When: May 20-22 2016
FRIDAY, MAY 20–SUNDAY, MAY 22
In Durham, the scale and strength of Moogfest's debut are bound to dwarf the thirty-seven-year-old Artsplosure, which again takes over downtown Raleigh. But the standby more than holds its own as a free alternative for music lovers, families, and visual arts aficionados. In fact, this is one of the best music lineups in Artsplosure's four-decade history. On Friday night, Zack Mexico's kaleidoscopic garage psych sets the table for the spaced-out twang of Georgia's Futurebirds. And on Saturday, the infectious funk of Raleigh breakout dude Boulevards serves as the prelude for famed blues-rocker Doyle Bramhall II. Sunday gets swampy, thanks to the zydeco-and-blues alchemy of slide guitarist virtuoso Sonny Landreth, the New Orleans funk of Mardi Gras Indian-led troupe Cha Wa, and the blistering blues-pop hybrids of fiery player Samantha Fish.
And there's more than music, of course. Elsewhere, "artlets" featuring interactive dance and theater will appear along the bustling art market of the Fayetteville Street artery, while miniature golf, sand sculptures, and colorful pianos—ready to be played—dot Moore Square. —Spencer Griffith
VARIOUS VENUES, DOWNTOWN RALEIGH Friday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., free, www.raleighartsfestival.com