Carolina Music Festivals is a comprehensive calendar and guide to multi-act, daylong or multiple-day music festivals in North Carolina.

September 2015

Dates may be estimated based on last year's festival until confirmed by festival organizers.


September 3 - 6    Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention - Lenoir

At the resting place of Tom Dooley's lamented victim, Laura Foster, musicians and music lovers gather each Labor Day weekend to pay homage to the legends and stories of the Yadkin River Valley. The festival includes a community dance, a daylong competition for old time and bluegrass bands, and Sunday band performances, plus children's activities, historic information, storytelling, hay rides, a duck derby race, food vendors and more.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included The Kruger Brothers, Laura Boosinger, Zephyr Lightening Bolts, and 10 more, plus competitors.

Festival site: Jones Farm


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The festival's Web site provides directions and a map to the private farm hosting the festival.

Friday: Community dance 7 to 11 p.m.
Saturday: Individual musician competitions 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., band competitions 3 to 6 p.m., finalists in all categories compete for top honors 7 to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday: free.
Saturday and Sunday: $10.

Camping: $10 per night, no hookups.

September 4 - 5    Smoky Mountain Folk Festival - Lake Junaluska

The festival presents traditional Southern Appalachian music and dance by regional fiddlers, banjo players, string bands, ballad singers, buck dancers and square dance teams, as well as the sounds of dulcimer, harmonica, jew's harp, bagpipes, spoons, saws and folk ensembles of all sorts. (See the Lake Junalaska link below; the festival website is slow to update each year.)

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Cockman Family, Spirit Fiddle, Whitewater Bluegrass Co. and about 10 more.

Festival site: Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center


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6:30 p.m. to midnight.

Free open tent show 5 to 6 p.m.; auditorium shows 6:30 to 11 p.m.

Single-day pass: $10 in advance, $12 at door.

Lake Junaluska offers special lodging packages (at the link above).

September 4 - 6    Labor Day Family Bluegrass Festival - Garner

The festival is hosted by the coffee house run by bluegrass musician and bandleader Lorraine Jordan.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included The Grascals, Junior Sisk and Rambler's Choice, Marty Rabon and Full Circle, and three more.

Festival site: Lorraine Jordan' Coffee House and Music


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7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

$20 in advance; $25 at door.
Only 90 tickets will be sold.

September 5    John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival - High Point

The Labor Day weekend festival is sponsored by The Friends of John Coltrane, which works to preserve and celebrate the life and music of John Coltrane and to enrich the lives of others through the introduction of jazz and other musical genres. It is in its 5th year in 2015.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup was George Benson, Boney James, Morgan James, Andreas Varady, Latimore.

Festival site: Festival Park


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Gates open at noon.

$60 in advance; $70 at gate.
VIP (parking, reserved up-front seats, tent with food and drinks): $100.

September 5    WhoDat Festival - Greensboro

The volunteer-run, non-commercial festival celebrates North Carolina artists and musicians debuted. In addition to electric and acoustic stages, the festival offers inclusive art projects, skill shares, open mics, jam sessions, art and food vendors and more, including a beard and mustache competition by the N.C. Beard and Mustache Club.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Mipso, Quilla, The Bronzed Chorus, The Leeves and eight more.

Festival site: Doodad Farm


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Gates open and open mic performances begin at 11 a.m.

Suggested donation of $15 to $30 goes totally to bands playing the festival.

Camping onsite.

September 5 - 6    God of Second Chances Music Festival - Cherryville

The gospel festival is presented by the Catawba Valley Music Revival, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and promoting live music and arts in Catawba County and surrounding areas of North and South Carolina. In addition to music, festivities include corn hole and ladder ball games for kids, and home-cooked food concessions. The same group puts on a bluegrass festival later in September.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Michael Combs, Leon Everette and the Faith Riders, The Pioneers and six more.

Festival site: Private Farm on Coot Williams Road


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Gates open 9 a.m., music begins at noon.

