The two-day music festival God Save the Queen City returns for its seventh year Friday and Saturday. A lineup of local and regional bands like Ancient Cities, Shadowgraphs and Faye will be featured each night at Neighborhood Theatre.
Local print shop Ink Floyd founded the festival in its NoDa neighborhood. While the name is no deeper than a good play-on words with the Sex Pistols’ single “God Save the Queen,” the festival has a purpose: To be a community affair.
“We wanted to do some kind of event that was kind of community-based,” said Eric Leaf of Ink Floyd, which originally worked with a lot of bands.
The event got off the ground with bands and clients that could help sponsor the festival.
Since then, that sense of community collaboration has only grown, as have the names of many of the bands that participate.
While Ink Floyd has coordinated a beer release for the festival before, the organizers took it up a notch this year by getting the God Save the Queen brew crafted in collaboration with Heist Brewery, Free Range Brewing and Salud Cervecería. The Belgian pale ale brewed on local blackberries and blueberries will be served both nights at the Neighborhood Theatre.
“It’s very fruity, kind of a nice summer, drinkable beer,” Leaf said.
The 2017 festival, presented by Ink Floyd and PBR Music, also incorporates a traditional charity component for the first time, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Time Out Youth. Proceeds from last weekend’s beer release parties, $1 per festival ticket and donations collected during the festival will support Time Out Youth, which serves LGBTQ youths ages 11-20 through advocacy, social opportunities and personal development.
The fact that Charlotte Pride falls on the same weekend is a happy coincidence, Leaf said. Plus, musicians have been speaking out about LGBTQ rights and acceptance in today’s political climate, so Time Out Youth offered a good tie-in to the festival.
While the God Save the Queen City event has bounced around different venues in town over the years, Leaf said, “This year we really wanted to focus on bringing it home to NoDa.”
Guests can enjoy the ease of going out in the neighborhood and they can make a weekend out of it.
Ink Floyd also likes the fact that a festival makes the fun more affordable, since attendees can get multiple concerts for the price of one, essentially.
“We view it as a hookup to the city,” Leaf said.
Go to God Save the Queen City
Tickets for the festival Aug. 25-26 are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts 7:30 p.m. Get tickets here. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 East 36th St.
Friday, Aug. 25
Diarrhea Planet (Nashville, TN)
Jeff The Brotherhood (Nashville, TN)
Spaceface * 2 SETS (Memphis, TN)
Daddy Issues (Nashville, TN)
Faye (Charlotte, NC)
Saturday, Aug. 26:
Strand of Oaks (Goshen, IN)
Twin Limb (Louisville, KY)
Ancient Cities * 2 SETS (Charlotte, NC)
Benji Hughes (Charlotte, NC)
Shadowgraphs (Charlotte, NC)
Photos: Daniel Coston, Sarah Desourdy