Charlotte's First Black Alternative Music Festival Rocked Camp North End


Charlotte singer-songwriter LeAnna Eden's Bla/Alt Music Fest drew hundreds to Camp North End on Statesville Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 21, for a full day of Afropunk, Afro-centric food and other merchandize, and some of the area's top rock bands of all kinds. Bands ranged from the shoegazy dreampop of Winston-Salem's Foxture, to the art-punk of Charlotte musician Lenny Muckle's Lofidels, to the indie-pop of The Business People, the rock-based hip-hop of Nige Hood and the alternative rock of Eden's outfit, LeAnna Eden and the Garden Of.

Camp North End seemed almost like a Garden of Eden as music lovers danced and sang along to familiar local songs like Eden's "Protest Song" and The Business People's "From NC With Love." Muckle played bass, sang and mixed up electronics during a compelling set of experimental punk, and Chocala blended Latin rhythms and experimental rock into a glorious stew of highly danceable sounds.

Behind the decks between the bands, DJ SPK crafted a dynamic mix that ranged from the sweet sounds of early Santana to the ska-punk of No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl" to Cardi B's money-moving "Bodak Yellow." And acting as MC — ubiquitous Charlotte poet Bluz kept the crowd pumped and wanting more.

But most exciting was the mix of people — folks of all ages, races and gender identity strolled through the Camp North End corridor dancing, talking to each other, listening to music, and generally having a good time amid good vibes and a gorgeous fall afternoon and evening.

If you missed it, check out this slideshow and pray there will be a Bla/Alt 2 in 2018.