Carolina Native will eXXpedition for Science

Disclaimer: This is a shameless plug, but I am way too excited not to share this with my Beach Carolina family of readers. plastic debrisBio Pic 1bio pic underwater 2 This extremely proud Carolina native is so stoked to share that she is officially part of the crew for the 2015 Amazon eXXpedition, yep I spelled it right. "eXXpedition" is a series of voyages to "make the unseen seen", from the toxins in our bodies to the toxins in the seas.  The overall mission is to explore the issue of chemicals, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens in our personal and global environment that can cause disease, in particular raising awareness of those linked to the rise in breast cancer rates. The initiative is to engage women in scientific narratives relating to the consumer choices they make, and their long term health impacts on themselves and our environment. During this eXXpedition voyage, the key is to collect environmental samples to assess plastic and pollutants, feeding in these samples to wider studies investigating the impacts of toxins and plastics pollutants and linking this sampling to narratives of ecosystem health, personal health, and the products we consume. The eXXpedition crew, including myself, will participate in biomonitoring with the UN founded initiative ‘Safe Planet‘ to assess personal exposure to known toxic substances. Through personal exploration of our internal environment the focus is to better understand the levels of toxic exposure in women to work on ways to reduce such exposure. Each eXXpedition voyage includes specific scientific research that will be conducted at sea as part of the over-all mission.  My research focus will be studying plastic chemical absorption and plastic accumulation in the ocean and nearby solid waste facility infrastructure as it relates to such accumulation.  I will also be working on developing curriculum for formal and informal educators to use in regards to marine debris prevention and best management practices for removal. The plastic research includes studying the solid waste and recycling infrastructure of Recife, Brazil and Guyana, which will include waste audits and other data collection methods at solid waste facilities. As part of the actual at sea expedition there will be a heavy focus on plastic collection in the ocean during the 15 day journey sailing from Brazil to Guyana, which will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Georgia studies and Dr. Jenna Jambeck. Manta trawl sampling will be conducted along the way in order to collect plastics that are larger than 333 microns. GPS locations of the trawls as well as locations of specific types of debris found will be tracked using the Marine Debris Tracker App. Bucket sampling will be done on a daily basis to sample microplastics at several different levels. Floating debris will also be collected and tracked using the marine debris tracker. You can even keep up-to-date with news of our journey through different blog sites and track our plastic data collection information as well as GPS through the marine debris tracker app website. I also plan to study any plastic or other debris accumulation on the bottom of the ocean in specific areas that are within recreational diving depth if the weather conditions are conducive. This research is all part of a 15 day journey in the month of December 2015 sailing from Recife, Brazil to Guyana, but the research being done here will be far reaching and will serve to provide useful information on reducing plastic accumulation and pollutants around the world and for future generations to come. As an eastern North Carolina native, I am extremely proud to represent the US and North Carolina on this crew that includes female researchers from all over the world.  I am also very excited to be able to share the experience with all of my readers back home during the creation of eXXpedition's inspiring narrative of female leadership, personal and environmental exploration, and cultural conversation space aboard Sea Dragon, a 72 foot scientific exploration vessel. So, my shameless plug is asking you to help fund my part of the research. You can make contributions to this project here: http://www.gofundme.com/vhn5d6s No donation is too small and every donation is very much appreciated.  You can keep track of my voyage, research, and blogs during the trip at www.eXXpedition.com and you can track the debris I will be collecting here: http://www.marinedebris.engr.uga.edu/ Wishing you all Calm Seas and Blues Skies

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Good Clean Fun this Saturday, May 9th

