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musicSPARK Ignites Downtown Raleigh Again


musicSPARK, a facet of SPARKcon, is still All Local, All Free, Always, September 13-15, 2013. This year musicSPARK focuses on festival footprint music. The organizing committee presents four outdoor stages over three days, two events in downtown venues, and collaborations with other SPARKs. Over 50 local acts will perform. musicSPARK has secured indoor locations in case of rain; instead of hearing about them, you can hear them.

The free musicSPARK Main Event, sponsored by Designbox, happens Friday, September 13, at Kings Barcade. The showcase is comprised of four of our highest-scoring acts with a wide variety of song-writing talent and musical virtuosos. Doors open at 9:00pm and music begins at 9:30pm with irresistible pop-folk from American Manna. Next on the bill is an emotion-packed performance by singer/songwriter Rebekah Todd, who will be followed by another venerable songwriter in the Bob Funck Band. The evening rounds out with a performance by musicSPARK veterans and indie rockers, Once and Future Kings.

Last year, musicSPARK began cultivating a Young Guns category (under 21) and this year has provided a bumper crop of blossoming talent. Twelve acts have made the cut. The Young Guns at musicSPARK North Stage on Sunday, September 15 are jazz and rock bands. Two Young Gun singer/songwriters can be found on the Courthouse Porch. The Main Stage programming will include a Young Guns act each weekend day. A bonus Young Guns performance will open the musicSPARK East Stage on Saturday.

The NC Ska Stage skanks The Pour House Saturday, September 14. Six ska bands from around North Carolina will cover all waves of the genre. Doors open at 7:00pm and music starts at 8:00pm. This event includes and was put together by local favorites Archbishops of Blount of Street. Like all musicSPARK events, it is free to the public.


Visual Art Exchange produces SPARKcon as part of its mission to support and provide opportunities for artists and connect the community to the arts. This festival gives an unusual
opportunity for the community to be directly involved with a public art project in downtown Raleigh. SPARKcon is unique because it is an event fully created by artists, who are
encouraged to use their unique creative talents to create their own programs. SPARKcon was founded in 2006 by Aly and Beth Khalifa.

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