Drumming to Beat Cancer: drumSTRONG Rhythm & Arts Festival Returns to Charlotte Next Month

Drumming to Beat Cancer: drumSTRONG Rhythm & Arts Festival Returns to Charlotte Next Month

Where can you raise awareness and funds for cancer, be part of a new Guinness World Record, eat gourmet food, and enjoy great music? The 8th annual drumSTRONG event, of course!

drumSTRONG festival logo

Located just 4 miles south of the Charlotte city limits in Weddington, NC at Misty Meadows Farm, festivities start Friday, May 16 and run through Sunday. Activities include inventive stage sets, local and international art & food vendors, a craft beer garden, a cancer health expo, yoga, KidzFun activities, music from celebrity artists, belly dancing, and of course, the much anticipated Drum-a-Thon.

The concept is straightforward: a Drum Circle marathon produced by DrumsForCures, Inc. in which participants get sponsorship for each hour they drum. Cancer awareness and survivorship support are raised to new levels and the funds benefit cancer initiatives globally.

The event began as a record-breaking 24-hour nonstop rhythm-driven jam. Each year organizers have added an additional hour and have continued to break the previously set record. Since the first event in 2007, drumSTRONG has expanded to over 70 cities in 25 countries to help support cancer initiatives.

Throughout the event, festival attendants can enjoy an assortment of local and international food vendors:

drumSTRONG festival Sugar Shack

The Sugar Shack – Serving up festival favorites including organic and veggie sandwiches, french toast, coffee, tea as well as breakfast all day

Papa’s Pizza To Go – Southern chain with Weddington location offering fresh baked pizza, subs, wings, salads and more

The Homegrown Crepe – Charlotte area food-truck that specializes in gourmet made from scratch crepes

Taco Green-Go – A local, Chef owned and operated, eco-friendly, food truck offering a rotating selection of fusion style street tacos, ceviche, and other goodies

Master Bacon – Charlotte food truck devoting an entire menu offering to America’s favorite food, bacon

Oowee BBQ – Charlotte area food truck serving up traditional BBQ favorites

Gourmet Goombah – A Rock Hill-based Italian-American mobile kitchen

Boogie Bean Coffee – Locally owned and operated coffee roasting company hailing from Holly Springs, NC

King of Pops – Providing an ecologically responsible, fresh, all-natural frozen treat in a fun neighborhood environment

Cookies for Cancer – National non-profit organization with local chapters raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research through bakes sales

drumSTRONG festival farm

Gates open at 12:00 pm on Friday and the Drum-A-Thon ‘kick-off’ is noon on Saturday with drumming continuing non-stop till Sunday afternoon. The event is rain or shine but festival organizers have pledged to provide large tents in preparation for rain. Onsite camping is permitted for no extra charge and campers are encouraged to come early and set up.

This year’s music lineup appears to be the strongest yet and will be headlined by Railroad Earth, a well-known 6-piece acoustic band blending bluegrass, rock and roll, jazz, celtic, and more.

Railroad Earth at drumSTRONG festival

Other musical acts include local and national artists:

The Felice Brothers, Kopecky Family Band, Chatham County Line, American Aquarium, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Dom Flemons (Formerly of Carolina Chocolate Drops), Joe Pug, HRVRD, Lost in the Trees, The Mantras, The New Familiars, The Love Language, Marley Carroll, Bombadil, Overmountain Men, Junior Astronomers, Dirty Drummer, Elonzo, Ancient Cities, Super Ape, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, Of Good Nature, Replicas, Sinners & Saints, Time Sawyer, Pullman Strike, The Business People, Cairo Fire, and Miami Dice.

To purchase tickets and to learn how you can get involved please visit drumstrong.org.

drumSTRONG lineup

By Lea
Food-loving wanderlust connecting the dots between craft beer, live music, and the Charlotte (and neighboring cities’) restaurant scene. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more tasty bites.


  1. Sounds like a great cause but you would hear drums in your head for days.

  2. Looks like a great event and if you attend you would be doing something good.

  3. Lea

    This will be my first year attending and I cannot wait!

    Yummy food, good music, and a great cause? I’m sold!

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