$10 in advance, $15 at gate; younger than 13 free.
Group sales: two free tickets with purchase of 10.

Free parking and camping (bathhouse on-site).

No alcohol.

September 5 - 6    ProgDay - Chapel Hill

The intimate festival of progressive rock music features artists from all over the world. The festival, which is in its 21st year in 2015, embraces a Friday night pre-show at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Click on the photo for more information.

Artists

TBA. 2014 lineup included Alex Carpani Band with David Jackson, Backhand, The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra and eight more.

Festival site: Storybrook Farm (map), Local 506


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Music starts 8 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) pass $100, daily $60; patron pass for $140 includes preferred parking.
Younger than 16 free, ages 16 to 18 half off.
Friday pre-show: $10.

No overnight camping.

September 6    New River Blues Festival - Grassy Creek

A Sunday afternoon in the mountains with acclaimed artists performing in a picturesque setting on the banks of the New River. The King Bees are the festival hosts.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup was Johnny Neel, Charlie Sayles and Tony Fazio, Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen, Boo Hanks, The King Bees.

Festival site: River House Country Inn


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1 to 6 p.m.; gates open at noon.

$15 in advance, $18 at gate; younger than 12 free.

Food, beer and wine will be on sale.

No camping onsite; camping nearby at New River State Park.

September 10 - 12    Hopscotch - Raleigh

Hopscotch, put on by The Independent Weekly of Durham, presents more than 175 national and international bands from rock, hip-hop, alt-country, heavy metal, dance, punk, classical, noise, drone, folk and more at 15 downtown venues. The festival also presents bands at more than 30 day parties happening throughout the city.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Spoon, St. Vincent, Mastodon, De La Soul, The War on Drugs, Sun Kil Moon, and dozens more.

Festival site: City Plaza, Fletcher Opera Theater and several clubs downtown.


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Multi-day Hopscotch tickets go on sale early in the year. As groups of "early bird" tickets sell out, the price rises. Prices include all taxes and fees.
Three-day pass: $95 "very limited," $105 "a larger batch"; $125 regular.
Three-day VIP pass: $180.
Daily all-access (on sale in June): $65 Thursday, $85 Friday and Saturday.
City Plaza shows (on sale in June): $40.

September 10 - 12    Music Fest at Blue Bear Mountain - Todd

The campground-based show features side-by-side stages and attendance limited to 500 people.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, The Carter Brothers Band, The Harris Brothers Band, and five more.

Festival site: Blue Bear Mountain Campground


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Two Day Pass: $55 in advance, $60 at gate.
Friday: $25 in advance, $30 at gate.
Saturday: $35 in advance, $40 at gate. Younger than 13 free.

Camping: $90 per person, includes two-day festival pass, Thursday-Saturday night camping.

September 11 - 12    Catawba Valley Music Revival Music Fest - Cherryville

Catawba Valley Music Revival Inc. works to preserve and promote live music in the Unifour and surrounding areas of North and South Carolina by making sure it can be heard, appreciated and celebrated in a family-friendly environment.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included The Roys, The Hurleys, The Harris Brothers and six more.

Festival site: Private Farm on Coot Williams Road


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Music starts 6 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday; headliners on at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Some bands play two sets.

Three-day pass: $35 in advance, $45 at gate.
Daily: $20 in advance; $25 at gate.
Younger than 13 free.

Free camping with showers available.

September 11 - 12    Bull Durham Blues Festival - Durham

The Bull Durham festival has changed repeatedly over its 25-plus years, but in 2014 returned to its usual format of presenting blues and R&B acts in an auditorium show Friday night followed by an outdoor festival at the historic baseball park on Saturday. Food and craft vendors also join the outdoor show.

Artists
TBA. 2104 lineup included Kermit Ruffins, Shemekia Copeland, John Dee Holeman and eight more.

Festival site: St. Joseph's Performance Hall, Durham Athletic Park (map)


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Doors open 5 p.m., music at 6 (both days).

