First Night Raleigh

See Gulls & T0W3RS to Play First Night Raleigh 2016’s Indie Rock Venue

Artsplosure’s First Night Raleigh 2016 celebration is thrilled to announce that two of the Triangle’s favorites, See Gulls and T0W3RS, will be playing the Indie Rock Venue at Vintage Church (formerly the Longview Center) in downtown Raleigh this New Year’s Eve.

On December 31st 2015, both bands will have one-hour sets alongside many evening performances, which will spread across venues in the downtown Raleigh area.

First Night Raleigh is celebrating its 25th year as Raleigh’s ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration, and is marking the occasion with some of the city’s best talents.

“First Night Raleigh’s mission includes really getting the art out there for folks to see and enjoy.  It’s always fun to present up and coming bands such as T0w3rs and See Gulls and get them exposed to the kind of diverse audiences First Night can bring in.” says Programming Director Terri Dollar about the performances. “Music lovers are already used to hearing great music in The Vintage Church setting, and it’s easy to access and should make a fun start to anybody’s New Year’s plans.”

After forming in 2013, See Gulls quickly amassed a following around the Triangle and beyond. Their energetic, whip-smart, pop-punk debut record You Can’t See Me has earned them an immediate reputation as an act on the rise, and their live performances further cement them as one of the area’s most entertaining and captivating bands. See them take the Vintage Church stage at 8:00 PM.

Video: See Gulls / Nikhil Shah

Also hailing from Raleigh is Derek Torres, the man behind T0W3RS. With dance-inducing beats and effervescent synth tracks, T0W3RS gets the party grooving. His album release party for TL;DR sold out King’s Barcade, and he continues to draw fans as they experience his visually and sonically entrancing performances. T0W3RS will follow See Gulls at 9:30 PM.

Video: Fayetteville Observer

Calling Artists for Art Putt 2015!

First Night Raleigh Art Putt




WHAT: Art Putt will be an interactive art installation featuring a miniature golf course of nine artist-designed mini-golf holes.

WHEN: December 28-December 31, 2015

WHERE: Inside Historic Market Hall in City Market in Downtown Raleigh.

Any Artist or Group of Artists is invited to submit a proposal for one of the nine holes.  Think of this as a public art exhibit where folks can interact with your artwork while playing a fun game at the same time!  Each selected artist will be featured on the First Night Raleigh website and mobile app in addition to their hole being on display at Art Putt.

The Theme of First Night Raleigh this year is North Carolina FIRSTS.  We are celebrating all of the unique and quirky ways that North Carolina is #1!  Each hole must be designed with this theme in mind.

First Night Raleigh has commissioned set designer Greg Osbeck to construct the actual structure of the individual holes and to make the course cohesive. Artists may select from these base layouts, which are listed at the end of this document, when submitting their designs.

First Night Raleigh 2015 Mobile App Now Available

The anticipation of ringing in 2015 is now at the fingertips of guests attending First Night Raleigh 2015, in thanks to an innovative mobile app created exclusively for the Triangle’s favorite New Year’s Eve tradition. For the third consecutive year, Fidelity has sponsored the First Night Raleigh mobile app, created by Blue Pane Studio. It can be downloaded for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The First Night Raleigh mobile app is designed to enhance the planning of the festivalgoer, as well as seeing what is “on tap” as the night progresses. The First Night Raleigh 2015 mobile app can be downloaded at:

Apple App Store here

Google Play Store here

The mobile app will provide a complete list of all performances and activities happening during First Night Raleigh 2015. With an interactive map that will show where events are and easiest routes for access, festivalgoers can plan their own New Year adventure. Other features include:

      • Bookmarking for activities to customize an itinerary, which can be shared with friends and family.
      • Rating scale of individual performances.
      • Social media connections to First Night Raleigh’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
      • Tips on financial New Year’s resolutions and links to learn more about career opportunities at Fidelity.

“Fidelity is pleased to extend our partnership with First Night Raleigh 2015 in helping thousands of people navigate the events downtown on December 31,” said Gene Delsener, Senior Vice President and Regional Co-Site Leader of Fidelity N.C. “This year we’ve added information to the app that will assist folks in working towards their financial resolutions and proactively plan for 2015 and beyond.”