cleanup high school Looking for some good clean fun this weekend?  Keep Onslow Beautiful is offering up two locations to come out and join your friends and neighbors for a beach cleanup. Beach cleanups are not only fun and educational, but they are extremely rewarding.  By cleaning the beach near where you live, you add value to your community and are restoring your community environment. If that doesn't totally grab your attention enough to mark this Saturday on your calendar, they are also offering SAT credit hours for high schoolers and if you arrive early enough you can receive a free Earth and Surf Fest t-shirt while supplies last.  They also promise fresh salty air and free sand foot exfoliation. These events will be held in North Topsail Beach and Hammocks Beach State Park on Saturday, May 9th. Supplies can be picked up from 9:30am-11am at the North Topsail Beach town park picnic tables near the tennis courts.  The cleanup lasts as long as you would like to take. Take a 15 minute stroll or spend all day collecting debris and tracking trends.  It's all up to you. The other cleanup location will be held at Hammocks Beach State Park and supplies can be picked up from 10am until noon at the park's office and ferry ticket booth.  Ferry fees do apply, but this is a cool opportunity if you have never been. Hammocks Beach is a great way to escape from the norm and see an island of unspoiled beach that is free of development.  Be sure to bring the whole family and make a day of it.  This cleanup will be a pack-in, pack-out event meaning that all debris collected will come back with you on the ferry. Keep Onslow Beautiful committee members will be showcasing how to use the very popular Marine Debris Tracker App that you can down for free on your smart phone.  It is a cool way to track the debris you pickup no matter where you are.  It automatically tracks your location and I personally find it very competitive (find me at username treehuggerlisa). "Marine debris is a problem that continues to grow.  Our waterways and oceans are constantly polluted with a wide variety of marine debris ranging from polystyrene trays and plastic bags to derelict fishing equipment and abandoned boats. Marine life, such as several Fish species, Whales, Sharks, Sea Turtles, and Birds have been known to ingest marine debris or become entangled in marine debris, which may lead to injury, intestinal blockage, and death.  Marine debris is an Eastern North Carolina concern not only because of the threats to our native wildlife, our ecosystem and our own health, but it also washes up on beaches and shorelines degrading the environment, and effecting our local economy and tourism. "  -- NC Marine Debris Symposium cleanup bagcleanup straws See you there!!

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Underwater Obsessed: James J. Francesconi Reef Project

Reef Project Poster Being underwater obsessed in North Carolina means also having a complete and total addiction for the magical lore and exploration of shipwrecks. North Carolina holds the brass porthole to some of the World’s best diving and marine life habitat areas. Our mysterious “Graveyard of the Atlantic” is a proud heritage with a rich history that we hear ghost stories about in our youth and many of us venture out and explore as we get older. As an eastern North Carolina youngster, I recall many tales of such wrecks including stories from my favorite folklore novelist, Charles Harry Whedbee. Shipwrecks, as an adult bring an entire new meaning, especially as a diver. To see them up-close and touch and feel them there at the bottom of the ocean, it brings up an entire new reverence for protecting and preserving the historical significance, but it also makes me realize how vital they are to our marine life habitat. Right off our coast in North Carolina, World War II left behind a catalog of wrecks that biologists find provide a beneficial hard structure habitat which is crucial since most of these portions of the ocean are dominated by sandy bottoms. The hard structure that shipwrecks provide offer a sanctuary for hundreds of species and provides a much needed substrate for other marine species that would otherwise not exist in these sandy bottoms. When I dive wrecks, I find that some of the most fascinating marine animals are attracted to them, including my favorite – sharks! Since shipwrecks are so crucial to North Carolina for marine habitat and our local tourism economy, I am very excited about the new shipwreck, a 180’ former Menhaden boat that has been announced to become a new underwater reef in honor of our former North Carolina Reef Coordinator, James J. Francesconi. The plan is to sink the wreck in approximately 60-70 feet of water near the wreck of the USS Indra, which is about 12 miles past the Beaufort Inlet. James J. Francesconi started working at the NC Division of Marine Fisheries in 1987. In 2000 he became the Reef Program Coordinator where he served for 14 years before losing his battle with leukemia on July 18, 2014. This wreck reef project will memorialize and honor his contributions to the NC Reef Program, including his efforts resulted in hundreds of improvements to artificial reefs in North Carolina spanning from the northern Outer Banks to Long Bay, including the creation of the New River Reef off the coast of Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune, the Jim Knight Reef close to Oak Island, the Bob Black Reef located near Frying Pan Tower, and the sinking of the USCG SPAR, the Titan Tug, the Captain Greg Mickey, the Pawtucket Tug, Capt. Charlie, as well as the USCG Falcon aircraft. Many divers are familiar with these sites and now have the opportunity, not only to contribute to a new dive site and help create marine life habitat, but also to memorialize the man who helped make some of their favorite dive sites happen. The process of creating this underwater memorial has been possible recently due to the continued efforts of the interim Reef Coordinator, Gregg Bodnar, Tim Mullane of American Marine Group, and a local group of fundraising and reef activists including our local dive community. However, creating this underwater memorial is a large financial undertaking and the JJF Reef Project is still seeking donors. A significant portion of the memorial funds have been raised through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles license plate program that began in 2005. North Carolina divers who have purchased license plates with the red and white “diver-down flag” have raised around $70,000.00 and those funds are earmarked for the development of North Carolina’s offshore artificial reefs. If you would like to be a part of the JJF Reef Project and thus support marine habitat, fisheries, and tourism, you can visit http://www.GoFundMe.com/JJF-Reef-Project and follow the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JJFReefProject. The fundraising group is headed up by Bobby Purifoy of Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City, Debby Boyce of Discovery Diving in Beaufort, and Carteret County diver Steve Broadhurst. They have set up accounts for donations with the East Carolina Artificial Reef Association as well as the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. You can also donate by entering a raffle at Olympus Dive Center. The raffle is for a dive charter with Olympus and chances are you will be able to visit one of the awesome wrecks mentioned here in this article. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the JJF Reef Project. Please visit http://www.olympusdiving.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/olympusdivecenter for more information. For more information about the North Carolina Reef Program, please contact Gregg Bodnar, interim North Carolina Reef Coordinator at Gregg.bodnar@ncdenr.gov and (252) 808-8053. Blue Skies and Calm Seas to you all.

