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Hopscotch music festival forges ahead as Hurricane Dorian reaches North Carolina

Downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza stage is built, but won’t hear any music Thursday after Hurricane Dorian forced headlining shows Sleater-Kinney and Kurt Vile to The Ritz.
Downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza stage is built, but won’t hear any music Thursday after Hurricane Dorian forced headlining shows Sleater-Kinney and Kurt Vile to The Ritz. tlong@newsobserver.com

Pushing the limits of “the show must go on,” Raleigh’s Hopscotch music festival is underway with a few Hurricane Dorian-related modifications.

Organizers built the City Plaza main stage on Fayetteville Street Thursday morning, though music won’t be be played until Friday. Wilmington band Museum Mouth canceled their Thursday show, posting on social media that they were staying put during the storm.

The decision was made Wednesday to move Thursday’s headlining shows of Sleater-Kinney and Kurt Vile out of downtown and to The Ritz near Wake Forest Road.

Still, the City Plaza stage was being built Thursday with Dorian drizzling around it. Festival director Nathan Price said Hopscotch organizers believe the stage would be stable enough to handle the pending high winds.

“It would have been crazy to (build the stage) Friday morning,” Price said. “Right now it’s looking like the worst is coming through during the night and will be over by the time we open up (Friday) morning.”

The sound system and design elements will be added Friday, Price said, starting at 7 a.m.

Price said organizers have been in contact with meteorologists for the past week monitoring weather conditions. He said a forecast of rain and winds up to 25 mph gave them confidence they could keep Thursday’s shows on the bill once moved indoors.

“The main thing, it’s not going to be thundering, that would be more dangerous,” Price said. “Since it’s just rain and winds and winds under 25 miles an hour (we didn’t cancel Thursday).”

This is the 10th year for the Hopscotch Music Festival. Festival goers have continued to tweet at Hopscotch with weather questions, some unable to make it due to the hurricane. As of Thursday afternoon, Hopscotch organizers said there were no other schedule changes.

“The forecast keeps changing but we’re still under 25 mph sustained winds,” Price said. “So it’s looking okay.”

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