“We continue to be incredibly grateful for Fidelity’s support, which is not only making possible our First Night Raleigh mobile app but is also bolstering our efforts to integrate the latest technology into our interactive arts programming, like this year’s Moving Pieces Theatre’s Displaced presentation,” said Michael Lowder, Artsplosure Executive Director. “We’re pleased that festivalgoers will be able to create their own adventure and take advantage of all of the ‘out of this world’ programming that we have for this New Year’s Eve.”

First Night Raleigh 2015 to Have Park-and-Ride with CAT Buses

For the first year ever, CAT buses will provide park-and-ride service into downtown Raleigh for New Year’s Eve festivities.

Getting to downtown for First Night Raleigh 2015 just got easier! Thanks to the City of Raleigh’s Public Works Department, CAT buses will operate two park-and-ride services from central locations in North and Southeastern Raleigh. Services will start at 6 p.m. from these locations with a final departure of 1 a.m. from downtown Raleigh. Full information on the special service can be found here.

CAT will operate from North Raleigh at 2728 Capital Boulevard (Old Westinghouse building) and from Southeastern Raleigh at 4011 Carya Drive (Wake County Government Office Park), offering service frequencies of 30 minutes or less. The downtown pick-up and drop-off locations will be at Morgan Street and Fayetteville Street, in the heart of First Night Raleigh festivities. Security will be provided at both park-and-ride locations with off-duty Raleigh police officers for the duration of the event.

Regular CAT fares will apply to the service at $1.25 per one-way trip, or full-day passes can be purchased for $2.50 round-trip. Discounted fares for seniors and persons with accessibility needs will be honored, as well as honoring existing pass holders (i.e. if a person has a 30 day pass, it will be accepted). Fare will be free for children under 12 years old, as well as to seniors 65 years and older. More information on the fare structure can be found here.

Admission for First Night Raleigh 2015 is now on sale at:

Calling for Friends of First Night Raleigh 2015

We couldn’t be more proud that this year’s honorary chairs for First Night Raleigh are Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, along with husband Ron. In that, the McFarlanes have enlisted locals and made a call for “Friends of First Night.”

Along with our sister festival Artsplosure, First Night Raleigh has blazed a trail that many other festivals have successfully followed, making downtown Raleigh a cultural and entertainment mecca. And on December 31, downtown will come alive as over 50,000 people celebrate the New Year with an amazing lineup of entertainment and art.

The Friends of First Night fundraising effort aims to ensure that everyone, regardless of life circumstances, has an opportunity to participate in this Triangle tradition. Our goal is to distribute 1,500 First Night admission tickets to Triangle area families who might night otherwise be able to attend. Those making this tax-deductible donations help underwrite the distribution of this program.

Every $25 raised makes three admission buttons available to youth and family service agencies. In fact, those donating can designate an agency or let us fulfill requests from the agencies who are signing up for the program.

Donors of $100 or more will receive two VIP sponsor buttons to First Night Raleigh 2015, allowing them to attend all First Night programs and join other supporters at a patrons’ reception. We will publicly recognize all $100+ Friends of First Night at the reception, as well as listing them in the program guide for next year.

Those who wish to make a donation can visit the donation portion of the Artsplosure web site. We’d love to hear from those donating by December 15. We can’t thank you enough for taking the time to learn more about Friends of First Night, and for considering a donation.

Thank you again,

The Artsplosure Staff

Full Line-up Announced for First Night Raleigh 2015

Artsplosure proudly announces AUGUSTINES as the headliner of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, along with other “Out of This World” entertainment.

RALEIGH, NC – Artsplosure, the presenter of First Night Raleigh, today announced the festival’s line-up of visual and performing artists and special programs. Taking place in downtown Raleigh on Dec. 31, patrons will experience an “Out of This World” celebration with music, children’s activities and other festivities.

Admission for First Night Raleigh 2015 is now on sale at:
Area Harris Teeter & Rite Aid Pharmacy Stores
Additional Local store outlets which can be found here

This year’s festivities kick of at 2 p.m. with the Children’s Celebration at NC Museum of History, NC Museum of Natural Sciences and outdoors on the Bicentennial Plaza. Parents can have their children ring in the New Year with the Early Countdown at 7 p.m. Performances at the Main Stage begin earlier than past years, starting at 4 p.m. Later into the night, the streets of Raleigh come alive with performances in over 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh and a First Night tradition, the People’s Procession at 6 p.m.

