Let’s be real, festivals usually have those few acts that you designate their performance as time to get some food or take a break even before you arrive. So as I perused the Brewzfest lineup and set times when they were announced just a few days before the festival, I was left with a little bit of a conundrum. Which of the names on the list would be when I hit up the food trucks and checked out the vendors?
Now, I like to think that I listen to good music, and as a reader of Shutter 16 it’s likely you do as well, but it was not till I began covering assignments for Shutter 16 that I really began to see so many of the Charlotte acts that I saw around town on posters and venue sites. So as I debated the line up, I realized many of the names on the list were unfamiliar to me. My research intrigued me and the band links on the Brewzfest site really helped me get a feel for the sounds coming to Brewzfest but not until the performances, themselves, did I fully realize how good a line up Brewzfest had in fact put together.
If you had a chance to check out the line up over the last few weeks you probably noticed how diverse it was. The best part was that it was a good reflection of some of the best of what Charlotte has to offer in addition to the touring acts (even most of the touring acts had regional roots from Chapel Hill to Athens, GA). Now there was no metal or punk bands but with Americana/bluegrass, indie rock, hip-hop, and electronic acts spread out through the day, every attendee was left with something to bob their head and tap their toes to.
As event organizer Cameron Lee mentioned in several pre-event interviews, this festival was all about bringing some attention to local music, local craft brews, local art, and local organizations. That local feel was definitely seen from the awesome selection of food trucks (Papi Queso and The Chrome Toaster were our choices for the day) to the local artist like David French and his painted scenes from around town. Not to be left out, the local craft breweries turned out and presented the day with some of the best brews from around town. The two-hour tasting session surely left the beer drinkers wanting more, but luckily we had the ability to purchase a wristband and continue to have all the good beer we could want for the remainder of the event for only twenty dollars more (which would equal about 4 beers purchased individually at the tap rooms). In addition, the action around the venue continued all day with the cornhole boards and other games constantly occupied right near a nice large screen TV keeping everyone up with college football scores and action. The varied vendors remained most of the day, handing out prizes and offering many opportunities to purchase a varied selection of goods.
However, in the end for me it was all about the music. My highlight of the day was Dirty Art Club, two Charlotte producers who through the use of their gear really got the crowd moving with their electronic set and marked a turning point in the excitement in the air as the sun began to go down. There was never a moment where I was not entertained and even while hitting up the food trucks we were able to hear clean sound and keep our eyes on the stage, alleviating us from any need to consider who we may have to sacrifice getting a chance to see perform. It was a great event and I hope that this is the first of many more to come.