The Tracks Music Series kicked off Thursday with live performances from Hard Drive and Honey Magpie, two local Chapel Hill bands.
Over the course of the month, these free outdoor concerts will continue to be held on each consecutive Thursday in a parking lot at University Place.
The concerts are put on by Tracks Music Library, a local streaming library that aims to broadcast music from local artists and help local musicians reach new listeners. Tracks is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and the Chapel Hill Public Library.
Tracks began in order to help local bands get more recognition and shine light on the surrounding community. For this series, local bands registered in Tracks' database were selected and then grouped by genre to perform.
Thursday's concert was held in a large parking lot outside of the mall, allowing audience members to spread out if desired. Masks were optional, said Melissa Bartoletta, the marketing and communications coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture.
Bartoletta worked with Tracks to plan the concert series.
“Now that we can finally start hosting more in-person outdoor events, we decided to plan a Tracks music series of four concerts at University Place, which has been super accommodating to our events,” Bartoletta said.
The two bands that performed Thursday are both bluegrass and folk acts from Chapel Hill.
Band members of Honey Magpie said that they consider themselves to be more of a variation of folk called “pop-folk.”
“I think the fact that we are pop-folk makes our group unique," Honey Magpie guitarist and keys player Rachael Hurwitz said. "You see a lot of strictly folk bands, but bringing the aspect of pop into the mix makes it interesting.”
The band Hard Drive is a mix of old-time country and bluegrass music.
Hard Drive's members are all from the local community, so they said they were very appreciative of the opportunity to perform for the community that helped them become successful.
“We love performing around Chapel Hill and Durham and within the Triangle, so we were so happy to be selected through Tracks to perform here at University Place,” band member Tatiana Hargreaves said.
The concerts have helped to bring community members together. They are free and outdoors, making it easy for anyone to attend.
“A friend told us about this concert that was going to be held at the University Mall and we were so excited that it was local, free and friendly to all, so we decided to come check it out” audience member Mary Elizabeth said.
Many food and drink options were available at the concert.
Ice cream from Maple View Farms was available, and Carolina Brewery was at the performance selling beer and wine for attendees 21 and over. No outside alcohol was allowed at the event.
Hawkers Asian Street Food also offered a "Tour of Asia" bundle that included Yi Yi's chicken dumplings, shrimp summer rolls, Yaki Udon and Char Kway Teow.
The concert series will be continuing through the end of September. The upcoming featured bands include:
- Sept. 16: Heat Preacher and Jack The Radio
- Sept. 23: Rowdy and KAZE4LETTERS
- Sept. 30: Katharine Whalen's Jazz Squad and Dreamroot
All concerts start at 6:00 p.m. and run until 8:00 p.m.