Festival Coverage

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival


Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance takes place October 6-9 in the beautiful Chatham County, NC. Shakori Hills features 50 bands on 4 stages across 4 days, with genres varying from indie to bluegrass, and indie to electronic. This is a family friendly event that not only includes live music, but crafts, food/art vendors, dance & music workshops, and sustainability education. 

More information on the festival can be found here.

Schedule of events:

Festival Coverage

How to get Tickets for Hopscotch 2016

With the the end of each summer, Hopscotch always creeps up on us. If you haven’t secured your ticket yet be sure to act fast as they are selling out quick this year. Here is some pricing info:

General Admission: $165

  1. 1 Red Hat Amphitheater show – Sept. 9
  2. 3 Outdoor City Plaza Shows – Sept. 8-10 (Fayetteville Street downtown)
  3. All Club Shows – Sept. 8-10

VIP: $225

  1. 1 Red Hat Amphitheater show – Sept. 9
  2. 3 Outdoor City Plaza Shows – Sept. 8-10 (Fayetteville Street downtown)
  3. All Club Shows – Sept. 8-10
  4. Opening Night VIP party – Sept. 8
  5. Priority Access to Club Shows

Thursday Day Pass: $85

  1. Thursday club shows 
  2. Thursday City Plaza show 

Friday Day Pass: $95

  1. Friday club shows 
  2. Friday City Plaza show 
  3. Friday Red Hat Amphitheater show

Saturday Day Pass: $85

  1. Saturday club shows 
  2. Saturday City Plaza show 

You can purchase tickets at:

There is also a chance to win a 3-day pass! Steep In will be doing a giveaway which ends next Tuesday the 23rd. All you have to do is follow the Twitter page and retweet the giveaway tweet:

Band/Artist Profile

Hopscotch Profile: Leila Abdul-Rauf

Hailing from San Francisco, composer and general badass Leila Abdul-Rauf has been making and performing music, namely metal, for nearly her entire life. Her previous endeavors in the metal scene include the bands Saros and The Bastard Noise, and she remains active in Hammers of Misfortune, Vastum, and Ionophore.  While she is most widely known for her vocals, she is a true multi-instrumentalist, honing her abilities on the guitar, trumpet, piano, and synth, just to name a few.

But her latest solo album, Insomnia, is unlike her past work. She foregoes her signature doom  metal sound and instead opts for something more cerebral. There are no vocals, save for some haunting, ethereal wailing. Instead, the listener can relax and focus on the weaving of brass, piano for an unsettling, otherworldly sound.  It vaguely resembles Ionophore’s latest album Sinister Pools, or something Godspeed You! Black Emperor might think up after a handful of benzos. Drawing parallels between Insomnia and anything else proves difficult because Abdul-Rauf has created something poignant, introspective, and uniquely brilliant – an atmosphere all her own. It’s something personal and gorgeous without being pretentious. Definitely worth a listen.

 During Hopscotch, catch Leila Abdul-Rauf with Nathan A. Verrill at 11 PM on September 10th in Nash Hall.

 Listen to Insomnia HERE.

-DJ Case Sensitive 


Post-Bonnaroo, what could we have done better?

Planning and executing your plan to Bonnaroo is always a work in progress. Each year has become progressively easier for me personally, after not having a pop-up canopy first year, and after correcting our food situation from my second year, let’s take a look at what my group could have done better this year, and what we will surely capitalize on in the coming years.

First of all, shoes. My vans are great for everyday stuff, but let’s be honest, those kicks, while perfect for 80% of situations in my opinion, don’t offer enough support to be walking or standing for 95% of your waking hours for four days straight. Wear some Chacos, or at least something meant for a lot of walking, your feet and legs will thank you at the end of the day. It isn’t really something you think about otherwise, but after your days my legs just felt like jelly, very very sore and kinda painful jelly.

The second order of business is sleep. Now this one is a double edged sword, but I experienced both ends of it this year. If you get too much sleep (like I did on Friday night and Saturday morning), you’re gonna miss out on some awesome stuff going on around the festival. I missed The Chainsmokers, as well as the Keys N Krates Kalliope set, just because I thought that I “should really get some sleep for the big day/night tomorrow”, which I now really regret, because I heard those shows were both fantastic. On the other hand, Saturday night we were up until 5 AM after RL Grime, as well as Adventure club and a Kalliope set. You WILL wake up before 8:30 every day due to the heat in the tents, so make sure you account for that. If your body and mind won’t hate you too much the next day, go ahead and stay up super late, it will be worth it, otherwise though sleep is pertinent.

