Festival update: The Art of Cool Festival announces (some) 2016 headliners, plus Hopscotch day parties | Music

Festival update: The Art of Cool Festival announces (some) 2016 headliners, plus Hopscotch day parties

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During the Sunday morning VIP brunch finale of April’s Art of Cool Music Fest in Durham, Art of Cool Project board member Susan Scott announced the dates for next year’s festival: May 6–8. Technically, the festival hadn’t even ended, but its organizers had already moved on to the next one.

On Monday, AOCFEST got another lead in the festival announcement game when one of its official venues for Art of Cool Music Fest 2016, the Carolina Theatre, added prolific New Orleans jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard (Friday, May 6) and Detroit soul-strutter Dwele (Saturday, May 7) to its concert listings as two headliners.

Staying true to its mission of bridging genre gaps, AOCFEST will kick off 2016’s festivities with Blanchard, an esteemed composer whose recent delve into more dance-based grooves on Breathless with his quintet E-Collective will spruce up an otherwise concentrated jazz exhibition. Dwele, meanwhile, is an instinctual serenader who prefers the freedom of soul over some of the overwhelming qualities of R&B. 

Tickets for these two headlining events will go on sale tomorrow, August 19, and may be purchased through the Carolina Theatre’s website. The rest of the lineup will land in November. (And speaking of Durham festival lineups, will this ramp up or alleviate those whispers that Stevie Wonder will headline Moogfest?)

In other festival news, Hopscotch has just released its day party lineups for this year's festival. These free shows don't require a festival wristband, and many of them feature extra goodies (read: free food) alongside the musical entertainment. 

A major standout this year comes from the combined forces of WXDU, WKNC and WXYC—the radio stations belonging to Duke, NC State and UNC, respectively. At Neptunes, they'll host locals like Sagan Youth and Museum Mouth, but creep into weirder territory with the guitar pairing of Elisa Ambrogio and Tashi Dorji. The trio of guitarist Steve Gunn, harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist weirdo Eugene Chadbourne should also make for a mighty compelling set. If you're bummed that the Three Lobed Recordings and Paradise of Bachelors aren't hosting parties this year, this should make for a suitable stand-in.

Negative Fun's Let Feedback Ring has been a good stop in years past; the two-stage format at Legends allows the party to pack in a lot of bands, and they excel at keeping their shows running tight and on time. Churchkey Records' and The Layabout's ¡Que Viva! party at Slim's— which features Shirlette Ammons, Gross Ghost, Natural Causes and more—should also be a rowdy, great gig.

There are dozens more parties that cover everything from electronic music to country, boasting excellent local and visiting acts alike. You can check out the full list of day parties here(Disclosure: One of these parties, Metal Lunchbox at Kings, is co-sponsored by the INDY and was co-founded by interim managing and music editor Grayson Haver Currin.)

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