This weekend brings Raleigh Wide Open to downtown, in which several dozen acts play free shows at multiple stages around downtown. Some verbiage about which acts you should make a point of seeing can be found here. And below is an essay by one of the local participants who is quite fired up about being part of this festival.
From Mike Robinson, Annuals:
The most forthright thought in my mind is just how damn exciting it is that there's an event coming together like this that Raleigh can really put its name on and take a little ownership over.
The Triangle has always had great success as a sprawled music scene, but I don't think anyone you'd ask would ever point a finger on Raleigh as the strongest leg. Myself and a couple others in my band have lived in Raleigh our whole lives -- but as very young musicians I fondly remember (and appreciate now more than ever) how our parents would have to drive us to Chapel Hill to play Skylight Exchange, Go! Studios or even the Street Scene -- or Durham to play Duke Coffeehouse and the like. Raleigh has always been a 21+ town with some great clubs, but history has shown a majority of the underground-type musical movements to go through Chapel Hill.
But I think it's a new era in Triangle music and I think that the capital city has a much more prominent position in the trifecta this time around. I feel like my band is part of a Raleigh-generation heavily influenced by the labors of local legends like the Merge records folks and other staple members of this old and storied Triangle music scene.
Raleigh is undeniably a growing place with an inevitably urban future. I think a lot of the younger people moving to the area are coming because there is a solid groundwork firmly laid for an arts scene -- with new things still happening all the time. Raleigh Wide Open is testament to the fact that Raleigh is growing, it's a celebration of that growth, and I have a feeling it's also going to be a damn fun time! Raleigh has looked different to me every time I've come home from tour -- and as its face changes I suppose its culture and emphasis on art and music will inevitably follow suit.