Lastly, stay hydrated, but make sure you are always replenishing electrolytes. By this, i mean even though you are hydrated, make sure you are eating foods to carry you through the day and night, because of how taxing all the activities at Bonnaroo are. Just drinking water will actually cause you to lose more electrolytes as they wash out of your system, and you need those to keep on keepin’ on at all these concerts. In extreme cases like water poisoning, a bag of chips could save a life. Be smart, stay safe, and have the time of your life out there.

Festival Coverage

Bonnaroo: Best performances of 2016

Bonnaroo has come and passed this year, but for those of you who didn’t go, or even those of you that did, I’ve compiled my two cents on the best of the best out of each genre of artist that performed this year.

Let’s start with electronic, my expectations were set pretty high with RL Grime, and he definitely delivered. His show was unreal, playing old stuff, new stuff, hard stuff, some intermediary softer stuff, all with a perfectly programmed light show which was mindblowingly perfect. Although I may be biased because I absolutely love some festival trap. Griz was also amazing, despite his mid-day set. 

As for the more alternative-tinged pop shows, my personal favorite had to be Halsey, who is just a great performer with catchy and well written songs. She had a huge crowd, and involved them often, interacting with them frequently, and giving it her all during the performance.  A close second was Two Door Cinema club, who also killed their performance.

As for rap, you probably won’t expect my pick, but it was Chance the Rapper. This guy wasn’t even billed on the lineup, but he showed up to multiple shows as well as doing his own thing on Sunday at the Silent Disco. If I wasn’t kinda cheating by picking him, I would definitely go with J Cole, because his set was constant fire the entire time, I had to leave close to the end of it, but I could hear him as well as the crowd from anywhere in the campgrounds.

Also here’s a quick list of honorable mentions, who weren’t the best of the best, but were still certainly great performances:


Cashmere Cat


Ellie Goulding

Third Eye Blind

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Snoop Dog 

Keep an eye out for posts by my co-host Will, who was also covering the festival, I think he’ll be posting some awesome pictures we took at the festival soon!

Festival Coverage

Moogfest Day Three Photos 

All photos by Matt Brown

Festival Coverage

Moogfest 2016 Coverage 

Festival Coverage

My Schedule for Moogfest

Join me at Moogfest as I cover the many films, Installations, WorkShops, and Performances. My schedule isn’t set in stone and I’ll probably need a bicycle to hop along to all the different events, but I’m super excited to see the talent. 

Thursday, my most anticipated set is Julia Holter, which is why I have her on my schedule for Saturday as well, just in case I miss her. She played Moogfest 2012 and her 2015 album, Have You In My Wilderness, was a top add at WKNC. “Sea Calls Me Home” was one of my favorites off the album. 

For Friday, my must see is GZA, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan cofounder. GZA, the Genius, is known as the spiritual leader of Wu-Tang Clan, thus making him one of the forebears of 90’s hip-hop. He is a definite must see for any fans of the genre. He was a major part of seminal albums such as Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) or his solo album Liquid Swords. GZA was known to have the second largest vocabulary in all hip hop. He will release his new album, Dark Matter, sometime later this year. 

Saturday, I’d have to say I’m split between Reggie Watts and Empress Of. Reggie Watts is musician, singer, beatboxer, actor, and comedian. He improvises his musical sets with the goal of disorienting his audience with only his voice, a keyboard, and a looping machine. Check out Watts’ song “Social Construct” for a good taste of what is to come. Lorely Rodriguez’ solo project, Empress Of released her first full-length album Me in 2015. Rodriguez, ethnically Spanish and Honduran, performs her songs in Spanish and English, creating fantastic tracks like “Tristeza”. Everything released by Empress Of has been top notch, ranging from her 2016 single “Woman is a Word” to her 2012 single “Champagne”. Both acts are sure to be great. 

In addition to the music, I plan to attend many workshops including Afrofuturism, Radio & the Radiophonic, STEAM, Technoshamanism, The Future of Creativity, and Transhumanism.

Make you sure follow us on Instagram, Twitter and now Snapchat at wknc881 to see where WKNC goes during Moogfest. 

– Ian Grice, WKNC Co-Public Affairs Director

Festival Coverage

Venue-Hopping the Right Way at Moogfest 2016

During Moogfest 2016 this weekend in Durham, I will go back and forth between the many venues for music performances, workshops, and speakers.  Just like any festival goer knows, venue-hoping is no joke, especially when many of these artists are flying in from all over the world.  Who knows if you’ll ever see them again?  Here are some of the ways I plan on getting around Durham this weekend as quickly (and cheaply) as possible.