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Toes in the Water Parrot Head Club of Topsail: 4th Annual Phlip Phlop Bar Hop

TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC April 23, 2015 - The Toes In The Water Parrot Head Club of Topsail along with The National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Carolinas Chapter will be holding the "4th Annual Phlip Phlop Bar Hop" on Saturday, May 2, 2015 between 2:00 - 8:00 PM. Toes in the Water Pub Crawl flyer2The Pub Crawl starts and ends at the Brass Pelican (Surf City, NC) with stops at:

  • The Trailer Bar,
  • Buddy's,
  • Crab Pot,
  • Gilligan's,
  • Sears Landing and,
  • Oasis Bar.
There is a $30.00 charge per person for t-shirt, after party admission and transportation only during the pub crawl. 454 at Brass PelicanThere will also be a Silent Auction at Hulas beginning at noon and ending at 8:00 PM. After party at the Brass Pelican with the band 454 (from Raleigh) performing at 9:00 PM. Limited seats available on the bus. Register early at http://tiparrotheads.webs.com/pubcrawl    

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Honoring Our Past, Embracing Our Future, Celebrating 75 Years: United States Coast Guard Art Contest for Students

ELIZABETH CITY, NC April 23, 2015 - Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City concluded an Art contest for students in Elementary, Middle and High Schools within the Pasquotank County–Elizabeth City school system and private schools in Elizabeth City as part of our 75th Anniversary Celebration. We are proud to announce that we received more than 100 entries from all grade levels. These amazing works of art will be on display at the Museum of the Albemarle from April 14, 2015 through May 29th, 2015, the day that Elizabeth City will officially be designated as a “Coast Guard City”. Winners will be announced and prizes presented on Saturday, May 16th, on the Main Stage of the 2015 North Carolina Potato Festival.

Museum of the Albemarle

Museum of the Albemarle

This year marks the 75th anniversary since the commissioning of the very first Coast Guard Command in Elizabeth City. The Coast Guard has grown over those 75 years to seven separate commands in Elizabeth City and in honor of our 75th anniversary, the Coast Guard Base recently hosted a kick-off and cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate a series of planned events to celebrate this historic year. 2015 will be a truly memorable year for the Coast Guard and our community. 75 years of rich history in Elizabeth City, officially naming as a “Coast Guard City,” and the North Carolina Potato Festival will feature a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer as its mascot. The Coast Guard is also planning a series of events to commemorate 2015, including a 7.5K Fun Run/Walk on May 16th, Time Capsule and a Historic Building Dedication, among others. The 7.5K Run will be held at 8:00 AM at Charles Creek Park and is only $10 to sign up, and you will get a limited edition shirt. Sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/ElizabethCity/NCPFRUNWALK. All three First place winners of the art contest will have their art-work on permanent exhibition in the U.S. Coast Guard Base Command Building.   Free Family Program For More Information Call 252-335-1453 The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC. (252)335-1453. www.museumofthealbemarle.com. Find us on Facebook! Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays and State Holidays. Serving Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties, the Museum is the northeast regional history museum of the North Carolina Division of State History Museums within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.   About The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources: The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission to enrich lives and communities creates opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.   Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art; NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and economic stimulus engines for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state; developing and supporting access to traditional and online collections such as genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.   NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber Bike & Dine Week Returns