Friday: $35 in advance, $40 at door.
Saturday: $45 in advance, $50 at gate.

September 11 - 12    Mountain Song Festival - Brevard

Proceeds of the Brevard Music Center show hosted by Steep Canyon Rangers benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Steep Canyon Rangers, Seldom Scene, Kruger Brothers and four more.

Festival site: Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, Brevard Music Center


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Gates open 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday.

Two-day pass: $80; Friday $40, Saturday $47.50.
General admission seating; Children younger than 10 free on lawn or on lap of paying adult in auditorium.

September 11 - 13    National Folk Festival - Greensboro

The National Folk Festival, the oldest festival of its kind in the nation, is put on by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. It presents about 30 acts for free on six to seven stages ranging in size from large, open-air venues to small, intimate acoustic-style stages. There will also be dance performances, children's activities, a North Carolina folklife area, a festival marketplace, and regional and ethnic foods. The festival moves to a new location every three years and has chosen to be in Greensboro from 2015 to 2017. It celebrates its 75th year in 2015.

Artists
TBA. Previous performers include Lurrie Bell Blues Band, Aurelio Martinez, Stooges Brass Band, Christine Salem, Yves Lambert Trio, Rhythm of Rajasthan and many more.

Festival site: Downtown Greensboro


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Details TBA.

September 12    In The Pines Bluegrass Festival - Goldsboro

The nonprofit North Carolina Bluegrass Association presented the inaugural In the Pines Bluegrass Festival in 2014. In addition to music, it presents arts and crafts vendors, raffles and more in an alcohol-free, family-friendly environment.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, Nu-Blu, Al Batten and the Bluegrass Reunion and three more.

Festival site: Waynesborough Park

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some bands are to play two sets.

$20 in advance, $25 at gate.
Younger than 12 free.

September 12    Charlotte Sunset Jazz Festival - Charlotte

The free festival presents a nationally known and local smooth jazz acts.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Adrian Crutchfield, Kenneth Carr and the Tigers and three more.

Festival site: Symphony Park


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2 to 9 p.m.

September 12 - 13    Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan - Danbury

The Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan presents a couple of well-known headliners and local acts, plus a children's music stage, along with dance, a parade, arts and crafts and other activities in a park on the Dan River. The festival, which is put on by the Stokes County Arts Council, is in its 41st year in 2015.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Lonesome River Band; John Cowan, John McFee and Friends; Blues Creek and about 10 more.

Festival site: Moratock Park


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9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m Saturday, parade at 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Daily: $50
VIP pass (limited number, includes front row seat, backstage pass, parking, food and drink, souvenirs): $85 per day.

Parking at Moratock Park: $10 (limited number)
Shuttle service from Stokes County Government Center (1014 Main Street) and Hilltop Market Tubing parking area (1039 NC 8 and 89 South) near the intersection of Sheppard Mill Road. Here's more parking info.

September 17 - 19    Hoppin' John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention - Silk Hope

Shakori Hills hosts competitions that award cash prizes in Old Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Folk Song, Bass, Youth Musicianship, Dance and Youth Dance categories. There are also square dances, musicians' workshops, a hoppin' john cookoff, and arts and crafts, musical instrument and food vendors.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Five Points Rounders, Berlicoco, The Hoppin' Johnnies, and three more plus competitors.

Festival site: Shakori Hills


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7 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $22 in advance, $26 at gate; competitors $18 in advance, $20 at gate.
Thursday $6, Friday $8, Saturday $12.

Competitions and/or dances take place on the Grove Stage and in the Dance Tent (see our Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance page).

Camping: one vehicle and up to two tents $18 in advance, $20 at gate; RVs $26 in advance, $30 at gate; 110 volt electric hookup $15 (limited number). Outdoor hot showers available. Early camping available.

September 17 - 19    Dailey Vincent Land Fest - Denton

The popular bluegrass band Dailey and Vincent started their own festival in 2013. It includes a band contest with cash prizes and stage time for winners.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Dailey and Vincent, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Gene Watson, Darrell Webb Band and 11 more.

