Your guide to must-see music festivals in October

The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance is Oct. 5-8 in Silk Hope, just outside of Pittsboro in Chatham County, and features more than 50 bands on four stages.
The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance is Oct. 5-8 in Silk Hope, just outside of Pittsboro in Chatham County, and features more than 50 bands on four stages. News & Observer file photo

Triangle music festival fans who somehow didn’t get their fill from September’s busy schedule can get back to it with short trips for three of four local festivals each weekend in October, or more farther afield.

▪ The fall Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance begins Thursday, Oct. 5, in Silk Hope, which is just outside of Pittsboro in Chatham County, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 8, with more than 50 bands on four stages (two in tents). Donna the Buffalo hosts and will be joined by Beats Antique, Elephant Revival, Locos Por Juana, Seratones, Lee Boys, Sarah Shook and The Disarmers, Phil Cook and the Guitarheels, and others.

The festival is on the 100-acre Shakori Hills farm and offers a variety of games for kids and older folks, as well as musicians’ competitions, art and craft vendors, food vendors, and more. Tickets at the gate are $30-$45 daily to $133 for four days, with discounts for youths and younger and for Chatham County residents. Camping: $20 tents, $94 with car, $135 RVs. Info: shakorihillsgrassroots.org.

▪ Two weeks later, Hillsborough’s Yep Roc Records celebrates its 20th anniversary with Yep Roc 20, three days of shows Oct. 19-21 put on by the label’s stars in Carrboro and Hillsborough.

At the center of the festival is a free Saturday afternoon show with Tony Joe White, Kim Richey, The Stray Birds, Jim Lauderdale and Mandolin Orange at River Park in Hillsborough. Nick Lowe, and Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones headline multi-artist shows at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively, and Lowe, Tift Merritt and Grant-Lee Phillips play a dinner for VIP ticketholders Thursday. Info: yeproc.com/yr20.

▪ In Raleigh on Oct. 21, the Pour House presents the third annual Groove in the Garden with American Aquarium, Toubab Krewe, Bombadil, Lonnie Walker and four more bands. This afternoon-evening show also features food trucks, North Carolina craft beer, vendors and a kids’ zone at Raleigh Little Theatre’s rose garden. $25; younger than 6 free. Info (including a $75 VIP pass): grooveinthegarden.com.

▪ At month’s end, the Clayton Piano Festival presents four shows in Clayton, Cary and Benson Oct. 26-Nov. 4. Joining pianist and festival organizer Jonathan Levin are pianists César Reyes and Nikita Galaktionov, plus Elana Gleason (soprano), Tyrone Chambers (tenor) and Michael Danchi (violin). David Dubal, an internationally known pianist, teacher, writer, broadcaster and painter, will emcee “From Russia with Love,” works from Russian romanticism Nov. 4.

Other shows are “American Portraits,” with a focus on the South (Oct. 26); “Music of the Night,” a Halloween masked ball with dinner, concert of horror-themed music from theater and film, and dessert reception (Oct. 28); and “Fiesta: Music without Borders” with beloved and important music from Mexico (Nov. 2). Show prices vary. Info: claytonpianofestival.

Around the state

▪ Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival in Oriental this weekend (Oct. 6-7) with Red Clay Ramblers, Mahalojazz, Mojo Collins and about 25 more in free front porch shows at several homes and businesses Friday and Saturday afternoons. There’s also an arts market and classic car show. Dom Flemons presents a theater concert Friday evening ($20). Info: olfrontporchmusicfestival.org.

▪ Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival in Kure Beach Oct. 14-15 presents Roomful of Blues, Mud Morganfield Blues Band, Randall Bramblett Band and 11 more on two stages alongside the Cape Fear River. The festival also features food vendors offering seafood and other cuisine; wine, beer and liquor; arts and crafts; and a children’s area. $50 for two-days in advance; $60 Saturday, $35 Sunday; younger than 13 free. Info: pleasureislandnc.org/events.php

▪ The LEAF in Black Mountain Oct. 19-22 with Los Lobos, Toots and the Maytals, Elephant Revival, Turkuaz and 35 more on four stages alongside Lake Eden. The festival also provides a ton of activities for kids, and a variety of tent, RV and cabin camping options. Multiple pricing options. Info: theleaf.org.

Get details about these shows and eight more October music festivals at carolinamusicfests.com.