The July Fourth weekend offers celebrations of community for the outdoor music festival fan all over the state: at the beach, in the mountains and here in the Triangle, at the annual Festival for the Eno.
The Festival for the Eno in Durham brings together fans of music, visual art, the outdoors and the environment for what has become the area’s largest Independence Day celebration. The two-day celebration – on a split schedule this year of Saturday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 4 – presents about 60 music acts from a variety of genres on four stages from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Acts scheduled for the main stage include Antibalas, a Brooklyn-based afrobeat band; Ruby Amanfu and Steelism, a pairing of the Ghana-born and Nashville-based singer-songwriter with the guitar/pedal steel instrumental duo on Saturday; Dark Water Rising, a female-fronted Native American rock band from Robeson County; and Raleigh indie rockers Lonnie Walker on Tuesday. Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba, Orquesta GarDel, Africa Unplugged, The Gospel Jubilators and Dr. Bacon are also on the schedule.
There will also be about 75 juried craft vendors, several food and drink vendors, and a variety of hands-on and water-based activities across the 400-acre West Point on the Eno City Park, which is on the shaded banks of the Eno River. The festival is a fundraiser for the Eno River Association, which buys and preserves land along the river. Admission: $23-$35. Free parking and shuttle buses at Durham County Stadium are highly recommended. Info: enofest.org.
The Ocean City Jazz Festival in North Topsail Beach Saturday and Sunday (July 1-2) celebrates the Ocean City community, which was the first coastal area in North Carolina that allowed African Americans to buy land. Contemporary jazz artists Jackiem Joyner, Gerald Veasley, Lynn Grissett Quartet, Randy Brecker and three more are to perform starting at 5 p.m. each evening under a beach-side pavilion tent. There will also be food trucks selling food, beer, wine and other beverages, and a silent auction. $35-$60. Info: oceancityjazzfest.com.
The Red, White & Bluegrass Festival, Saturday through Monday (July 1-3), has become a point of pride for the City of Morganton since its founding as a one-day municipal Fourth of July celebration in the 1980s. This year’s edition will present 12 bands over three days, with most performing twice each day. As a bonus, there’s a free, family-style festival of games and contests on July 4. Larry Sparks, Blue Highway, Mountain Heart and The Isaacs are among those set to perform at Catawba Meadows Park. $25-$60 general admission, $100 reserved seats. Camping extra. Info: redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.org.
Find more information about these and seven more July music festivals in North Carolina at carolinamusicfests.com.
More July music festivals
- The DownEast Music Festival in Wilson on July 8 is a Southern soul and hip-hop showcase with Sir Charles Jones, J-Red, LJ Echols, Maurice Wynn and 12 more. Info: downeastmusicfestival.com.
- The Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, July 13-16, will have Jennifer Knapp, The Collection, J. Kwest, Lyric, Sarah Potenza and eight more. Info: wildgoosefestival.org.
- Barnstock BYOB Music Fest in Huntersville on July 22 is a benefit for local charities on four stages, with The Mantras, Atlas Road Crew, The Broadcast, Wick-it the Instigator and 35 more. Info: mybarnstock.com.
- The Hillbilly Jam in Maggie Valley, July 28-29, is a bluegrass, country, Americana and Southern rock festival, plus a car and motorcycle show. Acts include Broke-n-Busted Band, Hannah Styles, Hill Country Band and nine more. Info: thehillbillyjam.com.