• Audra W

Art of Cool in Durham, NC

The Last weekend of September, Durham, NC hosted a multi- venue Art of Cool Music festival. For the past few years, I had no clue existed until last year when I heard of it on the local Radio station. I said I was going to go but of course I totally forgot about it and didn’t go. I made it my mission to add Art of Cool into my calendar this year. Which I am glad I kept it in my radar.

I was super excited to see that Jill Scott and Ari Lennox were going to perform so I made it my business to make sure I was there. As always, when I told my husband he didn’t seem to be interested and I was ok with going alone. It wouldn’t be him if he changed his mind. As the date came closer, he started talking about the other performers he wanted to see; Big Daddy Kane and The Juice Crew, and going to a few DJ Parties.


I pulled some strings and I was able to work alongside some people what was working for the festival! Yes, I was backstage, but don't get to excited I was no able to interview Jill Scott or Ari Lennox. Sad, I know right! There were some behind the scenes things that I don’t think I am authorized to share to explain why there weren’t any interviews.



Anyhow, I had a really good time, better than I truly expected. I highly recommend if you’re in the Durham, NC area to attend Art of Cool. Each year the artist are different, Common, Erykah Badu and Nas have performed during the festival as well.

Art of Cool was a weekend festival that started on Friday through Sunday. There were nine different venues with Durham Athletics Ball Park being the main stage, the mosaic lounge, Pinhook and Motorco were other venues with various talents at each location.

While I was standing there wanting on my pass I noticed so many women meeting up, couples taking pictures together, double dates, people riding motorized scooters, and big rang of people shopping at the vendors market, if you are interested in vendor shopping, Art of Cool had two locations for vendors. My Mom went just for the vender markets and people watching. Not a bad idea!

I really didn't know what to expect once I received my pass! Once I entered the ball park I was in shock to see how this thing was put together on the actual ball park field! The general admissions area seats was almost full , there was a VIP area with food and drinks which also gave people access the floor area that had inflated seats and a bar. I am not sure what I expected but that was not it.



As the night fell, more and more people came out, the vibe was so chill and laid back I wished more artists performed because I wanted to stay longer!

By the end of the night I met a few people, who I hung with for the rest of the night and my husband joined us. Since all of the venues were in walking distance we walked to the Durham Armory to party the night away with DJ 9thWonder. He was jamming! Did that make me sound aged? Well that’s what he playing old school music! Biggie, the percolator, Reggie, total, just a few so you can have an idea on the throwback music.



Let’s just say the night was so good I didn’t get home until 2:30 am! The party lasted all night! It made it even better it was in a Friday, something to do after work. Something out of my normal routine, a way to relax and unwind.


Here are my top recommendations why you should attend Art of Cool next year:

Change your routine- being a mommy you have a set schedule, that includes dinner, maybe grocery shopping and laying down after dinner, push that routine to the side, things will get done without you! Visiting Art of Cool is a good place to unwind, relax and joy your Friday evening.

Have a girls night/ Date Night- There were mostly women hanging out and meeting up. Leave the children at home and enjoy your friends, have some time alone or date night. There were a few double dates and single couples. Believe it or not the men were gushing over their ladies and singing to them! I would also recommend purchasing VIP tickets.

The Experience- If you have never been to Art of Cool or an outside music event, you should let this one be your first experience. There was a good mixture of music genres, there is something for all people, including a career fair, and yoga! You can also personalize your package. You can purchase the tickets as a package for the entire weekend, and single day tickets. Depending on who you want to see perform will determine how you want to purchase your tickets including visiting the other local venues like Beyu Café and The Durham Armory.

The Vendors Market- I didn't personally shop, I was actually working so I couldn’t stop for my own purposes.

It’s in Durham- Durham has grown so much since I lived there while in college. If you just want to be in the mix Durham has a lot to do for tourists downtown. There are plenty of restaurants and store front shops.

My husband and I had a really good time, I had an amazing experience working with the Public Relation team and I highly recommend next year you go with the ladies!



*disclaimer: this post is intended for Mother’s who are interested in finding moments for themselves, however after speaking to a few women there, women in general need moments like this to unwind and let go. I do not contain the right to the songs, and this post is based off my personal experiences.

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