It took longer than usual for winter to give way to spring this year, but outdoor-music season is finally – FINALLY – upon us. The season commences this weekend with Indigo Girls, Del McCoury and others playing Chatham County’s Shakori Hills GrassRoots Spring Festival, and Raleigh’s Walnut Creek Amphitheatre starts its 24th season Tuesday with longtime favorite Jimmy Buffett.
The area’s other outdoor venues are following close behind. Here are some particulars and one tantalizing tidbit: There might be a Farm Aid show in the Triangle sometime this year with acts including Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp (both of whom have offspring at Duke University). Stay tuned!
(To view the outdoor music guide on a mobile device, visit triangle.com/omg.)
For the second time in its history, Raleigh’s city-owned 20,000-capacity venue is without a title sponsor. No one has stepped in after Time Warner Cable opted out of its deal last year, so it looks like 2014 will be back to The Creek.
As always, arena-country acts are Walnut Creek’s main focus. Eight of 20 shows on the books so far are country, starting with Lady Antebellum on April 25 and including Dierks Bentley (May 10) and Tim McGraw (June 22). The local charity group “Band Together” will have its next show at Walnut Creek – Hall & Oates on May 3. Walnut Creek already has 20 shows on the schedule for this season, the same number that played there in all of 2013.
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Cary’s 7,000-capacity joint has plenty going on, anchored once again by the N.C. Symphony’s nine-event Summerfest. The Symphony will also be at Booth to back up operatic pop singer Josh Groban (Aug. 16). Other highlights include the Willie Nelson/Alison Krauss double bill (May 19), surfer dude Jack Johnson (May 21) and country youngsters The Band Perry (July 13). Booth is also doing its “Hob Nob Jazz Series” on the back deck again with local jazz acts, on Wednesdays starting April 30.
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Red Hat Amphitheater
Downtown Raleigh’s 5,600-capacity amphitheater is also busy and varied, with a healthy dose of alternative rock starting with Cage the Elephant (May 2), Vampire Weekend (June 12) and The Fray (July 14). Also, make plans for R&B mad scientist George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic next month (May 17), and this fall’s “Wide Open bluegrass” shows (Oct. 3-4, acts still to be announced).
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N.C. Museum Of Art
Six shows are on the schedule so far, highlighted by a Loudon Wainwright III/Iris Dement double-bill (July 12) and the pairing of R&B singer Lisa Fischer with the acclaimed documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” (July 26). Expect eight to 10 shows by the end of the season.
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Music in the Gardens
Most of the acts at this seven-show Duke Performances series are tied in to Merge Records, the Durham-based label celebrating its 25-year anniversary this year. So look for garage-rockers King Khan and the Shrines (June 3), local heroes Rosebuds (June 25) and singer-songwriter Richard Buckner (July 9).
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