Monday, March 10, 2014

Charlotte's drumSTRONG festival announces lineup

Railroad Earth, the Felice Brothers, Kopecky Family Band, and Chatham County Line top this year's drumSTRONG lineup. The music festival and fundraiser for cancer awareness takes place May 16 through May 18 at Weddington's Misty Meadow Farm four miles outside of Charlotte.

This year's bill looks like the largest drumSTRONG lineup yet with acts like Maryland-based singer-songwriter Joe Pug and former Carolina Chocolate Drop and band co-founder Dom Flemons.

The bevy of national, regional, and local artists include heavy hitters from around the area. Raleigh roots-rockers American Aquarium, Chapel Hill's folk-pop combo Lost in the Trees, eclectic Americana group Bombadil, indie-rock act the Love Language, and bluegrassers Chatham County Line represent the triangle area. Asheville's funk unit Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band and producer/DJ/instrumentalist Marley Carroll hail from the mountains, while jam outfit the Mantras carries the Greensboro flag.

Charlotte-based acts include HRVRD, the New Familiars, Junior Astronomers, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, Replicas, Overmountain Men, Super Ape, Dirty Drummer, Ancient Cities, Of Good Nature, Elonzo, Sinners & Saints, Time Sawyer, Pullman Strike, the Business People, Cairo Fire, and Miami Dice.

In its seven years drumSTRONG has spawned sister events and related activities around the globe built on the idea of beating out cancer. The initial drumSTRONG was conceived much like a run or a walk-a-thon to raise money and awareness for cancer with a marathon drum circle, which is still part of the three-day festival.

Besides live music and drumming the festival features children's activities (Sunday is folk and fun day for all ages), drum and yoga instruction, art and food vendors, a craft beer garden, a health expo, and camping. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 14 at

drumSTRONG and its sister organization DrumsForCures was founded by Charlotte's Scott Swimmer after his then young son Mason was diagnosed with cancer as a way to raise funds for cancer organizations through rhythm gatherings. Mason Swimmer is a college student now and drumSTRONG keeps growing.