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC April 21, 2015 - May is national biking month and Chamber Bike & Dine Week, presented by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, May 2nd through May 9th, offers bicycling enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy fantastic cuisine island-wide. Chamber Bike & Dine Week 2015Now in its third year, Chamber Bike & Dine Week, sponsored by Coligny Plaza, celebrates the island's ranking among the nation's best destinations for biking and fine dining. Participating restaurants will offer Bike & Dine Week menus to patrons arriving by bike along with special dining offers. Bicycle Friendly Community - SilverWith a full line-up of events, Chamber Bike & Dine Week celebrates the island's bicycle friendly setting with island-wide bike and dine specials, coffee and lunch meet-ups at various Coligny Plaza restaurants, the chamber's Wednesday after work networking ride at Bomboras, Thursday's bike to work day, Friday's Bikes, Brews and Bites leaving from Captain Woody's at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday's community beach bike ride.   The Community Beach Bike Ride @ Coligny, starts Saturday, May 9th at 9:00 a.m. at Coligny Beach Park. The ride, organized by the Town of Hilton Head Island and the Bicycle Advisory Committee is an open-to-all free bike ride from Coligny Beach to Palmetto Dunes and back.   It's a great week to bike and dine with choices from Captain Woody's to Ruby Lee's Charbar Co.,The Smokehouse, Bomboras, Black Marlin Bayside Grill and more. Participating restaurants and a full events schedule are listed on the Chamber's website at www.ChamberBikeandDine.com.
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Men With Faces CD release party in Downtown Goldsboro

GOLDSBORO, NC April 21, 2015 - The Local band MEN WITH FACEs (www.menwithfaces.com) is releasing its first original Album “Goldsboro” on April 24 at a CD release party at the Flying Shamrock in Downtown Goldsboro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZnUxWfIxtA Men with Faces was formed in 2012 by Lead singer/Guitar player Eric Schreffler. The member got together while playing together in the Worship band at the Princeton/Goldsboro church, The Bridge. The members consist of Dave Vandergrift on Keyboards, Greyson Potter on bass and Phillip Rhodes on Drums. The album contains 6 songs including a remake of Rocketman. “We are a combination of The Eagles and John Mayer”, says Eric Schreffler. “It has been almost a year process and we are so excited about getting our music out there”. The Album is being mixed and mastered by the Kinston Engineer, John Harrell. It will be available at the April 24 show, through the men with faces website, iTunes and CD baby.

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Lowcountry Giving Day Is May 5th!

All Check Donations Postmarked by This Friday, Apr. 24, Will Be Accepted. Please Consider Making a Contribution to Charleston Stage.   Dear Friends of Charleston Stage, Lowcountry Giving Day is here again, and we would like to ask for your support on May 5th. Last year's Giving Day made it possible for Charleston Stage to receive over $15,000 in matching funds, and we hope you will consider contributing this year. Lowcountry Giving Day Your valued, completely tax-deductible contribution will play a major part in Charleston Stage's portion of the matching funds designated for arts organizations on this day. Thanks to your support, Charleston Stage is not only able to produce full-scale professional productions at the Historic Dock Street Theatre, but through our extensive education programs, provide imaginative theatre experiences and educational opportunities to more than 15,000 Lowcountry youth.   It is now easier than ever to contribute: To Donate By Check (April 20 - 24) Make Checks Payable to Coastal Community Foundation Include "For Charleston Stage" on the Memo Line Mail Checks to Charleston Stage - (PO Box 356, Charleston, SC  29402) Mail Between April 20 - 24 - (Postmark must be dated between April 20 - 24) To Donate By Credit Card (May 5th) Visit our Website, www.charlestonstage.com, on May 5th Click on the Link "Lowcountry Giving Day" Under "Latest News" Make Your Donation Online   As a patron of Charleston Stage, we ask that you consider contributing on May 5th knowing that your valued support could be worth double the amount for Charleston Stage. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Brian Porter at (843) 647-7373 or bporter@charlestonstage.com.   Sincerely, CHARLESTON STAGE COMPANY, INC. Julian Wiles Founder and Producing Artistic Director *Please consult your tax preparer for deduction confirmation.

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Wilmington Symphony Season Finale this Weekend!

