A new and possibly revolutionary convention is coming to Durham that could arguably be compared to SXSW. That is the Bull City Summit (BCS) which will be running from March 23-26 Sept.15-18, 2022 and will be held in the heart of Downtown Durham at Bull City Summit LLC. This convention converges music, art, science, & technology which will showcase the valuable relationship between each sector and how they can be used to enrich our local communities.
The summit has a stacked lineup with 17 speakers ranging from council members, CEOs, media agents, label owners, & DJs. It will also include several panels covering topics such as music business, crypto, climate change, & artist mental health. Along with that there will be live presentations, one of which will be an augmented reality exhibit to display the rich history of the Bull City which will be put on by Durham based company, Project Aeschylus.
Depsite the postponement of the festival, the music continues. There will be musical performances each night showcasing the talent that our local North Carolina artists have to offer. WKNC’s very own DJ Whippopatomus has recently interviewed two of the artists, Durham native Jooselord & the Raleigh based 3amsound which will be performing on separate nights. Not only that but people can also find a wide range of genres from electronic to blues-rock at local venues including Motorco Music Hall, Pinhook, & Kotaku Surf Bar. Tickets for the shows can be purchased separately on the BCS website.
Music isn’t the only art form being offered at the rescheduled festival, there will be an art fair throughout each day of the summit curated by local visual creators. BCS will be partnering with local art galleries, hotels, & public spaces to facilitate their art shows.
This is a pivotal event for the Durham creative community. With the amount of various forms collaboration and diversity, BCS has the ability to change the landscape of the local art scene in the Triangle and even for the entire state of North Carolina. The convergence of art, technology, & science has the potential to provide powerful tools of knowledge to elevate and bring forth the exposure that our local art scene deserves.
Remember, we are stronger together so show each other some love.
-Brandon Whippo, Asst. Music Director, DJ, & Interview Content Creator
On Oct. 8, 2021, Jooselord recorded a live album at The Pour House with members of his collective Krawz Bonez.
The show featured local rappers Buddahbby, Godrick, Austin Royale, Nunafterhours, 3AMSOUND and Jovi Mosconi, with Jooselord headlining the event. Our very own WKNC alumnus, the legendary Iron Mic, was the DJ for the show and kept things running very smoothly on the turntables throughout the night.
It was truly a unique experience with the addition of a live band to the latter half of the show. Not only that, but Joose had The Pour House record his performance and press it to a vinyl that will be available for purchase in the near future. This was another great collaboration of local artists showcasing the talent that the Triangle has to offer.
This was the first of 2 events that was held at The Fruit in Durham that weekend. It was an art show/series of concerts that showcased the work of local creatives from Durham and the greater area. Durham native, Jasmyn Milan was the organizer and hosted the shows throughout the night. The performances were mainly hip-hop based but there were also DJs spinning both hip-hop & electronic tracks which vibed really well along side each other. The venue was split into two sections, the theatre stage, which mainly composed of hip-hop and the warehouse stage which hosted the electronic part of the dance floor.
There was collaboration between several different art mediums which is always good to see in a healthy local creative community. There were clothing, visual art, photography, and surprisingly cute self-defense vendors present to sell their goods & services. Jasmyn also had someone develop a video game demo for the event which played pretty well actually. In-between the sets there were also several fashion shows demonstrating local models and designers. It was inspiring to see people of so many different backgrounds all supporting each other and having a good time.
RUNNING UP THAT HILL 9/4:
Day 2 of what almost seemed to be the main event of a weekend long festival at The Fruit, consisted of over 20 DJs from 6pm-230am the next morning. Double the people showed up on Saturday, many from BAD KITTY, some performing and some enjoying the entertainment. The night was full of energy as people split between two different sets again with the warehouse being the main stage. Throughout the night I heard some very clean and thrilling transitions off a few different DJ tables. These DJs were very professional and really brought the energy that the audience so badly craved after a year of lock downs. It was another great night where the community really showed out.
Below is a video recap that I filmed and created myself.
The “Have You Heard?” music festival took place on Aug 27, 2021 at the Durham Central Park. The event consisted of 14 different sets, all performed by artists local the the state of North Carolina with Marco Luka, Maasho, & Weston Estate.
It was another warm muggy night but that didn’t hold back the artists or their fans from rocking out. Many of the artists throughout the night announced that this was either the first time they have performed or that this was the biggest crowd that they had performed for. I can imagine that this was some of their fans first show since lockdowns have ended too because there was excitement in the air.
There were more than a few familiar faces from the “Summer in tha Carolinas” music festival. If you haven’t already, you can find my recap of that event here. The 3 headliners all performed there as well, but one of the most notable faces there was Big John. He is a DJ from Greenville, NC and one of the most lit hype men that I have encountered. His energy is infectious and this is evident how pumped up the crowd would get every time he took the stage.
