Saturday-Sunday 5.18-19

Mustang Spring Jam

The annual event takes place at Mike Dianna's Grill Room in Corolla.

And, as usual, the festival features a wide array of styles and sounds.

Among the dozen-or-so bands performing are Ghost Light (improvisational rock), Travers Brothership (rock, blues, and soul), Downtown Abby and the Echoes (slinky, '70s-style soul), Little Stronger (indie hip-hop), and Emma's Lounge (modern folk).

Triple Vision, led by local legend and blues guitar master Mojo Collins, also is on the bill.

Part of the proceeds from the festival goes to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and the Mustang Outreach Program (an educational project for kids).

  • Cost: $10 Saturday; $35 Sunday or $40 for both days
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Mike Dianna's Grill Room, 777 Sunset Blvd., Corolla (in the Timbuck II Shopping Village)
  • Info:

Saturday 5.18

OBX Shred Fest

The 4th edition of the outdoor event features music, art, food, and a “family fun zone.”

It benefits local military veterans and the special needs community.

Musicians from various camps — punk, blues-rock, psychedelic rock, alternative rock, etc. — will perform at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head. Performers include Shagwulf, Brother Mayhem, Non-Compliance, and ZenSoFly, who returns to the festival with her positive hip-hop jams.

  • Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for students
  • When: 1:30-8:30 p.m. 
  • Where: Soundside Event Site, 6800 S. Croatan Hwy., milepost 16, Nags Head
  • Info:

Friday-Saturday, 5.17-18

Bluegrass Island Festival

Held on the sprawling lawn at Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from the Manteo waterfront, the festival, which started Wednesday, is now in its 8th year.

But this will be the first time it takes place in the spring (the first seven years the festival was held in October).

Thousands of bluegrass fans have poured onto the Outer Banks for the event, which now has a national reputation.

Promoter Cory Hemilright makes sure to book performers who play various styles of string-based music.

So, it's not just your daddy's or grandfather's bluegrass, but music that honors tradition and adds elements of rock, Celtic, old-timey country, and punk.

Among the big names on the bill are the Seldom Scene, Rhonda Vincent and Town Mountain.

  • Cost: $45 per day
  • When: 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from the waterfront, One Festival Park, Manteo
  • Info: (252) 423-3039,

Saturday 5.25

The Original Wailers

Forever associated with the legendary singer-songwriter-visionary Bob Marley, who died in 1981, the group has soldiered on with a shifting lineup that includes original member Ashton “Family Man” Barrett.

He provided the melodic bass lines on many of Marley's stone-cold, roots-reggae classics, including “Three Little Birds,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and “No Woman, No Cry.”

The current incarnation of the Wailers remains committed to the “quiet fire” of their fallen leader, promoting peace, love and understanding through music.

In addition to the aforementioned tunes, the band rolls through such gems as “Jammin',” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “Redemption Song,” as well of more recent original songs.

  • Cost: $25
  • When: 10:30 p.m.
  • Where: Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Hwy., milepost 8.5, Kill Devil Hills
  • Info: (252) 4492739,

John Harper has been covering the local entertainment scene for The Coast and Virginian-Pilot since 1994. Harper also is longtime radio broadcaster and program director on the Outer Banks and can be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday on the local Triple A outlet WVOD-99.1-The Sound, where Harper serves as music director. In addition, Harper can be heard on Classic Rock 104.9 and 92.3 and is an award-winning wedding DJ.


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