A Vibrant Comeback for Raleigh’s Annual Musical Extravaganza

The 13th annual Hopscotch Music Festival is set to paint the streets of downtown Raleigh with melodies and memories as it makes its triumphant return this year. This three-day musical spectacle, commencing on Thursday, promises an exhilarating experience with ten venues, including two main outdoor stages, all poised to resound with the soul-stirring beats and tunes that define the festival.

According to Visit Raleigh, the event is projected to welcome around 25,000 music enthusiasts to the heart of the city, a figure reminiscent of its pre-pandemic heydays. The anticipation is palpable, as this festival not only ignites Raleigh’s vibrant music scene but also serves as a beacon of resilience and recovery.

Among the constellation of musical stars gracing this year’s festival, Kym Register and Meltdown Rodeo, a beloved local band, takes center stage. What’s more, Kym Register, the band’s lead, also owns and operates The Pinhook in Durham—a multifaceted establishment that serves as a music venue, event space, and bar, creating a nurturing haven for diverse artistic expressions.

Kym Register shares, We firmly believe in performing as queer country musicians or queer southern rock musicians and reaching people who are in the South that really need to know that there are lots of us out there. Register’s sentiments capture the spirit of inclusivity that defines the Hopscotch Music Festival.

One of the festival’s unique features is the harmonious fusion of local and national acts sharing the same stage. Register adds, I think the coolest thing is that you can see a lot of local bands and a lot of local acts and other touring national acts on the same stage. It’s a refreshing deviation from the norm, emphasizing the richness of the local music community.

Register, reflecting on the festival’s evolution since its inception in 2010, praises the organizers for their conscious approach. Keeping it small enough to do all of those things and to experience being an artist in this collaborative, creative way and also get compensated…It’s hard to stay connected to what’s happening around you if you’re focused on growing or getting bigger.

Kym Register passionately emphasizes the value of spaces that nurture creativity, especially within local communities. That art that is based on where you are or where we are is what makes people want to live here, Register asserts. The festival’s commitment to staying true to its roots and community-centric ethos is a testament to its enduring appeal.

Register also commends the festival organizers for their willingness to adapt and improve year after year. Part of our job at The Pinhook and part of Hopscotch’s job…is to just consistently take feedback and understand who is marginalized, who might not have access to the space, who might not have access to that festival and then think about how you can do better next year, opening your doors even wider.

This year, the Hopscotch Music Festival is expanding its horizons by introducing a comedy lineup and a family-friendly music event in collaboration with the Marbles Kids Museum, aptly named Totscotch.

Loren Gold, the executive vice president of Visit Raleigh, underscores the significance of events like Hopscotch in Raleigh’s cultural landscape. While Hopscotch draws about half the number of attendees compared to the annual Dreamville Festival, it plays a crucial role in igniting Raleigh’s event scene. Gold notes that the variety in the types and sizes of events benefits the city, fostering economic growth and cultural enrichment.