When the East Mecklenburg High School Foundation board first approached Cameron Lee about throwing a fundraiser, the board members were considering hiring a 70s-80s cover band.
“They knew they wanted to do a music event, they just didn’t know what they wanted to do,” said Lee, who has a friend on the board.
Lee, who founded CLTure — a Southeast music, film, arts and culture blog — had an idea: Get local bands, vendors food trucks and make it “more of a community event.”
“And they were all on board,” he said.
The inaugural Rock The Ed Music Festival benefiting the East Mecklenburg High School Foundation happens Saturday, April 30, at Amos’ Southend. It’ll feature eight local bands playing from 4-11 p.m., plus vendors (Repo Record, The Last Word, Dress Like a Girl Mobile Boutique, Kind Snack Bars and more) and food trucks (Libretto’s Pizza and Two Chix and A Truck).
The music lineup:
Junior Astronomers. Photo: Bridgette Aikens
– 4:15-4:45 p.m. Cameron Floyd
– 5-5:45 p.m. Sinners & Saints
– 6-6:45 p.m. The Business People
– 7-7:45 p.m. Bless These Sounds Under The City
– 8-8:45 p.m. Serfs
– 9-9:45 p.m. Ancient Cities
– 10-10:45 p.m. Bombadil
– 11-11:45 p.m. Junior Astronomers
Seven of the bands are from Charlotte and Bombadil hails from Durham.
“Everyone on this lineup … these are my first choices,” Lee said. “All of these bands are our favorite bands in the city right now.”
If you’ve always been interested in getting into Charlotte’s local music scene, this is your chance, Lee said. To get you started, CLTure created a Spotify playlist for the festival.
“A lot of these guys are indie bands, but they have a little bit of a following. They’re established musicians,” he said. “It’s a good way not only to support a good cause, but also get embedded in the local music scene.”
The proceeds benefit the East Mecklenburg High School Foundation, which supports things like tutoring, classroom technology, the culinary program and professional development for teachers.
Admission for the family-friendly event is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 7-18, and free for kids 6 and under. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers get in free by showing their ID at the door.
“Hey, we’re making a difference and you get to listen to a lot of local bands for a low cost,” Lee said. “It’ll be fun.”
Rock The Ed Music Festival
When: 4-11 p.m. April 30.
Where: Amos Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St., Charlotte.
Cost: $15 for adults, $5 ages 7-18, free for kids 6 and under. Buy tickets here. And free for CMS teachers with ID.
Photos: Daniel Coston and Bridgette Aikens