Festival site: Denton Farm Park


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Three-day pass: $130 reserved, $110 general admission; age 15 to 17 $67.50 reserved, $57.50 general admission.
Two-day pass: $80 general admission; age 15 to 17 $37.50 general admission.
One-day pass: $45 general admission; age 15 to 17 $25 general admission.
Younger than 15 free general admission with paying adult.

Tent camping with one vehicle is free with two-day pass. See the website for RV pricing.

September 18 - 20    Smiling Frog Music and Art Festival - Snow Camp

The weekend hosted by JuJuGuru (and previously known as Camp JuJu) includes music, Khmer dancers, stand-up comedian, food vendors, a bonfire and camping.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included JuJuGuru, Abe Reid and the Spikedrivers, Jive Mother Mary and 16 more.

Festival site: Little Creek Vineyard


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Weekend pass: $20.
Daily: $10.

September 19    Apex Jazz and Music Festival - Apex

The festival presents jazz and blues on an outdoor stage and at several clubs, and by street musicians throughout the day. There's also a beer garden. It is in its 5th year in 2015.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Peak City Sound, The Soul Psychadelique Orchestra, Heart Brigade and 10 more.

Festival site: Downtown Apex


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Main stage 3:30 to 11:30 p.m.; club shows 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

$10; beer garden drink tickets $5 each, or five for $20.

September 19    The Blowing Rock Music Festival - Blowing Rock

The day of Americana, folk, blues, rock and jazz on two stages at the site of the famous mountain tourist attraction debuted in 2014.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included The Harris Brothers, Moore Brothers, Wayne Henderson and nine more.

Festival site: The Blowing Rock


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Gates open 9 a.m., music starts at 11 a.m.

$25 in advance, $30 at gate.
Reserved seats: $35 in advance.
VIP tents and seating "available" (see website at link above).
Younger than 12 free.

September 19    Brewgrass Festival - Asheville

The festival hosted by the Great Smokies Craft Brewers Association presents beer from about 50 local brewers and several bluegrass bands as a benefit for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Western North Carolina.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup was Smoke from the Kitchen, Blue Highway, Lost River Cavemen, Fox Fire.

Festival site: Memorial Stadium


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1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

$55.

"This is an event for adults," the website says. "But if you have to bring the kids, they are welcomed for the price of a designated driver ticket. Kids under 7 get in free." Anyone younger than 18 must be with a parent.

September 23 - 26    Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival - Manteo

The festival debuted in 2012 and has established itself as a major fall event on the Outer Banks featuring top bluegrass acts, a band competition, late-night street dance and more. The producers of this festival also presents a 4th of July bluegrass festival in Louisburg.

Artists
Wednesday: Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Darrell Webb Band, Trinity River Band, Corey Hensley and Friends, Gospel Plowboys, Velvet Blue.
Thursday: Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Nu Blu, Johnny Staats and Delivery Boys, Lonely Heart String Band, Little Roy and Lizzie, Turning Ground.
Friday: Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Raybon, The Roys, The Spinney Brothers, Adkins and Loudermilk, The Church Sisters.
Saturday: Cherryholmes, Lonesome River Band, Dailey and Vincent, ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, Steve Dilling and Sideline, Mountain Faith, Volume Five.

Festival sites: Roanoke Island Festival Park


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Gates open 10 a.m.

Four-day pass: $110 (limited in advance; at gate TBA); ages 7 to 12 $50.
Daily: $40; ages 7 to 12 $15.
VIP 4-Day Passport (chair in front of stage, backstage access, reserved parking on the island and souvenir gift): $200.

All non-VIP parking is at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, where a $5 shuttle (all-day pass) is available.

September 25 - 26    H Blast! - Locust Hill

The festival presents long sets and short breaks as part of an "art fair of all kinds." Admission is limited to 500. Festival organizers began a May festival called Spring Fever in 2014.

