WILMINGTON—Home.Grown is hosting a free event this weekend. The “all-encompassing arts festival” brings together music, art, comedy and more — and is designed to give people a taste of much larger event scheduled for the fall.
Home.Grown’s “Invitation” event on Saturday, July 7, brings together a hand-picked list of performers at the Waterline Brewing Company. Co-Founders Haley Coleman and Michael Jenkins planned the event as an “introduction” to local talent. It’s also a preview of “Harvest,” a three-day festival in September, which will feature an expanded line-up and a bigger footprint.
The “invitation” this Saturday features performers and non-profits hand-picked by Coleman, right down to the llama that will be at the petting zoo representing Helper of Our Farm. According to Jenkins, part of the festival is being able to experience a variety of different acts in one show.
“There’s a real synergy in having all these different types of artists, and being able to experience them together at the same time,” Jenkins said.
Home.Grown aims to dispel the idea that artists are competing for limited resources. According to Jenkins, there’s a great deal of cooperation between local artists and venues like Waterline.
“There is a perception that a lot of professionals in the arts industry are competing for the same venue spaces, or competing for the same audiences, or competing for sponsorships,” Jenkins said.
Coleman and Jenkins also want to address the very real lack of mid-sized concert venues in the Wilmington area. Following the closure of the Blue Eyed Muse, where Coleman worked, the downtown area has been without a forum for festivals and bands that want to play for more than 100 or so people, but less than the 6,000 capacity of the planned Live Nation venue.
According to Coleman, the Invitation event is looking to draw around 300 people, but the main event, “Harvest,” will expand to cover both Waterline’s inside and outside area, plus the neighboring lot, giving the festival several acres to work with. Coleman hopes to see attendance between 2,500 and 3,000, placing it squarely between a small downtown bar venue and Live Nation.
Ideally, Coleman said, the festival will spark the interest of people who aren’t as involved in the arts community. She hopes that people come to understand that, compared to higher prices at larger venues, supporting local artists in mid-sized venues is a more direct way to support artists.
“When you’re paying five bucks to go see a local band, that means that your dollar goes further than if it goes to a national touring stadium arena,” Coleman explained.
Coleman continued, “You’re not only paying for their time. You’re paying for their skill set, all their instruments, their tools, etcetera.”
- Sibilant Sounds
- Goodbye Shivers
- Paper Stars
- Alyona Amato with collaborations from Mike Steele, Vol, ad Jahde Justad Art
- Alchemical Theater
- Drew Harrison
- Tyler Wood
- Maryann Nunnally
- Super Nerdtendo
- Honey Head Films
Komorebi Fire Arts
Art (live and visual):
- Nathan Verwey
- Heather Jo
- Johnny Bahr
- Jahde Justad
- Danny Starr
- Nick Mijak
- Athenian Press & Workshop
- Cape Fear River Watch
- Alchemical Theater
The free Invitation event will be held on Saturday, July 7, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Waterline Brewing Company at 721 Surry St.
This event is family-friendly and open to all ages. After 10 p.m., the festival will move to The Calico Room at 107 South Front St., where Sibilant Sounds, VOL., Tribal Hippies and comedian James Jones will perform.
Home.Grown’s Harvest festival will also be held at Waterline Brewing. Harvest will run from 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 21 to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sep. 23.