Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance - 16 Year Anniversary !
Apr 30, 2018 | By: Elizabeth Larson Photography
In just a few short days, the spring 2018 Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance begins! From Thursday, May 3rd through Sunday May 6th, its four days of amazing music, dance, arts & crafts, seeing old friends & making new ones, lots of good eats, and then there's camping unless you prefer to day-trip it! Since the fall of 2009, I've been attending this wonderful festival, and as a result I've made many new friends and I've fallen in love with so many bands, some of which I may have not discovered otherwise.
A friend at the time, Terry Killebrew (who is now my life partner!) introduced me to Shakori Hills. We both enjoy many types of music and in particular, we have a mutual love of the band Donna the Buffalo. So Terry knew I'd really enjoy this festival. He was right - I haven't missed one since! When I first moved to North Carolina from Virginia in the summer of 2005, one of the first things I kept hearing about was Shakori Hills. It took me 4 years to get there, but I'm so glad I did!
Shakori Hills started out in the fall of 2003 on a farm in Chatham County just outside of Pittsboro, NC and is still in the same location to this day. The festival is associated with the Fingerlakes Grassroots Festival in upstate New York, held in July every summer since 1990, which the band Donna the Buffalo started as a benefit. You may read more of the history of how things got started here. They also have a winter festival in Florida called Virginia Key Grassroots Festival which we've attended twice. Shakori Hills takes place twice a year - spring and fall (typically May & October) and is so close to home for us.
In the beginning when I first started going, I volunteered before and/or after the festival doing anything from landscaping/gardening, to cleaning the house (main headquarters/office), putting down & and taking up the floor in the dance tent, and even cleaning the pizza oven for Salvatore's (eek!). It was all worth it as I had the opportunity to see things come together behind the scenes & to really see how a festival really operates. In the spring of 2014, I casually asked the volunteer coordinator at the time if there was any way I could turn my volunteer work into utilizing my talents (and profession) - photography. Nine festivals later, I'm still one of their staff photographers & I love it! A lot of the work you see on the website, blog, newsletters, social media, and of course the printed program is yours truly.
Tickets are still available by going to their website here or you may purchase them at the ticket booth upon your arrival. There's something for everyone at Shakori Hills! Fun for all ages from toddlers to retirees. They have a child's tent area for activities such as faceprinting, learning to hoop, tie dye, and more. And there's an area for older kids and teens called The Outpost. Food trucks & vendors are available throughout the weekend, Foothills Brewery will be selling their beer, and there's an area for healing arts such as yoga, massage, and sobriety meetings for those who need it. There is a guided nature walk through the property, workshops to take, and more. And of course there's music of all types of genres - there will be over 50 bands on 4 different stages. Some of the headliners are Steve Earle & The Dukes, Rising Appalachia, AJ Ghent, Driftwood, & of course Donna the Buffalo.
If my photos featured below (from last fall) don't convince you to come, perhaps another great article I ran across last week in Yes Weekly, will? Come on out an celebrate 16 years with us - its going to be a large time!