Seldom Scene – Thursday, 6-9pm – Take an urban approach to bluegrass with this Bethesda-based band at the American Tobacco Campus! The Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series is the perfect place for a peaceful picnic with your family, friends and/or pup. Enjoy the opening performance from Cicadia Rhythm before the main act! Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase. Pop into any one of ATC’ restaurants to grab a bite before sitting back and relaxing while listening to some traditional tunes.
Tinkering and Drinkering – Thursday, 6:30-8:30pm – Spark your curiosity with circuit building and fiber arts! The Museum of Life and Science teams up with Motorco Music Hall to host a hands-on happy hour. Leave the kids at home and stop by for an evening of engineering and excitement!
Jocelyn Olcott – Thursday, 7pm – Brush up on your feminist history and its impact on today’s ever-changing social justice movement with the Duke University associate professor of history at The Regulator Bookshop. The “International Women’s Year” author gives a talk on the backstory, paradoxes and conflicts that transpired during the two-week International Women’s Year conference in Mexico City in 1975.
Big Ron Hunter – Thursday, 7-9:30pm – Happiness is contagious! Head to The Bullpen to catch some from the world’s happiest bluesman. The Winston-Salem native proves his mastery of folk and blues music in his second album, Great Unknown, for which he received praise from Living Blues Magazine. $1 from every draft pint sold goes to Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Grand Opening Party – Thursday, 7-10pm – Help AR Workshop Durham celebrate the grand opening of its new location in Brightleaf Square! Listen to live music, enter to win free giveaways and learn more about this chic, boutique, do-it-yourself workshop!
The Locker Project – Thursday and Friday – Don’t miss your last chance to see this exhibition by Jack Watson at SPECTRE Arts! The project is a compilation of 16 mixed media prints completed in collaboration with anonymous high school students. The pieces are a representation of the creative actions inside the locker and its contents. The exhibition closes Friday.
63rd Annual Juried Exhibition – Friday, 5-8pm – Check out the Durham Art Guild’s largest collection of the year! The varied exhibition features 85 works from 73 local artists including self-taught painter Gemynii. All works were juried and selected by Collections and Exhibitions Manager Alexys J. Taylor of The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture.
Bull City Rumble – Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm – The Brightleaf District plays host to vintage motorcycles and scooters – and their admirers and riders – at this year’s 13th annual Ton Up NC bike show and rally.
Clay Date Night – Friday, 7-9pm – Get your hands dirty with your date and DAC Clay Studio! Learn to sculpt clay by hand, create a functional piece of pottery and paint it! Take date night to the next level with this creative class.
Counterclockwise String Band – Friday, 7-9pm – This Durham bluegrass group performs as part of the Brightleaf Summer Concert Series. The local favorite bridges the traditional with the progressive to create a refreshing and fun sound.
Cowboy Mouth – Friday, 8pm – Dishing up rambunctious rock ‘n’ roll with swampy Southern style, this New Orleans band brings its unmistakable spirit to Motorco Music Hall. The band members have played more than 2,500 shows, and their signature single “Jenny Says” reached the upper half of the Billboard rock charts. Come out to experience frontman Fred LeBlanc as he brings the energy of Mardi Gras in New Orleans to Durham!
Thomas Rhyant’s Sam Cooke Soul Revue – Friday, 8:30pm – The gospel singer vivifies the history of soul music in his performances. Driving around in his father’s Cadillac, he heard the soulful tunes of Sam Cooke, and inspiration hit. With a wide vocal range and an enigmatic band, Thomas will have you up and dancing at The Bullpen in no time. $1 from every draft pint sold goes to Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Dreaming of the ‘90s – Friday, 9pm – Do you miss the simpler days of platform sneakers and scrunchies? Look no further than this totally ‘90s dance party with DJs PlayPlay and Shahzad. Come on out to The Pinhook and shake it to some old school hits!
George Freeman Jr. – Friday, 7-10pm – The Make It Happen musician showcases his unique blend of contemporary jazz, pop, R&B, neo-soul and gospel at Beyú Caffé. His first single from Make It Happen, “Night Lights,” earned a spot at No. 26 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz National Airplay Chart.
