaimed bands—will headline the festival’s main stage. Friday’s bill also features St. Vincent, creator of one of 2014’s best records and most captivating live shows. Lonnie Walker will open. On Saturday, Sept. 6, Mastodon—Atlanta’s perpetually evolving and consistently enthralling hard rock nonconformists—will top a bill with Detroit’s punk pioneers Death and local favorites Valient Thorr.

Some 150 other bands will perform in various clubs during Hopscotch’s three days. A sampler of these acts so far includes: Sun Kil Moon, High on Fire, Thurston Moore, Jamie xx, How To Dress Well, Tony Conrad, Deniro Farrar, Lunice, Power Trip, American Aquarium, Obnox, Lee Noble, The Haxan Cloak, White Lung, Palehound, Ava Luna, Reigning Sound, Sun Araw, Open Mike Eagle, Mapei, Phosphorescent playing solo, and one of former Ween frontman Aaron Freeman’s first performances with his new band FREEMAN.

Remaining VIP and 3-Day passes are available through and

This year, Hopscotch’s former day party coordinator, Nathan Price, was promoted to talent coordinator to help Lowenhagen book the festival. “My job was to maintain Hopscotch’s established identity and credibility while offering my take on what I thought would attract fans in 2014,” says Price. “We wanted to highlight artists—both established and emerging—who are making incredible music right now, while also presenting Hopscotch’s usual roster of unorthodox and less obvious festival choices. I think we’ve found that balance so far.”

IIII, 6 String Drag, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, American Aquarium, Artificial Brain, Author & Punisher, Axxa/Abbraxas, Ava Luna, Avers, Bedowyn, Blanko Basnet, Blursome, Body Games, Canine Heart Sounds, Coke Weed, Cousins, Dark Rooms, Davidians, Dead Gaze, Demon Eye, Deniro Farrar, Dent May, Diarrhea Planet, Drag Sounds, Death, Eagulls, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Enemy Waves, First Person Plural, FREEMAN, Free Clinic, GEMS, Ghostt Bllonde, Guerilla Toss, Helm, High On Fire, Holygrailers, How To Dress Well, Jacuzzi Boys, Jamie XX, Joe Scudda, KEN mode, Krill, Last Year’s Men, Landlady, Lee Noble, Loamlands, Lonnie Walker, Lunice, Mark McGuire, Marley Carroll, Mapei, Mastodon, Matt Kivel, Matt Northrup, Mas Ysa, Museum Mouth, Mutual Benefit, Nest Egg, New Music Raleigh Presents: Future Shock, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, No Eyes, No Love, Obnox, Octopus Jones, Open Mike Eagle, Potty Mouth, Power Trip, Palehound, Paperhaus, Phosphorescent Solo, Prince Rama, Reigning Sound, Ryley Walker, Saint Rich, Screature, See Gulls, Soft Cat, Solar Halos, Spoon, Strange Faces, St. Vincent, SubRosa, Sun Araw, Sun Club, Sun Kil Moon, The Haxan Cloak, The Nervous Ticks, The Tills, The Range, The White Octave, Thurston Moore, Tony Conrad, T0W3RS, Valient Thorr, Virgins Family Band, Walin’ Storms, Well$, White Lung, White Laces, Wild Fur, Wing Dam, Winston Facials, Witch Mountain, Wowolfol, Y’ALL, Young Cardinals, YVETTE, Zack Mexico

VIP and 3-Day passes are on sale now at Each of these passes allows entry into all festival clubs and both City Plaza headlining shows.

In June, along with the release of the 2014 Hopscotch schedule, 1-Day passes will be made available. These passes will allow entry into every Hopscotch show on a specific day and will range from $65–$85.

Individual tickets for shows in Raleigh City Plaza will be made available soon. The Friday, Sept. 5, show featuring Spoon, St. Vincent, and Lonnie Walker costs $40. The Saturday, Sept. 6, show featuring Mastodon, Death, and Valient Thorr also costs $40.

All passes and tickets are limited. To purchase tickets and wristbands, visit

Continuing a festival tradition established in 2012 with multifaceted drummer Chris Corsano and carried on by Japanese noise pioneer Merzbow in 2013, Thurston Moore will take over the role of Hopscotch’s Improviser-in-Residence. Moore’s volume of work—from his time in Glenn Branca’s ensemble to Sonic Youth’s legendary catalog to his collaborations with Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, Nels Cline, and countless others—makes him one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his generation. No stranger to Hopscotch, Moore visited Raleigh with John Moloney last year to play a day party produced by Three Lobed Recordings and WXDU, and afterwards, they were joined by Merzbow for a special performance. Carrying the improvisational torch to this year’s festival, he will play a full set of his own on Thursday, Sept. 4, and join other bands onstage for impromptu appearances.

In the coming months, Hopscotch will add 40 more bands to its official lineup. The festival will also bring a bevy of day parties to downtown Raleigh in September, as well as the second annual SiteWork art exhibition, a photography exhibit, and the inaugural Hopscotch Design Festival.

Hopscotch Music Festival and New Kind, the Raleigh-based design and community-building firm, are thrilled to announce the inaugural Hopscotch Design Festival. The first event of its kind to emerge from an acclaimed music event, Hopscotch Design Festival will gather distinguished national talent and notable local contributors to share ideas and foster conversation about how design is shaping the future. Scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 3 and Thursday, Sept. 4, in various downtown Raleigh venues, Hopscotch Design features more than 25 sessions from presenters who work across the disciplines of graphic design, user experience design, urban planning, technology, architecture, music, food, film, and more. With interactive sessions, workshops, and parties, the two-day event will blend seamlessly into Hopscotch Music Festival beginning Thursday evening.


“Hopscotch: perfection, indeed” —The News & Observer, Raleigh

“Like most who know of its perfection, I’m almost afraid to gush too much at the risk of jinxing or ruining the best three days of music experiences one can be given. It’s SXSW without the stress, corporate overwhelming smack across the face, and dare I say Raleigh, NC becomes the most special town in the world for this one weekend.Perfectly curated with a blind ear to any buzz, specific genre, or anything else…Hopscotch Festival can turn the biggest music snob cynic into a carefree music lover once again. The word perfect is thrown around lightly all over the place (I misuse it all the time), but that’s the only word to describe this dream of a music festival…PERFECT.”—We Listen For You, Louisville

“Hopscotch Music Festival is one of the best and most eclectic music festivals in America.” —Spin

“In Raleigh Thursday through Saturday, it was all about an extraordinarily cool roster of bands. With streets cordoned off throughout the downtown area, thousands of people … wandered among ten participating music venues, creating a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere.” —Rolling Stone

“Hopscotch Music Festival is fast becoming Raleigh’s cultural center of gravity.” —Raleigh Public Record