Raleigh, N.C. — Over the last seven years, Hopscotch Music Festival has turned downtown Raleigh into a grown-up playspace by stacking a dozen venues with diverse acts Thursday through Saturday nights.
While most of Hopscotch’s programming doesn’t begin until the sun goes down, festival supporters—including labels, venues and local businesses—have augmented the festivities by hosting shows of their own.
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These day parties are free and open to the public, and they often extend beyond the city center.
Here are a few not to miss:
Thursday - Rock ‘n’ Roll Pizza Party at Slim's, 12-5 p.m.
Biting into a free slice of Lilly’s pizza on the back porch of Slim’s might as well be the official kickoff to Hopscotch weekend. Get there early enough for the pizza, but hang around long enough to catch the back-to-back pop punch of See Gulls and Organos.
Friday - Three Lobed Records + WXDU at Kings, 12-5 p.m.
When you first walk in, this party might feel a bit clubbish. Fear not: Initiation only requires that you show up and take it all in. That shouldn’t be too hard with a duo performance from guitarist whiz-kid Daniel Bachman and songwriter James Toth, plus harpist Mary Lattimore’s only performances of the festival.
Saturday - Phuzz Day Party at Trophy Brewing, 1-6:30 p.m.
Drag Sounds and Body Games both make spunky, upbeat tunes to help you embrace the last vestiges of summer. Plus, this show is hosted by a business that serves its own beer and pizza, which is the best possible place for any day party to be.
Sunday - Hopscotch Hangover at Slim's, 12-5 p.m.
For the last seven years—as long as Hopscotch itself—Slim’s has hosted a Sunday show, which serves as much as a final showcase as a space to unwind and unpack the weekend’s events. This year, S.E. Ward and The Vibekillers set the backdrop.
You can view the entire day party line-up online.