Hailed by iTunes as “Best Alternative Album” with their recent release Rise Ye Sunken Ships, AUGUSTINES will headline this year’s main stage leading up to the countdown to 2015. Ira David Wood III returns as the countdown master of ceremonies, with the famous acorn dropping at midnight while fireworks are shot off into the night sky.

Patrons will be thrilled as the Fantastical First Night Ferris Wheel returns to Fayetteville Street. And in keeping with the “Out of This World” theme, First Night Raleigh 2015 will also host an “Alien Abduction” ride for festivalgoers to enjoy. Both amusements will open to the public at 2 p.m. on the afternoon of Dec. 31.

In addition, other artists scheduled to appear include: The Barefoot Movement, Raleigh’s own The Love Language, African American Dance Ensemble, Amelia Curran, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, North Carolina Opera singers, PopUp Chorus, Amelia Curran, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Old Man Luedecke, Sonic Escape, Moving Pieces interactive theater, “Out of This World” installation by Greg Carter, Comedy Worx, Transactors Improv Company, El Gleno Grande and many more!

A complete list of the full lineup can be found at, with admission on sale now for $10** when purchased in advance (**plus local and state sales tax). On December 31, on-site sales will be $14* for adults and $11* for children (*including local and state sales tax).

Connect with First Night Raleigh 2015!

Use hashtag #FNRaleigh

Twitter: @FNRaleigh
Instagram: @FirstNightRaleigh

New Album by Amelia Curran

You may have already heard that we have Amelia Curran playing at First Night Raleigh. Well, did we mention she has a new album out too? They Promised You Mercy was released on November 4. It has been getting rave reviews, and now we can all listen for ourselves!

Amelia’s newest album They Promised You Mercy is available to listen via a Soundcloud stream on her site.

Some of our favorites are “Somebody Somewhere” and “Song on the Radio.” What are your favorites?

Can’t wait to hear some of these new songs from Amelia at First Night 2015! Look forward to seeing her at First Baptist Church (Salisbury Street) Sanctuary at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on December 31!

Barefoot Movement to Play First Night Raleigh 2015

If you were in downtown Raleigh for IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass this past weekend, you may have caught wind of an awesome new band that was rocking out on the Martin Street Stage: The Barefoot Movement.

Called “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene” by CMT, this Nashville-based band will be helping out with this year’s Early Countdown at First Night Raleigh. The four-piece acoustic bluegrass band takes us through emotional depth with ballads and “rip-roaring barn-burners.”

Each of the four talents crowds around a single microphone for an authentic feel with singer-songwriter (and fiddler) Noah Wall (of Oxford, N.C.), mandolinist Tommy Norris, upright bassist Hasee Ciaccio and guitarist/vocalist Alex Conerly.

Join the “movement” in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve with us!

Check out one of our favorite numbers here – “Second Time Around”

PopUp Chorus at First Night Raleigh 2015

Our program director hasn’t been able to stop talking to anyone who walks in the office about how “COOL” these guys are. Without auditions, a large group of people (really, ANYONE) meet in Durham each week and enjoy singing. From M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” to Outkast’s “Hey Ya” to Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” each session is recorded and posted on the PopUp Chorus YouTube Channel. These videos go viral across the globe and you’ll see why!

PopUp Chrous will be out and about in the streets of downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve. Keep an eye on our social media channels as we’ll be joining the PopUp Chorus ourselves to see what it’s really like being thrown into the fun!

Check out more on the PopUp Chorus Facebook Page

Here is one of our favorite performances below. Enjoy!

Raleigh Natives The Love Language to Play First Night Raleigh 2015

We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that favorite local band The Love Language will be joining us for First Night Raleigh 2015! Led by frontman Stuart McLamb, the band features over 20 musicians who rotate and “never fail to impress.” McLamb has made the band an institution of “an extroverted community art project made by responsible citizens of a loosely packed scene who know that he will match whatever they contribute.”

The Love Language
We’re taking it back a few years to one of our favorite songs “Hear to Tell” in the video here. Can’t wait to see them take the stage in December!

The Love Language’s most recent album, Ruby Red, released just last summer is available for purchase or listening on their web site below.

For more information, check out their web site at The Love Language.

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