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Thursday March 30th

Carrboro Music Festival returns with over 100 bands after past COVID-19 cancellations

<p>A Carrboro crowd listening to music during a previous Carrboro music festival. Photo courtesy of Scott Scala.</p>
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A Carrboro crowd listening to music during a previous Carrboro music festival. Photo courtesy of Scott Scala.

For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carrboro Music Festival is back.

Returning for its 25th anniversary, the festival will take place this Sunday in downtown Carrboro with over 100 music groups in attendance. It will host performers in over 15 indoor and outdoor locations beginning at 1 p.m.

It will also hold a Hip-Hop Showcase hosted by rap artist SkyBlew in the Cat’s Cradle Back Room from 2 to 10 p.m.

“The Music Festival is a community effort in Carrboro,” Carrboro Recreation Supervisor Jeremy Poythress said. "We rely on the community, especially musicians, host locations and vendors to logistically put all the moving parts of planning together.”

Poythress and the rest of the Carrboro Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources are coordinating performance locations and preparing infrastructure for the Music Festival.

Sound System Seven, a 4th-wave Ska band based in the Triangle, has been playing at the Carrboro Music Festival since it was called Fête de la Musique

Thomas Szypulski, the lead vocalist of the band, said they have only missed two festivals, not counting years during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It’s just nice to walk around Carrboro all day and listen to music," he said. 

Szypulski described the genre of Sound System Seven as encompassing American, Caribbean and British Ska. Being a 4th-wave band, they play music from all eras of the Ska movement and have original songs that can be found on the band’s Spotify page.

He added that the band is active and typically plays around North Carolina. 

"We do what we do, we play what we play, and we have fun doing it,” Syzpulski said.

Sound System Seven will play at the Carrboro Music Festival in the Carrboro Town Commons at 6:15 p.m. 

Although many veteran bands like Sound System Seven are returning to this year’s Carrboro Music Festival, bands like the Twits, based in Carrboro, are performing for the first time.

“I saw the application to play at the festival and I thought, 'Why not?' So I applied and our band got in and that’s just really cool," Jean Cronin of the Twits said. 

As the lead vocalist, Cronin described the band as a British post-punk cover band. It usually performs songs by bands such as the Cure, the Smiths, and Joy Division. Cronin said he is Irish and described his love for covering the music of the British 70s and 80s as his own personal “niche."

He added that he thinks the type of music The Twits play needs to be played more and is excited to see a cover band playing something other than classic rock. 

The Twits play the Carrboro Century Center at 4:45 p.m. 

With the threat of Hurricane Ian, Poythress said his department is preparing a plan for different ranges of inclement weather. 

“There’s only so much space in Carrboro to have outdoor music so some of our venues are already naturally indoors, making it easier for the festival to happen if there’s rain or scattered thunderstorms, but obviously if there are power outages we’re going to have to cancel the festival,"  Poythress said. 

Despite the threat of inclement weather, Poythress said he is optimistic for the return of the festival. 

“Carrboro values musicians and artists in general and I’m excited to see this brought to light in the festival,” he said. 

The full performance schedule with locations can be found here and updates regarding inclement weather will be updated on the festival website.

@DTHCityState | 

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