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Southbound and Down
Wed.-Thurs., 10/24-25, 7 p.m.
Soapbox Laundro Lounge
255 N. Front Street
$10/one day or $15/both •

Though there is never a short-age of good shows at the Soapbox, there is nothing in town that measures up to the level of epic Southbound and Down has created. Wilmington, hang on to your shorts and get ready to party! Thirty-four bands will play Southbound over two days October 24th and 25th.

It’s the second year the Soapbox hosts Southbound, which came about as a result of founders Charlie Smith and Kelly Sweitzer being unable to find tickets for Fest, an annual punk music festival featuring over 100 bands in Gainesville, Florida. “Basically, we wanted to go to Fest last year and the tickets were sold out,” Sweitzer says. “So Charlie e-mailed 50 bands, and I was like ‘Oh, OK, I guess we’re going to do this!”

Though the soon-to-be married duo both work at the Soapbox—as bar manager and booking manager respectively—Southbound has been their first opportunity to plan an event of this magnitude. Before they came up with the idea to host the shindig, they enjoyed several bands who would end up playing the Soapbox sporadically over the weeks leading up to Fest as they made their way down the coast. Smith and Sweitzer set out to get as many bands as possible to play in the two days before Fest. A few hundred e-mails later, the first Southbound was born and met with amazing support.

“This year, we had at least five or six of the bands get up with us ahead of time, asking if we were doing it again,” Smith notes. “Then other bands that heard about us contacted us to try and get on [the bill].”

Smith and Sweitzer went through the Fest lineup, hand-picking their favorites and choosing new bands they thought sounded great. This year’s lineup includes both national and local acts, which will make for a diverse group.

“There’s a good mixed scene,” Smith says. “There’s all kinds of different genres that click together in a way—from acoustic to some heavier stuff, pop to indie bands.”

Headlining Wednesday’s festivities is Wilmington ska band Madd Hatters. In fact, local bands make up a fairly large chunk of the lineup—Villain, Virgin Lung, the legendary monkeyknifefight (founder Charlie Smith’s band), Crusades, Museum Mouth and Atlantic Crush (featuring encore’s own John Wolfe on drums). Thursday’s headliner is Chapel Hill’s Valient Thorr. There will also be a handful more NC bands such as Almost People (Raleigh) and Iselia (Lumberton).

“In the last year or two, the music scene here in Wilmington has just blown up,” Sweitzer remarks. “I really feel like we’ve got some seriously strong talent that is going to perfectly complement the other bands that are coming down. I’m really proud of the scene here recently. It makes me really happy to be part of it.”

Though many acts will play in a short span of time, folks needn’t worry about missing anyone either. Sweitzer and Smith thought of everything. “We timed it out so that everybody can pretty much see every band, or at least part of their show,” Sweitzer explains.

The bands will start their shows at roughly 15-minute intervals, beginning in the middle of the set of the band that played before them. When one show ends, another begins. Also, there will be an hour-and-a-half window for acoustic performers, while comedy shows take place downstairs in Nutt Street Comedy Room.

“There’s a little something for everybody,” Sweitzer notes. “I don’t care if you listen to Modern Rock (98.7) or the Penguin (93.7)—there’s going to be someone you like.”

Tickets are available online at for $10 for one day or $15 for both. Folks also can buy them at the Soapbox (cash and credit card), Gravity Records (cash only), Surf City Surf Shop (cash only) and Momentum Surf and Skate (cash only). Doors are at 6 p.m. on each day; the shows will start around 7 p.m.


Madd Hatters: 12:45 a.m. until
Villain 12-12:30 a.m.
Elway 11:15-11:45 p.m.
We’re Sinking 10:30-11 p.m.
The Holy Mess 9:45-9:15 p.m.
Virgin Lung 9-9:30 p.m.
Let Me Run 8:15-8:45 p.m.
the Curse 7:30-8 p.m.

Restorations 12:15 a.m. until
Red Collar 11:30 p.m.-12 a.m.
Arliss Nancy 10:45-11:15 p.m.
PJ Bond 10:10-10:35 p.m.
Brian McGee 9:40-10:05 p.m.
Ryan Bates 9:10-9:35 p.m.
A Bottle Volcanic 8:30-9 p.m.
Shores 7:45-8:15 p.m.
Museum Mouth 7-7:30 p.m.


Valient Thorr 12:45 a.m. until
Crusades 12-12:30 a.m.
After the Fall 11:15-11:45 p.m.
Anchors 10:30-11 p.m.
Antillectual 9:45-10:15 p.m.
Salvacion 9-9:30 p.m.
Iselia 8:15-8:45 p.m.
Atlantic Crush 7:30-8 p.m.

The Snips 12:15 a.m. until
Cattle Drums 11:30 p.m.-12 a.m.
monkeyknifefight 10:45-11:15 p.m.
Andrew Kane 10:10-10:35 p.m.
Ryan Kazantzis 9:40-10:05 p.m.
Brandon Tracy 9:10-9:35 p.m.
Handsome Foxes 8:30-9 p.m.
Almost People 7:45-8:15 p.m.
The Great

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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