Artists
TBA. 2104 lineup included Urban Soil, Aliver Hall, Black Narrows and eight more.

Festival site: Wagon Wheel Road


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Weekend pass: $60, available at shows by bands in the lineup and at the gate.
Younger than 12 free.

Free camping; $10 per person Thursday.

September 26    French Broad Brew Fest - Hot Springs

The festival presents a celebration of music, the mountains and craft beer. The festivals producers also present the spring French Broad River Festival.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka and Territory and five more.

Festival site: Hot Springs Resort & Spa Campground


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10 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

$75 (includes T-shirt, 5-ounce commemorative souvenir sampling glass, unlimited beer samplings)
Designated driver or younger than 21: $60.
Must be at least 12 years old to attend.

Camping free with admission, but it's $25 to park in the campground.

September 26    3B Music Festival - Union Grove

The 3B festival presents country, bluegrass, blues and barbecue, plus crafts and more in a benefit for the American Renaissance School.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Rockie Lynne, Misty River Band, Mel Jones and eight more.

Festival sites: Fiddler's Grove Campground


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11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

$10 in advance, $12 at the gate.
Younger than 15 free if accompanied by an adult.

Fiddler's Grove is an alcohol-free facility.

September 27 - 28    Carrboro Music Festival - Carrboro

The festival presents about 150 acts from around the Triangle in all sorts of genres at about two dozen indoor and outdoor venues all day and into the night.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Marie Vanderbeck Group, Tim Smith and Eileen Regan and friends, Rhonda Robichaux Band and many more.

Festival site: Downtown Carrboro


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2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday times vary at stage and venues but outdoor stages generally start at 1 or 3 p.m. and run to 7 p.m.; indoor venues, especially bars/nightclubs go into the evening. The festival's website has alphabetical, chronological and stage schedules.

A shuttle bus runs from remote parking to downtown between 1 and 6 p.m.

September 29 - October 3    Wide Open Bluegrass Festival - Raleigh

The International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass annual convention, awards show and fan festival relocated from Nashville to Raleigh for 2013 through 2018. It presents newgrass, jamgrass, traditional bluegrass, old-time and more by more than 150 acts in Wide Open Bluegrass at the downtown amphitheater, the Bluegrass Ramble showcase performances at downtown clubs and the Convention Center, and a free street festival put on by the City of Raleigh. The convention also includes a business conference, music expo, a bluegrass-oriented film festival (new for 2014), workshops, fan / celebrity meet-and-greets and more.
The IBMA Awards show, which is also a part of the weekend, requires separate tickets (see below). Click on the photo for more information.

Artists
TBA. 2014 lineup included Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder with Bruce Hornsby, Del McCoury Band, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and many more.

Festival site: Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Convention Center, City Plaza, Nearby Clubs


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Convention Center: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Red Hat Amphitheater: 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Bluegrass Ramble: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Two-day pass with reserved seat at amphitheater: $120 IBMA member, $140 nonmember.
Two-day general admission pass: $80 IBMA member, $100 nonmember; younger than 15: $60 IBMA member, $70 nonmember.
Daily general admission pass: $40 IBMA member, $50 nonmember; younger than 15: $30 IBMA member, $35 nonmember.

Bluegrass Ramble: full pass $65 IBMA member, $75 nonmember; $20 per evening IBMA members, $25 nonmembers.

Bluegrass Wide Open tickets include admission to expo as well as amphitheater and convention center stages. Bluegrass Ramble tickets are separate but are included with business conference registration.

IBMA Awards: Lifetime IBMA Members - $90, $50, $40.
Organizational, Individual, or Grass Roots Club IBMA Members - $95, $55, $45.
Non-members: $105, $65, $55.

Camping: N.C. State Fairgrounds (about 5 miles away with a shuttle available) $25 per night for tents, campers or RVs with full hookups (50 sites available). RV camping with no hookups adjacent to convention center $30 per night (30 sites).

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