GR8MUSICROX’S Guide to Successful Shakori-ing

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival Time

shakorihdrlogo1April 17-April 20

A repost

True Story.

He showed up at my door wearing a nice lavender polo shirt, a sweater wrapped around his neck, freshly pressed Dockers, and Italian loafers.

“Shakori Hills Time!” He said with his nervous “eager to please (me) I hope Gr8 thinks I’m cool” smile.

While he looked rather dapper, I knew that I could not let him show up to Shakori dressed for a day of civil discourse while sipping on a mint julep on the verandah.  This is Shakori Hills. It’s NC’s haven for musical survivalists. I asked if he had any other clothes with him and picked out an alternate outfit from his gym bag.

Shakori Hills – Getting it Right

You might feel the urge to feed your  love for live music by attending Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival for the first time.  That’s great news. The festival offers a multi-genre musical sampling of artists, bands, and DJs from NY to Florida, as well as showcases our own local offerings.

However, if you plan to come in from the big city to the beautiful grounds of Shakori Hills, allow me to pass on a few tips. Shakori tips.

First, Shakori Hills doesn’t have crazy strict rules except no pets, where you camp, and no open alcohol containers.

No Pets. It needs mention again.

No judgment. Shakori is a place where you can express yourself as you wish. I have sang or danced with hippies, pirates, the Chicken Man, hipsters, fairies, hula hoopers, kids, the Easter Bunny, staff, and artists. I just love the variety of people that come to Shakori.

What to Bring: Pack like you are day camping or on a picnic. DEET strength mosquito and tick repellent. Flashlight or headlamp will come in handy when you have to use the PortaJohn at night. Sanitizer. Wipes. Chairs. Umbrellas. Blanket. Coffee Cup. Water bottle.

Picnics Welcome.

BYOB or buy there. No Glass, cans, or plastic. Must be poured in a cup.

Water is good there. Bring empty water bottle. They do not sell water. 

FOOD: The Veggie Thing from the Sugar Shack. Food is good and affordable.

Keep away from the perimeter. Ticks abound.

Consider bringing a change of clothes and shoes. If it rains or you decide to sleep off the fun from the Beer and Dance Tents, you’ll appreciate it.

ALLERGIES / ASTHMA: It can get smoky from the campfires and drum circles.

DRINKING AND DRIVING. Don’t even think about it. The Sheriff and HWP stake out the exit and follow the cars that leave the grounds. I am not kidding. I have seen them pursue six cars in a row by parking in a staggered formation, then they picked off festival goers before they even made it to 87.

These guys know how to run a festival. Read the information on the website.

Who Should You See?

The magic of Shakori (to me) is exploring bands and artists I don’t know. I tend to start with them first.

This year’s national artists include the Del McCoury band, Ben Sollee Indigo Girls, Jim Lauderdale, and event hosts, Donna the Buffalo.


A few I’ll be checking out include Jim Lauderdale, the Greg Humprheys Trio, the Jon Shain Trio, DJ Yogi, Rising Appalachia, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, Shamu Garcon, Afrobeta, Baloji & L’Orchestra de la Katuba, Cortadito, Miami vinyl DJ Richard McVay.

The one I do NOT want to miss is Bubba Norwood, who was Ike and Tina Turner’s drummer. He’s featured as a Music Maker artist during the yearly revue. That’s one of my fave Shakori offerings.

The program includes excellent bios on each artist, workshop, and contests.

Full Schedule: Don’t forget to check out the Front Porch Workshops, Drum Circles, Art, Hula Hooping Workshops, Seminars, and more.

Artists Bios: