For families and friends who have been coming to Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance for years, this post will hopefully resonate with the feelings you have to come to know and love. For those who have not ever visited the special magic that is found on these 80 rolling acres, I hope this post will give you some insight on what it is like being a part of this festival for the first time and encourage you to join us this spring.
I have lived in Raleigh for the past seven years, and as I started my journey to ‘The Farm’ for the first time, I found myself leaving the busy, loud, bustling place I have grown to love for the quiet, beautiful, serene countryside of Pittsboro, North Carolina. I immediately felt myself relax, and that quick calm was only just the beginning of a weekend that was going to forever change what I thought a music festival was.
As you turn down the long gravel drive into Shakori Hills, passing the wooden sign gently welcoming you back, you are immediately greeted by smiling faces leading you to Parking, Camping, and Tickets. As someone who had never been, this was all very overwhelming. I had come on to help work the festival in August, but had never seen the land with this many people, all so excited to be back ‘home’. I was invigorated by everything – the striped Dance Tent, the lights that seemed to dance in every tree, the smells coming from the Coffee Barn, the hand-painted signs welcoming and guiding. I was barely parked before I jumped out of my car, camera in tow, and started making my way around the land.
Starting by The Garden, I walked back through the campsite full of people all catching up on what their ‘neighbors’ had been up to since the last festival. Babies being passed around and kissed. Beers being toasted and cheered. Music pouring from every campsite and trail. It was all so beautiful and comforting, but the true magic started when the sun set over the Grove Stage.
With the rising stars came the true enchantment of Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. People brought their lights and dancing shoes (or lack thereof) and the party began. That easiness I felt while driving out to The Farm only grew with every beautiful shared moment I experienced while the festival days and nights continued.
That magic, those special moments of community and love all set to the soundtrack of incredible music, is what Shakori Hills is all about. It is what keeps people, including myself, coming back every spring and fall and spring again.
As the festival quickly approaches again, I find myself driving down that same driveway that first welcomed me to this place. Like the tire tracks down it made by artists, families, and friends you fall into a groove the moment you are on the land. A groove that feels natural and authentic. One that is easy to slip into and feel its significance. A groove that molds to you and welcomes you back again.
See you in the groove soon.
Love & Peace-