When: Oct. 14-15, 9 p.m. 2016
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15
The Triangle has plenty of music festivals—Hopscotch, IBMA, Shakori Hills, Moogfest, and more—but few have the same distinct goal as Manifest, which makes its debut in Chapel Hill this weekend. Organized by Sarah Shook and Erika Libero, Manifest has as simple but important goal: to exist for everyone. The organizers of the event—as much a music throwdown as a social demonstration—are focused on supporting the movement toward gender equality and nurturing phobia-free spaces. In particular, the two want to counter the underrepresentation of women and nonbinary people in music by creating a space where these voices are as loud as those of their male counterparts.
Shook and Libero most recently worked together for Project Safe Space, printing stickers and giving them out to businesses to show solidarity against HB 2 in the Triangle. They recall times they've performed locally and been the only women in the lineup, and they want to see that change. Shook brings her rowdy honky-tonk with the Disarmers to the festival both nights, part of her efforts to proactively dispel the expressions of novelty and surprise that she's often met with as a female musician.
Twenty other local and touring musicians will perform between three Chapel Hill venues: Local 506, Nightlight, and The Cave. The bands hail from a variety of genres and backgrounds, from garage and punk rock to singer-songwriters, but all support Manifest's stand for gender equality and its efforts to nurture unity and acceptance. In line with the organizers' HB 2-defiant spirit, the bathrooms at every spot are gender neutral.
"I like to think of it as a socially conscious music festival, and I like to think that the issues we're countering could change in future years," Libero says. "We'd definitely like to grow and make this a staple of the town. The town's been looking for a new music festival for a while." —Jamie Stuart
VARIOUS VENUES, CHAPEL HILL
Various times, $10–$25, www.manifestmusicfestival.com