A variety of musical artists performed during the first episode of this year’s Tracks Music series on Thursday at the Rosemary and Columbia St. parking lot in downtown Chapel Hill.
Magic Tuber Stringband, a folk duo, kicked off the event with a guitar and violin duet. Their performance was followed by DJ and producer VSPRTN and the concert concluded with rapper GODRIC.
Two more concerts are scheduled for Thursday, September 15 and Thursday, September 22 at the same location, both from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The concert series has invited indie rock duo Bonies, rapper Alicia Marie and Venezuelan Appalachian folk fusion duo Larry & Joe for the September 15 show. The September 22 event will feature hip hop artist Luren Grotto, DJ jstory and punk rock band Bangzz.
The concerts are organized by Tracks Music Library, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the City of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
Tracks Music Library is an ad-free streaming service that curates music from local artists. Tracks is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Public Library.
“The main goal of Tracks Music Series is to give music lovers the opportunity to discover new music and new artists,” said Melissa Bartoletta, marketing and communications coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture.
The September 8 event was Tracks’ first concert to take place in downtown Chapel Hill. Last year, the event took place in a parking lot at University Place.
“We have small public spaces in general downtown, and there’s a lot of competition for them,” said Matt Gladdek, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership. “So we thought it was the best space that met all the needs without having to close the street, which can cause a lot of confusion and difficulties for businesses.”
As a digital hub that connects arts partners and artists across the city, Bartoletta said Tracks encourages musicians from Chapel Hill and the Triangle to upload their music to the library.
However, there are certain requirements for artists to be featured on Tracks.
Musicians intending to upload their songs must first provide three samples for consideration. If selected, they will have to submit an album created within the last two years and containing at least 5 songs.
Selected musicians will receive a $200 honorarium once they sign a license agreement with the City.
The Community Curators of Tracks make the selection. According to the website, there are eight curators who “listen to music with an ear for quality, diversity and connection to the Chapel Hill scene”.
Marco Cervantes Garcia, a Chapel Hill resident – who came to the gig with his sister, brother-in-law and three cousins – said he enjoyed the experience.
“The sun is setting – not so many rays on you,” he said. “I like the music: the bluegrass at the beginning was nice at sunset.
Angela Bonner, a Hillsborough resident who brought a friend to the concert, said it was a great and relaxed outdoor community event.
UNC freshman Hailey Baldwin said she received an email from UNC Campus Health about the event and decided to go with two of her friends. She said they had played Connect Four and were planning on eating ice cream and playing Jenga.
Jane Rudenko and Tamiyah Braswell, communications specialists at UNC, also said they saw the publicity for the concert and came to hang out. They said they thought they would enjoy the concert due to the cool September weather and good company.
“It’s really nice to see the town of Chapel Hill providing opportunities for the community to get out and engage with each other and hang out,” Rudenko said.
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