Several local clothing vendors and even a popup thrift shop also accompanied the venue. I believe is a heathy sign of the direction our local arts economy and culture is heading. Collaboration is key to success within the local arts industry. Not only is it good from a marketing/networking standpoint, but it also deepens the connections within the community.
You can learn more about “Have You Heard?” and their festival on their Instagram.
It was 94 degrees with 85% humidity at the City of Raleigh’s Moore Square Park right downtown. But that did not stop the artists and patrons from leaving it all on the stage and celebrating their existence. “Summer in the Carolinas” was a music festival that took place July 17th, 2021 and was from 12pm-10pm with over 36 NC native artists performing, organized by The Lo$t Generation.
This was the inaugural year of the festival and after the outcome, it seems this is a start to a great thing. What I saw was a community of music lovers come together to celebrate the brilliance and pure existence of the up-and-coming Hip Hop scene we have here in North Carolina. The stage appeared very professional. It was set up in the middle of the field with good enough elevation that the whole crowd was able to see. There was plenty of space for artists and their homies to turn up and entertain the crowd. I was genuinely surprised to see how well all of the artists performed, especially in that heat. These local artists came prepared with their outfits, stage presence, and energy. What they brought the crowd is something any local music enthusiast would be proud of.
As I mentioned, this event brought the community together and not just with music. There were at least 5 food trucks, over 15 different local vendors, and photographers all taking advantage of the opportunities provided by this event. Many of the vendors were selling locally designed wares such as shirts and accessories. There were also several visual artists selling their paintings as well as facilitating live paintings for anyone to participate in. This event had a tremendous impact on the local creative community in many different ways by providing a platform and safe space for artists and their fans to freely express themselves.
One of the greatest things about this festival for me is that I left with a bunch of new artists to explore and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one taking notes.
Now I want to share with you some of my favorite performances of the night:
Zack Cokas(Raleigh)- Zack had some fire merch out there but his performance was even more so. This was right after he cut all of his hair off and had a sort of pink cheetah print dyed into his hair so it was shocking for a lot of people(including me). Him and his twin brother Cam Cokas(who is also very talented) took the main stage and they sure did do their thing. He’s one of the only artists who worked the entire stage and even jumped down to the ground level to make his performance a bit more intimate causing his fans to go even more wild.
Maasho(Raleigh)- This was actually his first performance and as someone who knew nothing about him before this, I was shocked. His performance was top tier, the energy that he brings alone sets him apart from other artists. I’m excited to see how he carries this momentum going forward.
Sonny Miles(Raleigh)- He really took control of the audience with his smooth and mellow bars representative of a new era in R&B. Even with the sets before his having much higher energy, this was not a detriment to his performance whatsoever. It was amazing seeing and feeling the vibe change with such soothing notes to bounce to.
Marco Luka(Durham)- He actually first performed with a band called Weston Estate first before he took the stage by storm for his solo performance. This guy really sounds like money, his music is just so melodic and easy to listen to.
Belis(Charlotte)- She has one of the most unique flows I have ever heard and I’m not just comparing her to the local artists at the venue. Again, I shamefully knew nothing of her before that day but I could already tell there was a buzz surrounding her from the way she presented herself to how wild her fans were going for her. Her outfit was one of the most fly out of the performers and her presence was felt even from the farthest corner of the park.
10Cellphones(Charlotte)- He was one of the headliner of the night and he did not disappoint. He performed just after the sun went down and the venue definitely took to a different vibe in the dark. His performance was fearless, making very bold statements about the police right in front of them no less. His set demanded everyone’s attention and the audience had payed their dues as it was a very active crowd at this point.
Tiacorine(Winston-Salem- I can’t lie, ever since I first heard Tiacorine perform I cannot stop listening to her. I was sold before I even saw her perform by the way she pulled up to the festival. She came in with a completely OG punk outfit and to top it off, she had liberty spikes. Later, I realized that she doesn’t usually run that look which made it even more of a special moment to behold. At first, I thought her sound would be a little more “hardcore” but what I realized instead is that she has a completely new flow entirely. I can’t really categorize it but she has hard but melodic lyrics that blend seamlessly with every beat that she was on. I can say with confidence that I am a Tiacorine fan for life.
The Lo$t Generation- These are the guys that put it all together and from what they said, this event took over a year to organize. Their performance closed out the show for the night and it was honestly a brilliant moment to watch them revel in their hard-earned success. One of their member even stage-dived and successfully surfed the crowd during one of their main acts.
For years, Raleigh and North Carolina in general have lacked that essential art & music infrastructure that artists need to help get their foot in the door and build a sustainable career. I believe that this music festival is essential to the culture of the Triangle and the entire state as a whole. In order for us to produce and sustain these phenomenal local artists, it is crucial that we give them our support and keep asking our city/state leaders informed on just how impactful these events can be.
You can view all the artists that were at Summer in the Carolinas here.
Short video I put together from videos I took at the Summer in the Carolinas music festival.