This September, Uptown will fill with public art installations, live music, street food and — yes — those giant inflatable bunnies. It’s all part of the multi-week Charlotte Shout festival.
Why it matters: The festival, which runs from September 17 to October 3, will be even bigger this year than its last iteration in 2019. It’ll be more than celebration, Blumenthal president Tom Gabbard tells me; it’ll be about healing as a community from this tumultuous year.
“I would love people to finish Charlotte Shout and say, ‘Wow, this gave me exactly what I needed right now,'” he says.
What to expect: For one, the inflatable bunnies that took over Charlotte social media two years ago will be back.
- “The most inspiring festival in the southeast,” as Gabbard calls it, will have hundreds of events from concerts featuring local musicians to speaker series with internationally known thought leaders to cooking demonstrations.
- Most of the events will be free and open to the public.
- The full schedule of acts will be announced over the summer. The Charlotte Shout team is currently looking for local talent to highlight — apply here.
Background: The festival took a decade-long hiatus from 2009 to 2019, but it’s building momentum now. “Charlotte now is big enough,” Gabbard says. “I think we’re finding the right touch point here.”
Gabbard says that comes down to making the event accessible to all. “When we rightfully talk about access to the arts … this is exactly one of the ways to do that,” he says, citing that the event is largely free and outdoors.
Here’s a preview of what to expect.
All photos and videos are from Charlotte Shout 2019.