In a busy offseason that saw Hopscotch change hands, purchased by Etix founder Travis Janovich, long time festival goers can breathe a sigh of relief as they’ve come through on their promise of producing “more of the same” when it comes to the festival’s yearly eclectic lineup. Following in the footsteps of the past, the lineup features strong headliners beside an array of locals who make up about 40 percent of the acts. The lone South Carolina representative being Keath Mead.
This years lineup looks a lot like an amped up version of the 2015 Phuzz Phest lineup, sharing many of the local bands—most making a repeat Hopscotch appearance—along with larger billed acts Mac McCaughan and Natalie Prass. It’s in those expanded areas where Hopscotch truly thrives.
Hopscotch continues their commitment to hip-hop with acts Pusha T, Le1f, Father, and GoldLink. It’s a small part of the festival again this year, and one that could thrive with even more focus. Hopscotch scores again with Phil Cook presenting Southland Mission. These types of performances are what we’ve come to expect programming wise, with esteemed locals like Cook who will perform the album that launches his solo career front to back. Just weeks later he’ll take off on a European tour with Tallest Man on Earth. If you want a first glimpse at Cooks new solo endeavor he’ll be doing that same performance Wednesday June 24 as part of the Duke Performances’ Music in the Gardens series.
Hopscotch is a forward thinking festival, and with Live Nation gobbling up festivals all over in an attempt to wrangle some vanilla cash cows, it’s great that we have Hopscotch who stay progressive. Hopefully they’ll find more ways to keep pushing the envelope and setting themselves apart since the support is there, popular acts or not. We’ve come to trust the programming to provide us with acts on the verge or breaking out, acts with incredible live performances, and the occasional reunion act. Hopefully this year they’ll bring back the musician panels, one of our all time favorite things about Hopscotch.