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Monday, August 27, 2012

Centerfest follow-up 

When the Clarion Content first wrote about Centerfest's rebirth in downtown Durham last month, it was with great delight.

We are still stoked!

LiLa will be playing here Saturday night...get your picture taken at the Clarion Content... photobooth right around the corner, all weekend.

At that time, there were still a few unanswered questions. Fortunately, our friends at the Durham Arts Council took the time to break them down for us...

What are the festival hours?

Festival hours are 10am to 6pm, on Saturday, September 15th, and 11am to 5pm, on Sunday, September 16th. While we are a tiny bit bummed that there are no nighttime festival hours, we understand where the Durham Arts Council is coming from, after a year off, have to walk before you run. Step one was moving the festival back into the heart of the downtown loop. Mission accomplished. Who knows what will be added to the arts celebration next year.

What about admissions charges?

Kids under twelve are FREE. Keeping youth enthusiastic about art and the community are at the core of the Centerfest mission. Readers will recall when we first started writing about the Centerfest rework, that almost universally, long time Durham denizens under thirty, had a story of a Centerfest adventure or moment they loved. Keeping it free for kids is part and parcel of making sure Centerfest is still rolling when it reaches its 50th and 60th anniversary.

The price for adults remains a suggested donation. This year it is five dollars. The Clarion Content reviles the phrase suggested donation. Charge or don't charge. And when you have something of this quality, in its 38th year of bringing it strong for the community, it is okay to charge. Durham isn't scared to pull a fiver out of its pocket, for a festival that brings so much art, culture and music to the table.

What about the music was another answered question. Centerfest answered that one emphatically. A deep roster of local talent will be playing on the five stages organizers have arranged. Headlined by a local musical sensation, the raucous fun and beauty of LiLa, capping off the Saturday night performances at CCB "Major the Bull" Plaza Main Music Stage.

And the word on the street is Centerfest managed to come up with all this musical talent despite the fact that Raleigh's Hopscotch musical festival, run by the Independent Weekly,1 put a hostile non-compete in all of its bands' contracts, banning them performing elsewhere locally within a month of the festival. For those of you, like the Clarion Content, hoping to see Durham hip-hop sensations, Toon and The Real Laww at Centerfest, this is why you can't. Boo, Hopscotch!

The roster of visual artists is also outstanding, featuring works of fine arts and fine crafts from our dear city, across the state, and around the country. Read about it here.

Kudos to the DAC. Onward and upward.

1It is getting pretty far in the distant hazy past, but remember when the Independent Weekly used to be pro-Durham? That was before they bought Raleigh's The Spectator and moved out of their Hillsborough Road offices. The Indy, perhaps chasing the all-might advertising dollars of Wake County, started blowing Durham off, looking askance and down its cultural nose at Durham, just about at the beginning of our cultural renaissance. The New York Times gives Durham more coverage and more favorable coverage than the Indy. As you probably know, last week they were sold to a company out of Portland, Oregon. It felt appropriate, because they had sold out a long time ago.

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