NOLA IN CLT: Anders Osborne, shown here with his band performing at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, is among the headliners for Queen City Jam Session. (Getty Images)

Festival relocates in “takeover” of Neighborhood Theatre

Anders Osborne, Bully and Leftover Salmon will headline the second annual Queen City Jam Session in Charlotte, North Carolina. The festival was officially announced on Wednesday.

The Oct. 20-22 event has relocated indoors to the Neighborhood Theatre due to ongoing construction at the NoDa Brewery, where last year’s initial festival was held outdoors in August, said local promoter Gregg McCraw, president of Maxx Music.

Four bands, a mix of national and local acts, will perform each day as part of the Jam Session, keeping in line with McCraw’s commitment to showcasing North Carolina and South Carolina musicians.

“We had to pivot a bit,” McCraw said. “We knew we wanted to move the time, because we were in a season (in 2022) with too much going on. We decided to bring the event inside as a venue takeover for the weekend. We definitely want to keep it alive going forward, but didn’t feel like we could do it outdoors again this year until the construction over there is finished.”

For this year’s festival, single-day general admission tickets cost $40 for Friday, $25 on Saturday and $55 on Sunday. Three-day passes are $115. Tickets go on sale Friday (Sept. 22).

There are VIP options for table seating and reserved balcony seats at the Neighborhood, whose capacity is about 950. VIP pricing runs from $55 to $100 a person depending on the day and seat location.

A portion of every ticket sold will go to support Drums for a Cure, which in turn, supports the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, which currrently helps fund the only children’s hospital in the Ukraine, McCraw said.

Jam Session retains the musical themes first presented in 2022, McCraw said.

Friday’s lineup carries a New Orleans flavor with Osborne, Maggie Rose, Time Sawyer and Akita, a Charlotte funk band.

Saturday is indie rock day with Bully and Cuzco, plus Alright and Ancient Cities, two local acts.

Sunday focuses on bluegrass and Americana with Leftover Salmon; Shannon and Woody, featuring Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers and his wife, Shannon Whitworth; Book and Falco, which includes Andy Falco and Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters performing a set of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia tunes; and The Charlotte Bluegrass All-Stars with Adam Lawrence and his father, Jack Lawrence, who played guitar along bluegrass legend Doc Watson for decades.

“Sunday’s the big day,” McCraw said. “What we’ve tried to create is what you see at really good festivals, which is interaction between the artists all playing that day. We already know, because we’ve had discussions, that on Sunday that’s going to happen.”

The 2023 Jam Session is tied to Confluence, a regional music conference taking place Oct. 18-19 at the AvidExchange Music Factory, a multi-venue complex in Charlotte.. Thirty industry professionals from among a group of promoters, agents, band managers and artists are scheduled to speak during the two-day event.

Confluence is modeled after South By Southwest, but with a focus on live music in the Carolinas and to create a networking event, said McCraw, who is among the speakers.

The conference extends to live performances by 40-plus acts across several venues. It’s an extension of an initial version of Confluence that took place in August 2019 at the U.S. Whitewater Center in Belmont, North Carolina, a Charlotte suburb.

Center City Partners, a Charlotte civic group involved in economic and community development and creating events, is taking the lead for organizing Confluence, McCraw said.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.