University City

Charlotte’s NoDa district to host music festival supporting the arts

When NoDa hosts its Summer Musicfest June 29 and 30, organizers say, it not only will provide locals with good music but will help the local music industry thrive.

Organizers say the festival in NoDa, an eclectic neighborhood arts district home to several music venues and galleries, will be a resource for everyone: up-and-coming bands, recording studios, music venues and those who attend the festival.

“Local bands are the heartbeat of the music industry,” said James Caldwell, an organizer of the event for marketing firm Wholeteam Enterprises.

About 40 bands and artists from all over the country will play at the event, including Jonas Sees in Color, Tyler Brown, Chasing Pedestrians and Inner City Mountain Men.

“The goal is twofold: We want to make industry insiders, and bands that live outside our reach in North Carolina, aware of the performance opportunities in NoDa,” Caldwell said. “And we want to provide great performance opportunities for regional and area bands.”

Caldwell said The Lucky Five, a Charlotte rock band, is an example of a successful local band. The group performed at South-by-Southwest, a well-known music festival in Austin, Texas, last year after playing at NoDa’s festival.

Caldwell, a Fayetteville native who lives in Atlanta, said he thinks the festival has the potential to help young bands understand what it takes to succeed in the music industry.

“These events are educational as well,” he said. “They let up-and-coming artists get a better idea of what it’s like to be a working artist in the industry.”

He said it not only gives the bands a chance to promote themselves and gain fans, but also connect with local venue owners so they have places to perform in the future.

Last year, 900 people attended the festival, Caldwell said, and he expects that number to increase this year.

Proceeds from the sale of tickets, which are $10 for a one-day pass, go to the organizers and bands. In addition, 10 percent of the revenue will be used to start a music-business summer camp next year for ninth-graders interested in the industry, Caldwell said.

Performances will be hosted at NoDa venues The Chop Shop at 399 E. 35th St. and Roux at Boudreaux’s at 3306-A N. Davidson St.

Jay Tilyard owner of The Chop Shop, a sponsor of the event, said the festival will offer a wide array of music. The bar and restaurant also hosted the festival last year.

“There is something here for almost everyone,” Tilyard said. “It is a laid-back festival environment with three stages of entertainment. You can wander around and land where the music best speaks to your attitude, mindset or soul.”

NoDa also hosted the Mid Atlantic Music Festival last fall, which attracted hundreds of local bands and artists nationwide.

Tilyard said NoDa benefits from the festivals.

“The community gains exposure in every form,” Tilyard said. “The artists, the neighboring businesses and local residents all have something coming to The Chop Shop to help spread the word about our area.”