Mozart’s The Magic Flute WILMINGTON, NC April 21, 2015The Wilmington Symphony is pleased to present its 2014-15 Masterworks season finale with Mozart’s operatic masterpiece The Magic Flute this Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in Kenan Auditorium. This will be a fully-staged production featuring the UNCW Opera Outreach Project.  Tickets are $27 (plus tax) for adults and $6 (plus tax) for students.  Call 910-962-3500 or visit www.wilmingtonsymphony.org. Wilmington Symphony - The Magic Flute April 25 2015 Conductor Steven Errante says of the work, “The Magic Flute has it all -- comedy, passion, intrigue, spectacle, fizzing with humanity throughout -- all with the steady flow of great Mozart tunes.” The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts in the form of a “Singspiel” (literally “sing-play”), a German opera specifically of the 18th century which includes both singing and speaking.  The work premiered on September 30, 1791 in Vienna. The UNCW Opera Outreach Project promotes opera through live performances, community engagement and educational outreach. The ensemble is directed by Nancy King, coordinator of vocal performance in UNCW’s Department of Music, and is comprised of university students, alumni and special guest artists.  Leading roles for The Magic Flute will be played by Daniel Paparozzi, Quentin Lovette, Hanna Owens, Lauren Mazzola, and Nate Strock. In popular culture music from The Magic Flute has been featured in films such as Eat, Pray, Love, Operation Dumbo Drop, and The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.  It has also been heard in TV-land on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as commercials such the “Red Bull Gives You Wings” campaign.

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Civil Twilight Plays Charlotte tonight and Palate tomorrow night

Civil Twilight

Civil Twilight
Photo by Mason Poole

“…enveloping, emotive, and one of the easiest things you’ll listen to all day…bodes well for the collection.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Civil Twilight is more than a group of musicians; they’re journeymen… guided by their passion for music.”—USA Today
 “Civil Twilight’s haunting sound has been heard everywhere from fashion runways to Times Square.”—Paste
Civil Twilight is sharing their new single “Holy Dove,” and a new live acoustic video for the title track from their forthcoming studio album Story Of An Immigrant, out June 2 on Wind-up Records. Listen to “Holy Dove” HERE via Billboard and via Soundcloud HERE. In addition to the new single, Billboard also exclusively reveals new album art created by brothers Steven and Andrew McKeller. Watch the new acoustic live video of “Story Of An Immigrant” via Diffuser.FM HERE. Diffuser.FM says “seeing and hearing them in such a stripped-down setting only highlights their immense talents even more.” In conjunction with the new track, album art and live video, the pre-order of the album launches today and is available via iTunes HERE. The new LP is the band’s third full-length release on the label following 2012’s Holy Weather. The band will play select U.S. dates with a full tour to be announced soon. See below for full details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVbSVewiMKs Civil Twilight’s Steven (lead vocals, bass and piano) and Andrew McKeller (guitar), Richard Wouters (drums) and Kevin Dailey (keys and guitar) spent one month recording Story Of An Immigrant with Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cut Copy) at Maze Studios in Atlanta. “This song both lyrically and musically seemed to set the course for the new music we were writing. It was the first song written for the new record where we all collectively went, ‘I like this. Let's keep going in this direction,’” says Steven McKeller of the title track and album theme. “We think musically it very naturally links our past with where we’re headed—and lyrically it's in many ways the story of our lives, our band, and our journey.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8O2qqISR0U Civil Twilight started as brothers Steven and Andrew McKellar explored their father's jazz collection and listened to their classically trained mother play piano in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1996, Andrew launched a teenaged band with help from his high school classmate, drummer Richard Wouters. The bandmates relocated to Los Angeles in August of 2005 where they co-produced their debut record, Human (2007). Several songs from the album were featured in prime-time television shows, including “One Tree Hill,” “House,” “Star Crossed” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Shortly after their debut release, the band moved to Nashville and signed with Wind-up Records in 2008. After re-releasing their self-titled LP in 2010, the band’s debut single, “Letters from the Sky,” reached #5 on the Alternative radio charts and remained in the Top 10 for 6 months, selling over 200,000 copies. In 2012, Civil Twilight released Holy Weather and headlined a U.S. tour with Morning Parade as an opener and supported two months with Mutemath. Past tour mates have also included Florence & The Machine, Young The Giant, Jimmy Eat World, Of Monsters and Men and Neon Trees, among many others. Civil Twilight has played the main stage at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Hangout, Voodoo, Austin City Limits, Vh1 Best Cruise Ever, Milwaukee Summerfest, Kirstenbosch (Cape Town) and Rocking the Daisies (Cape Town). Their most recent single “Fire Escape” charted Top 20 Alternative, and received extensive coverage on MTV, Vh1 and Fuse. CIVIL TWILIGHT TOUR DATES April 15   Atlanta, GA           Vinyl April 16   Charlotte, NC       Neighborhood Theatre April 17   Wilmington, NC  Palate April 18   Raleigh, NC          Kings Barcade May 2      Gulf Shores, AL   The Hangout May 8      Greenville, SC     Artisphere May 29    Ferndale, MI      The Magic Bag

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