Art of Cool Music Festival
has announced the final additions to its stellar 2016 lineup. The roster now includes the Dr. Dre-cosigned soul slinger Anderson .Paak
, new wave R&Bers J*Davey
, experimental groove duo Tennyson, instrumental trio The Hot at Nights
, and a Jamla Records assortment that includes 9th Wonder, Rapsody
, Heather Victoria and Khrysis. In addition, a Philadelphia-based cast of legendary DJs will bring the The Art of Turntables
party to this year’s festival.
In December, less than two months after Art of Cool announced Dwele as one of the main headliners for this year’s festival, the Detroit singer cancelled his appearance
due to “unforeseen circumstances.” With the cancellation, it seemed as if the only consolation was the addition of Grammy-winning artist PJ Morton as the festival’s Sunday VIP Brunch performer. These new additions certainly help.
Along with the lineup fixes, Art of Cool
also announced that American Tobacco Campus has signed on as the title sponsor for this year’s festival. It’s conceivable that ATC’s title sponsorship was very instrumental in helping Art of Cool colossally improve a festival with a Dwele-sized hole. But why did it take ATC so long to make the commitment? And what is the big deal about Art of Cool Fest announcing ATC as its title sponsor, anyway?
As INDY Week reported back in December
, American Tobacco Campus—a Capital Broadcasting Company property—was the title sponsor for Art of Cool Fest’s inaugural event in 2014. The following year, however, ATC downgraded its involvement from title sponsor to “event-level” sponsor and “presenting partner” sponsor for Art of Cool Fest’s “Innovate Your Cool” tech conference. For this year’s music festival, ATC intended on returning merely as underwriters for a portion of the tech conference. Of course, that was before it became public knowledge that Capitol Broadcasting had jumped on board to help the behemoth electronic festival Moogfest make the transition to downtown Durham, where its 100-plus-act lineup threatens Art of Cool Fest, itself still scrambling for city, corporate and community backing.
"The American Tobacco Campus is proud to have supported Art of Cool since this vibrant festival first took root,” said Jesica Averhart, director of community partnerships and new business development at American Tobacco. “Durham and the Triangle are bursting with talent, ideas, and potential. We appreciate the way Art of Cool shines a spotlight on so much of what makes our community special."
Better late than never, right?