Nas and Erykah Badu to headline revamped Art of Cool Festival

 By Lindsay Kosma

March 27, 2018

The 2018 Art of Cool Festival is back for its fifth year in Durham, NC on September 28-29, and it’s bigger than ever with Durham Bulls Athletic Park serving as the main venue. Headliners will include Nas, Erykah Badu, and Sango with Damien Escobar, Sons of Kemet, Iman Omari, and many more acts to be announced soon on a rolling basis.

From this year forward, the music festival will shift from operating under the non-profit organization, the Art of Cool Project, to being owned and managed as a subsidiary of The Dome Group LLC.

Nao performing at the 2017 Art of Cool Festival. Photo: Kurt Shackelford

The Dome Group LLC, a North Carolina based entertainment and promotions company, produces and promotes a variety of events across the state– with an emphasis on the City of Durham and the surrounding community.

“AOCFest has always, and will remain, Durham born and bred,” said AOCFestfounder, Cicely Mitchell. “This acquisition with The Dome Group LLC will allow the festival to operate in a better place financially, and allow it to continue to bring quality programming to the area and expand the festival brand at a faster rate.”

Many of the original staff, as well as founders and board members will remain involved with curating the program to ensure the festival remains true to its original mission. The Start of Cool (jazz education program for 3rd-8th grade), along with Innovate Your Cool, (day-long conference on innovation, entrepreneurship, and science), will remain an integral part of the festival’s initiative.

Terrace Martin performing at Art of Cool Festival 2017. Photo: Kurt Shackelford

In a growing North Carolina music landscape, the Art of Cool Festival is truly a gem situated right in the heart of Durham; home base to a couple of recent Grammy nominated artist, Rapsody and Sylvan Esso. In its fifth year, a festival that has hosted the likes of Common, Anthony Hamilton, Anderson .Paak, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Goldlink, and many more, has earned its respect. This is sure to be a must-attend party in the ever-evolving Durham music scene to kick off your fall concert season. 

Presale tickets will start April 25th, and general onsale opens to the public on April 27th.

Learn more about the Art of Cool Festival on Sept. 28 + 29 in Durham,  NC.

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