Sanford’s downtown will soon become ground zero for tons of music, food and fun as the area becomes transformed to welcome Carolina Indie Fest.
The independent music festival will take place in the city’s downtown on Sept. 18 and 19. It will host three stages, a street filled with crafts and artisan goods and food trucks to satisfy any food craving.
The event is free to the public.
The main stage will be located on Wicker Street, while the The Beer Garden Stage will be in the Cole Street Parking Lot behind Hugger Mugger Brewing Company, 229 Wicker St. The third stage will highlight acoustic acts and be located inside Hugger Mugger’s bar.
The brewery along with Indie On Air Records, Visit Sanford and Wilkinson Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC developed the two-day event.
Tim Emmert, co-owner of Hugger Mugger, said this the first two-day concert event to take place in Sanford. He wants people to come out and make this concert become a tradition and not a one time thing.
“It’s going to be awesome,” he said. “This is the first two-day festival in Sanford history. It blows my mind.”
He encourages people to bring their folding chairs because the main stage will be set up at Wicker Street and Horner Boulevard, with the stage facing into downtown on Wicker. The street has a slight upgrade and he believes it would give most in attendance a decent view of the stage.
“You can come out for lunch, take advantage of the 13 food trucks we’ll have, listen to some music, go home and then come back for dinner,” he said.
Over the course of the two-day event 45 bands will perform. Performances start on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For the leaders of Addie Tonic, who describes themselves as a punk, slash garage, slash heavy guitar driven Rock N’ Roll band, they are looking forward to performing at the festival.
“It will be our first time in Sanford,” said Matt Youngblood, the band’s lead guitarist. “We are the first act on the main stage on Saturday. We’ll be doing an acoustic set inside the Hugger Mugger on Sunday.”
He said any events that are a part of Indie On Air Records are good places perform.
“We like working with this organizer because the event is usually professional and well run,” he said. “There won’t be any slouches on the bill. They are really tough on talent.”
Cliff Wheeler, leader of the Cliff Wheeler Band, said there is plenty of talent at events like this. He and his band will be doing an acoustic performance on Saturday and perform on the main stage on Sunday.
Wheeler, who lives in Sanford, is looking forward to the short commute to the festival.
“I’ve played at the Texas Indie Fest and the Florida Indie Fest and it will be nice to go to one right down the road,” he said.
His band plays a mixture of country, rock ‘n’ roll and a little bit of everything in between. He said along with performing the event is a good way to see new talent and reconnect with performers the band has played with in the past.
“The talent level is going to be really good and we’re doing it in our hometown makes it even more special,” he said.
Youngblood said he and the band’s lead vocalist, called Meghann5k, are ready to bring it.
“We want to come and play and we’ll be bringing our A plus game,” he said.
For more information visit www.carolinaindiefest.com.
Here is a list of the bands and days they will be performing
Saturday — Main Stage
Tough on Fridays
Saturday — Beer Garden Stage
Ebb & Nova
Andy B.AND Soulfolk
Broken to Brave
Caroline Keller Band
Saturday — Inside Hugger Mugger
Cliff Wheeler Band (unplugged)
Sunday — Main Stage
The Loose Strings Band
Cliff Wheeler Band
The Gasoline Gypsies
Sunday — Beer Garden Stage
Saints of Gibraltar
The Mad Dabbers
Sunday — Inside Hugger Mugger
Addie Tonic (acoustic)