The eighth edition of Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept. 7-10 in Raleigh, N.C., is an experience you won't want to miss. For four days downtown Raleigh becomes a musical playground, with incredible performers, bands and dedicated music fans hopping between music venues and bars for a festival that never rests. 

Here are ten reasons not to miss out! 

1."One of the best and most eclectic music festivals in America." - SPIN

So much praise has been heaped upon Hopscotch it can be hard to keep track. "The premiere experimental and underground festival in America," said AdHoc. "All about an extraordinarily cool roster of bands....a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere," according to Rolling Stone. "Perfect," claim both The News & Observer and We Listen For You. And of course, Hopscotch winds up on lists like Rolling Stone's 2016 Must-See Summer Music Festivals

2. A mind-blowingly cool lineup of 120 bands

Known for adventurous lineups that feature music in every genre imaginable—rock, hip-hop, metal, electronic, folk and more—the schedule includes 120 bands so you get the chance to see personal favorites plus discover new ones.

Hopscotch Music Fest lineup flyer

3. Twelve awesome venues (all within walking distance)

Bands will rock 12 total venues in 2017, ranging from smaller, no-frills bars to a major amphitheater, plus even a contemporary art museum that will be transformed into a music party for three days. Red Hat Amphitheater (pictured in header) returns for a second year—the 5,500-seat venue sitting in the shadows of the Raleigh skyline—hosting headliners Fri., Sat. and Sun. All the venues sit within a 10-block radius, making it easy to "hop" from one venue to another to make the most of the experience. Check out our guide to the Hopscotch Music Festival venues here

4. Just look at this beautiful schedule!

Whether you're the type to meticulously plan out your entire Hopscotch experience ahead of time or just wing it on the fly, this schedule is what you'll need.

Hopscotch Music Fest schedule

5. Stellar headliners every night!

Hopscotch isn't just about underground and experimental—festival organizers make sure to bring in some big name (and soon-to-be big name) acts to headline some of the main stages. Every night is a big night, with Future Islands and Run The Jewels Fri. night, Big Boi and Solange Sat. and Angel Olsen on Sun. 

6. Plenty of delicious restuarants to try over the weekend

Southern Living called Raleigh a "culinary mecca." Zagat named us one of the "Hottest Food Cities of 2016." OpenTable says we're home to two of the best 100 restaurants in the countryForbes recognized the City of Oaks as one of 12 global destinations you should travel to in 2017, thanks to our culinary superstars. Four of our passionate chefs were named James Beard Award semifinalists in 2017. From one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country to chef Ashley Christensen's line-up of can't-miss spots, you're in for a treat.

Brewery Bhavana

7. Local artists Birds of Avalon and more

There are a number of N.C.-based artists on the festival schedule this year, and we've got to call out Birds of Avalon, a Raleigh staple. Birds of Avalon has gained national attention for a driving, progressive sound that can pinball from loopy space jams to trip rock, explode into 70s power pop, slide into Zeppelin reincarnate then rev up with a stripped-down blues stomp. Catch their set at the City Plaza stage Fri. (and wave to rock star chef and band member Cheetie Kumar)!

Other Raleigh bands in the line-up are Absent Lovers, Sand Pact, Truth Club, Acid Chaperone, Blois, Essex Muro, Pie Face Girls, Bodykit, The Coke Dares, Naked Naps, Jenny Besetzt, Blursome, Zensofly and The Veldt.

8. Day parties!

Day parties have always been an essential part of the Hopscotch experience. More than 30 free, open-to-the-public shows (no Hopscotch ticket needed) go down beginning Thurs. with all kinds of bands rocking at a whole bunch of venues and bars around downtown Raleigh—a great way to explore even more of Raleigh's coolest bars and hangouts (and some include free food from great downtown restaurants, if you get there early!). Check out the schedule, here.

9. Hopscotch Design Festival

This two-day spin-off festival offers a chance to hear and learn from a host of bright thinkers, makers and storytellers—think graphic design, urban planning, user experience design, technology, architecture, music, food, film and more. The concept is similar to the music festival; hear from some awesome people and hop around to a number of cool venues in downtown Raleigh (and have a great time doing it!). Tickets to the design festival will need to be purchased separately, here.

Raleigh Convention Center

10. Raleigh, N.C.

Cool music festival, cool destination. Watch the video below to see why Raleigh is thriving.



Convinced now to go to Hopscotch this year? Get more info. and tickets here!

Header photo, Garrett Poulos; Raleigh Convention Center photo, Keenan Hairston