Around Town

3-day festival aims to be the most diverse and inclusive arts explosion around

When you mix one of Charlotte’s most eclectic neighborhoods, over 120 performances and installations, and more than 300 talented and diverse artists, you get one of the year’s most anticipated festivals. BOOM Charlotte will take place April 26-28 in the streets of Plaza Midwood.

“Into its fourth year now, BOOM continues its exponential growth. We are so grateful for the way the broad artistic community and the city has embraced the festival,” Manoj Kesavan, founder of the BOOM festival, told CharlotteFive.

[Related: BOOM Charlotte showcases experimental performance art for mainstream audiences]

The thing that sets BOOM apart from every other arts festival that comes through Charlotte is that it brings together people of all races, ages, sexual orientations and even art forms. You’ll be able to witness everything from traditional museum art to up-and-coming artists, classical music to hip-hop, as well as a street circus and Carnival-style dance performances. The entire cultural ecosystem of Charlotte is likely represented.

Courtesy of Manoj Kesavan

Here are just a few of the installments that you can check out over the weekend:

  • Podblast Charlotte: There will be live broadcasts going every half-hour from local podcasters giving real-time reactions and interviews from the festivities.
  • SOTTO Voce: Charlotte’s LGBTQIA and allies traveling chorus will be on location performing popular favorites like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Edge of Glory.”
  • Charlotte Repertory Dance Theater: The dance company will be introducing new choreography by artistic director VCarr titled “Looking Back.” It will pay tribute to the choreographer’s treasured childhood memories.
  • Airing Out the “Dirty” Laundry: An interactive, visual storytelling experience aimed at creating dialogue between attendees about their personal experiences and hopes.
  • BOOM Box Show: Jessica Moss, founder and director of The Roll Up, will bring together local, national and international artists to share their interpretations of a single instruction: Think outside the box.
Courtesy of Manoj Kesavan

“I’m really excited about bringing artists who aren’t from Charlotte into the Charlotte art scene,” Moss said. “Each BOOM show so far has been different. The idea this year is to stay within the parameters of a box. 10 artists across 4 locations will show off their box works. Everything from sculptures, to more traditional square paintings, and photos. Many of which will also be for sale.”

Most of the events during the festival are free. The highest priced ticket for any event is $10.

“One little piece of advice I would give is: Don’t come for one or two shows, but set aside some time, come hang out and explore. I am sure you would discover something new that entertains/moves/inspires you,” Kesavan said.