Raleigh’s Signature Music Festival

The Spring weekend events have slowed down and in the thick of summer, people tend to travel more, at least I do. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “staycation” in Raleigh but it’s good to get away from time to time. This weekend I’ll be in Baltimore for the Virgin Music Festival and I cannot help dream of the possibility of a huge music event here in Raleigh. I’m not talking about concerts at TWC pavilion but a multi-stage, multi-day event that draws people from in and outside of the country. If you have been to one, then you know what I mean and already know the difference.

A new amphitheater is coming on this block

Downtown will probably not hold this kind of event although we are stepping up. The upcoming amphitheater tent that will go up across the street from the convention center will be a big plus to the downtown music options.

What about the Dix property? Now there is a bold statement. I would bet that the idea of hosting a music festival here would receive a lot of opposition from Raleighites but the area is perfect for actually doing it. With a really expansive green landscape and a touch of urban with the buildings of downtown towering over, the Dix property could one day host such an event. It would provide a unique setting compared to other big name festivals. Coachella has their rolling mountains around the polo fields of Indio, California, Lollapalooza has the skyscrapers of Chicago in Grant Park, Raleigh can have its green landscape with huge trees and a buzzing city around it.

Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, had to throw that thought out there.

Could you ever see a stage like this in Raleigh?

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  1. I hope this venue is not going to be at this location long term (music venue should be at Dix). This is prime real estate, a number of signature buildings and a “TRUE” entertainment venue should be at this location (or retail underneath phase two of the convention center with offices and hotels)

  2. I think that Dorothea Dix would be ideal for a revitalization that will include 100-150 acres of urban development – with a few small squares/plazas, like DT Savannah, and the rest of the land dedicated to park/open space, with a nice amphitheater and a botanical garden. I am not a big fan of what the city officials want to do with the parcel that is dedicated to future convention center expansion, but I am sure it will be better than what it is today.

  3. To RaleighMSA, I think there are plenty of other locations that could support urban development before we destroy the greenness of Dix.

    On the topic… Dix would be amazing for a huge multi-day music festival! I went to Langerado in Florida this past spring and had one of the best times of my life! (is this picture from there?)

  4. I’ve heard rumors that there used to be a huge music festival in Raleigh or Chapel Hill in the 60s-70s. Anyone know anything about this?

  5. Mike, I took that picture at Coachella ’07.

    Jason, never heard of it, def something I want to dig up.

  6. Mike, there are a lot more areas that we can also dedicate to signature parks and make them MUCH larger than Dorothea Dix. Not to mention that nowhere in my post I even suggested destroying any “greenness”. I would be the first to revolt over it. In fact, I would keep ALL the big trees and build around them, and if any cutting was necessary, I would plant even more trees. The existing open areas should remain as such.

    Another thing to consider: The state government needs funds for the mentally ill, and Dorothea Dix presents an opportunity. Harsh, cold reality, but unfortunately this is what it is. Or, we can let the state government use the Dorothea Dix grounds to build more monstrosities, turning that area into an office park. People claim to care about the mentally ill, but I see no action in using every penny available. I’d rather sell Dorothea Dix, purchase land around Raleigh for parks/open space and dedicate more money to the mentally ill than cry over a few acres – remember, nobody suggested clear-cutting, or anything close to that.

  7. Speaking of Dix.
    What is the status?

    Another prolonged process by Raleigh and our state government (this has become a joke, we have been talking about this for years and no decisions have been made). Make it a smaller central park with development all around it (offices, retail and apartments/condo’s around the perimeter) – if it stays a park, do it right, include a pool, garden and a number of amenities for family and kids.

  8. Like you said, Thomas, whatever is done needs to be done right. No updates, though, and quite frankly I will be surprised if anything gets brought forth any time soon. My concern is how can we help the mentally ill – I have no vested interests, whatsoever – through reforming Dorothea Dix. I am afraid that the various opinions will harm any good visions… We’ll see.

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