Smithfield Herald

Clayton Shindig aiming to grow

This year’s Shindig will bring bands from across the country to Clayton.
This year’s Shindig will bring bands from across the country to Clayton. COURTESY OF STATE PHOTOGRAPHY

The Clayton Shindig will be much bigger this year, taking it one step closer to a full-on music festival.

“It’s literally going to be a block party,” said organizer Dave Brown.

The event is a fundraiser for the Clayton Mid-Day Rotary Club. Proceeds go to Toys for Tots.

The Shindig will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, on the Town Square. Last year, the event was held behind the Flipside.

Then, it was a cornhole tournament with live music on the side.

But now, the music is the main attraction. And the larger venue will make it possible to host a crowd of more than 500 people.

“There’s music at the Harvest Festival, and there’s the live music concert series, but Clayton doesn’t have a premier music festival,” Brown said.

Neighboring Garner has a music festival. The Garner Beach Music Festival brought a crowd of more than 10,000 people to the town last year.

At the Shindig, the music will span genres. The Johnny Orr band will rock, while Hackensaw Boys and Old Habits will serve up bluegrass and folk music. Both bands are making stops on their international tours to play in Clayton. Mountain Standard Time will play jam band music, and Philip Roebuck will perform folk.

Music is just one item on the block party menu.

The Shindig will also offer a cornhole tournament, a wing eating contest and 20 cooking teams selling barbecue as part of the Squealin’ on the Square barbecue contest.

Also that day, Carolina Comfort Air is doing a motorcycle run that will make its last stop at the Shindig.

Brown says he’d like the festival to continue to grow and become a signature Clayton event attracting people from across the Triangle.

“But you’ve got to start small and throw a good show,” he said.

Clayton downtown development director Bruce Naegelen said the Shindig and Harvest Festival reflect the changing audience in Clayton.

The Harvest Festival, taking place Sept. 18-22, has changed its focus over the past couple years to put more emphasis on music.

“The Shindig is another thing that is marketing to an audience that Clayton didn’t have five or six years ago,” Naegelen said.