The 13th annual Hopscotch Music Festival is making a big return to downtown Raleigh Thursday through Saturday.
The three-day festival is bringing about 120 musical acts set to play at two main stages in downtown Raleigh-Moore Square and City Plaza.
There are also shows and day parties at clubs and bars across downtown.
After struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers are expecting this year to be a big comeback.
"What we're trying to get back to is kind of the 2019 pre-COVID numbers," explained Loren Gold, Executive Vice-President of the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Since 2010, Hopscotch has drawn huge crowds from all over the region. After a pandemic pause, the festival returned in 2022 and scaled down with around 30 bands.
This year, it is back to pre-pandemic levels for acts with about 120 with hopes the economic impact will also return.
"If numbers are an indicator, hopefully, three million plus in direct economic impacts," Gold explained.
"That equates to roughly about 4,800 total roommates that come in over the weekend. We also noticed about 58% of the ticket holders were from out of the market which is a good thing," Gold added.
Many of the musical acts are from North Carolina with headliners including Pavement, King Krule, Margo Price, and Denzel Curry among others.
Gold says the Hopscotch Music Festival is part of an important fall festival lineup.
"Hopscotch is obviously a part of the September lineup," Gold said. "There will be some other events going on kind of mid-month, and then, obviously at the end of the month, we'll have IBMA Live powered by PNC, The Big Bluegrass Festival.
It's a variety of different genres and Hopscotch really kicks that off because they're not hanging their hat on one genre."
This year, for the first time, the Hopscotch Festival will feature a comedy lineup, day parties, a Skate Raleigh pop-up, as well as a free musical family event at Marbles Kids Museum called Totscotch Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm.
Hopscotch runs through Saturday night in downtown Raleigh.