Something to SHOUT about

Entertainment

March 1, 2023



The annual festival, a megaphone for local artists, returns with creative surprises and fan favorites.

by Sharon Smith

As we lose the winter chill, Charlotte SHOUT! blows in like a great ice breaker that brings people together and announces spring. It’s a safe conversation starter, “We just went — loved the seesaws!” and a lively place for a photo session to fill up your feed. 

It’s also where creatives, from down the street and across the globe, are recognized for what they bring to the community table. There’s an even bigger platform this year, with nearly 200 installations, performances and events. Robert Krumbine, who produces the 17-day festival in his role as chief creative officer at Charlotte Center City Partners, says our local talent raises the bar each year. “We are developing our local talent — and also developing our local audience to support the local talent,” Krumbine says. 

One of the new marquee attractions is Pianodrome, a round, 100-seat music venue fully created by using bits and pieces of old pianos. The upcycled “listening room” promises to be a unique draw at historic Grace Church on Brevard Street. Krumbine says the idea came from a 2019 trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. SHOUT!’s Pianodrome recreation is the first to be built in America. “It’s not something anyone can say they’ve ever done before,” Krumbine says.

Another new sight to see is !CON, a collection of 10-foot-tall “wayfinder” exclamation points to give festivalgoers directional help. Krumbine says a staff member came up with the idea, which is a nod to the logo and creates another way to engage 15 more artists.

If there’s one spectacle that may become the new crowd favorite, Krumbine says the 30-foot Roaming Gnomes have a good shot. He doesn’t want to give too much away but says the colorful, illuminated, whimsical creatures are sure to be a popular photo op.

There will be old favorites, too. Look for the giant Easter eggs with freshly-painted designs and the always-worth-the-wait “Impulse” seesaws, which will once again line Levine Avenue of the Arts.  SP

Charlotte SHOUT! takes place March 31-April 16 in uptown. Nearly all events are outdoors, free and open to the public. Follow @cltshout or visit charlotteshout.com for details. During the last two days, Charlotte StrEATs food festival will return to Gateway Village. Experiences include a Tasting Tour (ticketed), food trucks and demos. More details at cltstreatsfestival.com.

Photographs courtesy of Charlotte Center City Partners

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