Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

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The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival is a music and dance festival that takes place each spring and fall in Silk Hope, North Carolina, near Chapel Hill. The festival takes place on a 75-acre (300,000 m2) farmstead which is managed by Shakori Hills Community Arts Center Inc. a non-profit organization. The festival has been held twice annually since 2003. It is associated with and modeled after the larger Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival that takes place near Trumansburg, New York each summer.

The Festival[edit]

The festival typically lasts four days, beginning on Thursday afternoon and going through Sunday night. The farmstead has two large outdoor stages, one large covered dance tent, and several smaller tents. Camping is available for an additional fee. In addition to the music, the festival has dance and instrument workshops, a sustainability fair, kids activities, and food and craft vending. The festival is typically promoted as being kid and family friendly. Daily attendance for the 2013 festivals peaked at 8,500 participants.

Music[edit]

Each festival draws fifty or more bands who play on four stages over four days. Many genres of music are represented, including bluegrass, zydeco, country-western, psychedelic rock, folk rock, reggae, and world music. Past headliners include Robert Randolph,Yonder Mountain String Band, Donna the Buffalo, Nickel Creek, Keith Frank, Patty Loveless and Toubab Krewe. Bands play throughout the day with headliners playing on the largest outdoor stage after sunset.

Controversies[edit]

A workshop on shamanic journeying scheduled for the 2011 festival was cancelled by request of the chair of the festival board apparently because of her Christian beliefs. Subsequently, a revised explanation for the cancellation differing from the original explanation regarding the Christian sensibilities of the board chair has been given by Shakori Hills spokespersons. The revised explanation has not been supported by documentation despite requests.[1]

The Chatham County Sheriff maintains a visible presence during the festival and reportedly runs undercover operations. The undercover police can be quite aggressive.[2][3]

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Coordinates: 35°47′28″N 79°18′22″W / 35.791°N 79.306°W / 35.791; -79.306