“Come One, Come Y’all!”
That’s the slogan for Raleigh’s newest summer music series, “Y’all at Dix Park,” and it’s a pretty good motto as far as these things go. The family-friendly event, scheduled for this Saturday at Dorothea Dix Park, is designed to be a monthly celebration of Southern hospitality at Raleigh’s open-space destination location.
“The name ‘Y’all’ came out of this idea that everyone is welcome,” said Hannah Parker, logistics director with presenter Deep South Entertainment. “It’s a term that’s kind of making it’s way all around Raleigh, actually.”
The free concert series kicks off a 4 p.m. Saturday with a lineup of local bands, food trucks, craft beer vendors and a kids’ zone for the wee ones. Organizers are also planning field events for both kids and adults throughout the evening, including a hoop relay, three-legged races and a tug-of-war. You can sign up on site or register your group ahead of time. For more information, check the website at yallatdixpark.com.
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While the event itself is free, parking at the designated Dix lots will run $5 per vehicle. Event organizers will also be running shuttle buses from Deep South The Bar and the Hibernian Pub in downtown Raleigh.
As to the main attraction, Saturday’s lineup features four bands starting at 5:15 p.m., with headliners Hammer No More The Fingers taking the stage at 8:45. Also on the bill, the four-piece indie folk band Honey Magpie and the two-drumkit attack of psychedelic popsters Zack Mexico.
The young Raleigh band UrMom will open the show in the Next Generation Performance slot, a unique element of the music series designed to spotlight younger acts.
“There aren’t a lot of opportunities for younger bands to get out there, in the bars that are 21-and-up,” Parker said. “So we figured this is a family-friendly event, a good opportunity for the bands to bring out their fans who can’t get into shows otherwise.”
This weekend’s event is actually the second scheduled concert for Y’all at Dix Park, but as a practical matter, it is indeed the first. The inaugural event was scheduled for June 24, but some rather insistent thunderstorms put the kibosh on that.
“It was a tropical storm, actually,” Parker said. “We figured it wouldn’t be very safe. There’s not a lot of infrastructure out there. If something bad were to happen, we didn’t have anywhere to put people. Sure enough, it rained for about three hours straight throughout the afternoon.”
That canceled first concert has since been rescheduled to Aug. 12, with the same lineup of bands, including ZenSoFly, The BQs and The Veldt. The third and final concert is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26.
The new summer music series is a co-production of Deep South Entertainment, the Dix Park Conservancy, and the city of Raleigh. Deep South Entertainment has been producing music events in and around Raleigh for a long time.
“We did Downtown Live back in the day; we did Oak City 7 and Pickin’ in the Plaza,” Parker said. “We started doing events in City Plaza to try to drive more traffic there, and it’s become a hub for a lot of different events.”
The idea is to encourage a similar evolution at Dix Park.
“We have this new space that is Dix Park and we wanted to put something in that space and really utilize it,” Parker said. “So we’ve shifted our focus from events downtown and put them in the park.”
Visitors can bring picnic goodies to the concert – lawn chairs, blankets, food and nonalcoholic drinks; alcoholic drinks must be purchased on site. If all goes well, Parker said, there will be plenty of food trucks and beer vendors to choose from. Pets are allowed; leashes are strongly encouraged.
Parker said event organizers hope to expand the series next year, with more dates, more music, more vendors and more fun.
“Yeah, that’s the hope,” she said. “It’s hard to say because we haven’t even had our first event yet. Ideally, we’ll expand it to showcase more things, all the different parts of Raleigh, whether it’s music or art or agriculture. It’s nice to have a really big space space for all of that.”
What: Y’all at Dix Park summer concert series
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Dorothea Dix Park, 600 Umstead Drive, Raleigh