Mural Bike Tour – Saturday, 10am – Throw on your helmet and grab a water bottle for this 90-minute guided bike tour of downtown murals, put together by Preservation Durham, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Museum of Durham History. The tours are designed for anyone who has a bike and is comfortable riding on a city street. Participants will meet and depart from the Durham Farmers Market at Durham Central Park on Foster Street. Explore the history of Durham from the 1970s to today through street art!
History Hike – Saturday, 10am-noon – Head to Sennett’s Hole and hear some history on the way! This three-mile hike crosses the Eno River and discusses Michael Synott, one of the first millers to build a mill on the river! Bring your friendly dogs and try to sniff out the legendary gold at the bottom of Michael’s mill pond.
Craft Saturday: Hornbooks – Saturday, 10am-4pm – Visit Historic Stagville to learn about education in the 19th century! Get crafty and create your own hornbook to take home with you!
Patchwork Market – Saturday, noon-4pm – Come out to Fullsteam Brewery and shop local vintage vendors at this monthly market! Find treasures from local artisans including Vesta’s Natural Apothecary, Lo & Behold and Keechii Bags.
Harry Potter Trivia – Saturday, 2-5pm – Are you a wizarding world wiz? Test out your knowledge with trivia at the Southwest Regional Library! Show up in your house colors and show off your skills. Family trivia starts at 2pm, and teen trivia starts at 4pm.
Bull City Gridiron Classic – Saturday, 6pm – Kick off football season with this traditional game between Duke University and North Carolina Central University! Regardless of team affiliation, watch the athletes play at Wallace Wade Stadium and cheer for Durham!
Russ Varnell & His Too Country Band – Saturday, 8:30-11pm – This band is dedicated to showing audiences real country music the way it’s supposed to be! Russ was raised on “100% hardcore traditional country music” in Black Creek, and he has played alongside artists like Buck Owens. Russ brings that experience and tradition to The Bullpen, and $1 from every draft pint sold is donated to the Music Maker Relief Foundation!
Food Truck Rodeo – Sunday, noon-4pm – Relax with local brews, live music and food truck eats at Durham Central Park’s Labor Day weekend rodeo. Special guest Wood Robinson of the band Mipso performs as part of his new solo venture, “Wood Robinson’s New Formal.”
Crafternoon – Sunday, 1:30-3pm – Take the family along for an afternoon filled with arts, crafts and women’s empowerment! Artist Jen Detlefsen brings her expertise and spunk to The Carrack to lead a suncatcher making workshop. Round out your weekend with a visit to her interactive Lift Like A Princess exhibit during its final weekend at the gallery!
Farm Animal Play Time – Sunday, 2-4pm – Come cuddle with cute goats and snuggle with some sheep! Watch the geese and ducks forage in the fields, and embark on a farm scavenger hunt! Learn about the Hux Family Farm’s dedication to sustainability and the community.
Jen Detlefsen – Sunday, 4pm – The Lift Like A Princess artist gives a presentation on rewriting the “narrative of what it means to be a princess.” She turns the stigma of the color pink as a color of weakness on its head in her immersive exhibition at The Carrack.
Pops Concert – Sunday, 6-7:30pm – Enjoy a picnic on the East Campus main quad with your family and the Duke Symphony Orchestra! Kick off the opening of the 2017-18 season with featured works including Broadway numbers, popular movie scores, and patriotic pieces by American composers.
Beer & Hymns – Sunday, 7:30-10:30pm – The first Sunday of the month calls for free-flowing beer and spiritual choruses! Jesse James DeConto of The Pinkerton Raid leads the group of hymn singers at Fullsteam Brewery. Regardless of religious affiliation, stop by, sing some tunes and donate to the “Pitcher of Mercy” to benefit the immigrant support programs at Church World Service. Feel free to request songs online.
Caique Vidal and Batuque – Sunday, 8pm – Celebrate Brazilian Day with a party at Motorco Music Hall! As a songwriter and percussionist from Salvador da Bahia, Caique brings Afro-Brazilian culture and tradition to the Triangle. Dance to the samba reggae music of Batala Durham with the experienced samba dancers of NC Brazilian Arts Project!
Labor Day Shrimp Boil – Monday, noon – What better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a pound of North Carolina shrimp and a half-dozen local oysters? Head down to Motorco Music Hall for its Second Annual Shrimp Boil and Oktoberfest Kickoff! Enjoy a liter of Paulaner Oktoberfest this holiday weekend! Purchase tickets in advance and save $5.