My first piece of advice is the Bull City Connector (BCC).  If you’re ever in Downtown Durham, this bus is your friend.  The BCC is the only bus in the GoDurham Bus System (previously Durham Area Transit Authority) that is completely free.  Whether you’re trying to get from First Presbyterian Church to Bull McCabe’s or anywhere in between, BCC passes over the ten event venues on and around Main Street every 17 minutes.  It runs Thursday and Friday from 6:30 am to 2 am and Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm.

If you want to hit up Nasher Museum either to catch the Unique Dissertations // Cosmic Communications presentation by tAz Arnold on Friday or just to take advantage of the free admission that your Moogfest pass grants you for the weekend, you can hop the BCC to the Durham Bus Station and then take the 6/6B for $1.00 each way (or purchase a day pass for $2.00).  If you’ve got extra free time, the Nasher Museum is a five minute walk from Duke Gardens, which is a fun and beautiful walk (aka super Instagram-able).

Last, but not least, the method of alternative transportation that I will certainly be using this weekend is my bike.  First and foremost, biking between venues is (in my opinion) the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to expedite venue-hopping.  Parking is going to be impossible, and some of the walks between venues could slice a solid fifteen minutes out of a set.  Skip the hike.  Grab your bike (I can hear you groaning at my rhymes through the internet).

Secondly, if you haven’t heard yet, Moogfest partnered up with a few local bike orgs and New Belgium to host the Bike to Moogfest initiative, inviting festgoers to leave their cars at home and bike to the festival.  Signing the pledge to do so puts you in the running for a pair of VIP tix and a Detroit Bikes 3-speed.  They’ve even got long-term bike parking at Diamond View Park where your bike can nap safe-and-sound for the duration of the festival.

I plan on maximizing my Moogfest experience by taking advantage of anything faster than walking (or parking) between venues.  But however you choose to navigate Moogfest this weekend, be safe, stick with your pals, and make it to as many of the insanely cool shows this weekend as possible.  Bon voyage!

Brought to you by former Program Director, Yvonne Chazal, who also once upon a time lived in Durham. 

Festival Coverage

Tips for an unforgettable Hopscotch

With Hopscotch right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how your weekend will pan out. Though you’ll have a ton of fun regardless, just a bit of planning can take your Hopscotch to the next level. I’m here to give you a few things to think about as you take a look at this year’s schedule. Though this will be my first Hopscotch, I have been to Bonnaroo the last two years as well as the BUKU festival in New Orleans earlier this year. Hopefully you can learn a little from my past music festival successes and mistakes.

  1. Make a list of Must-sees and a list of want-to-sees

There’s probably a few names that jump out at you on the schedule as shows that you need to see. Make these shows must-sees. Then, make a list of other shows that you would like to see. It’s good to have these tiers in case one of your friends wants to see a different show at the same time. You can see how much each person really cares about seeing that band and make a decision based off of that.

      2. Don’t follow your schedule too closely

Though it’s good to have a basic schedule of shows you want to see, don’t be afraid to branch out. Some of my favorite festival shows were spur-of-the-moment decisions inspired by the musical tastes of new friends. It’s also a great way to discover new music. Even if you don’t know the band now, they could be your favorite band in a year based off of a fantastic show.

      3. Don’t get too drunk early in the day

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks at shows if you’re of age. Just be sure you’re not wasted at 7 o’clock. By 12 you’ll be in no state to go to any shows, let alone enjoy them. If you’re going to drink, start later in the night or pace yourself. You don’t want to be the guy passed out in an alley outside the venue.

      4. Fight through the pain

At some point in the festival, it’ll be late at night and you and all of your friends will be dead tired. Someone will suggest you skip this one show and go back to the hotel or apartment because “Do we really need to see this band?” I know it’s tough but try to resist! When you think back to your weekend, are you going to remember that killer show or that extra hour of sleep? You can sleep when you’re dead. Hopscotch only comes around once a year. Make the most of it.

      5. Enjoy yourself!

You’re at a music festival! Your job for the next few days is to have fun and see a lot of cool live music. Regardless of what happens, you’re going to have an unforgettable time. You’ll grow closer to old friends and meet new friends from across the state and country. You’ll see some of your favorite bands and discover some new ones. There’s nothing like it. Have a blast.