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Your Durham Guide to the Good Moon Festival

Come for the tunes. Enjoy pop-ups around downtown. And support local favorites while planning a Durham-filled weekend. 

Ever since Psychic Hotline started teasing details of the Good Moon Festival, there’s been a buzz about town. A few years after the headlining Sylvan Esso sold-out a weekend of shows at the Historic Durham Athletic Park, the Grammy-nominated electronic pop duo and a full-lineup of other standout artists return to their hometown at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) on May 31-June 1.

Maybe you already know of their iconic ‘What Now’ album cover from a backdrop at Koktuku Surf Club. Or caught their ‘Rooftop Dancing’ performance recorded on a literal downtown rooftop for a CBS This Morning’s Saturday Session. Or streamed their COVID-era recording of ‘Numb’ live at the DBAP more times than you’d care to admit. But in case you didn’t, we hope by now you’re aware that Durham loves Sylvan Esso. And we hope all who plan to attend plan to show Durham love right back.

Smoke and lights bathe the stage as Sylvan Esso performs.

Get ready for an awesome show with Sylvan Esso and more. Photo: Graham Tolbert



When: May 31-June 1, 2024

Time: Gates open at 5 p.m.

Where: The Durham Bulls Athletic Park, 409 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701

Tickets: A limited number of weekend passes and single day-passes remain. General admission tickets are available for $72.95 (pre-tax) and VooDoo Ranger Hard Charged Tea VIP Passes are available online for $199.95. VIP passes include access in a premium viewing area as well as access to VIP-exclusive bar and bathroom facilities, and an exclusive merch bundle. Sylvan Esso has also been hosting pop-up events in Durham leading up to the festival dates to sell fee-free Good Moon tickets – follow @PsychicHotline on Instagram to know when their downtown mailroom outlet and newsstand is open to purchase tickets in person.

Lineup: On Friday, May 31, American indie folk band Fleet Foxes will headline, following the beloved three-piece rock band Dehd and Truth Club, an indie rock band from neighboring Raleigh, NC. On Saturday, June 1, Sylvan Esso headlines following performances from their Psychic Hotline labelmates: Twin Cities’ Hippo Campus, and Reyna Tropical, whose hip-swaying feel explores the musical landscape of the tropical diaspora.

Amelia Meath stands on the stage performing under warm lighting.

Enjoy one night of performances or get tickets for the whole weekend. Photo: Graham Tolbert


The DBAP is located on the American Tobacco Campus, a 1-million-sq-foot refurbished former tobacco factory that today is teeming with local businesses and Instagrammable spots for visitors. There are seven hotels located within one mile of the ballpark.

  • Aloft Durham Downtown  Also located on American Tobacco Campus, Aloft is the closest hotel option to the festival. It offers a modern aesthetic, heated pool, Durham-themed rooms and proximity to plenty of dining and entertainment options.
  • Durham Marriott City Center As the name implies, the Marriott is in the heart of downtown. Earn points while being close to it all
  • 21c Museum Hotel Explore the hotel’s art collection and snag a selfie with the 21c mascot – a hot magenta penguin.
  • The Durham Hotel A mid-century boutique hotel with a celebrated restaurant and rooftop bar.
  • Residence Inn Durham McPherson/Duke University Medical Center The newly constructed Residence Inn has apartment-style suites, heated pool and fitness center in the Brightleaf District.
  • Unscripted Durham An eclectic hotel with a rooftop deck, pool and unique cocktail and cuisine options.
Hotel guests enjoy a sunny day at the outdoor pool.

Enjoy festival downtime at Unscripted. Photo: Eric Waters


As Durham celebrates 10 years since lead singer Amelia Meath and electronic music producer Nick Sanborn formed Sylvan Esso, we hope that you, the fans, use the opportunity to make the most of the weekend while supporting small businesses.

Sip on a Drink

Yes, it’s okay to pose in front of the album backdrop at Kotuku Surf Club while visiting for the weekend. With an age limit of 23, Surf Club is a local favorite watering hole with a beer list that’s far better than it needs to be. The dive bar’s expansive patio is one of the best places in Durham to catch a sunset and located nearby to PS37, where official Good Moon afterparties will take place each night.

Support Durham's Queer Spaces

Durham and Sylvan Esso both also love drag. Naomi Dix, of Durham’s beloved drag House of Coxx, is slated to open a gay, queer and trans nightclub – Club ERA – on June 1, the same weekend as Good Moon. It will be located below The Fruit, an inclusive performance and live music venue, about a half mile from the DBAP. Other queer-friendly spots downtown include The Pinhook, The Velvet Hippo Bar & Lounge and Arcana.

The storefront of The Pinhook displays gray walls and a red overhang along with their logo.

You can find The Pinhook right on Main Street. Photo: Discover Durham

Grab a Bite

Inspired by Reyna Tropical, we also want to give shout out to Durham’s Colombian and Peruvian inspired foods. When in South Durham, just off an Interstate 40 exit for those driving in to the Bull City, the Bull City Reddit thread recommends Sarah’s Empanadas for the arepas and empanadas. Mi Perú offers simple but delicious food at totally reasonable prices. Don’t miss the rotisserie chicken or the arroz chaufa de carne.

Mateo bar de tapas has helped put Durham on the foodie map for more than a decade. The side of their building is also now adorned with a Good Moon mural, welcoming visitors to what the locals affectionately call ‘The Loop,’ or downtown city center. The first solo venture from multi-James Beard semifinalist chef Matthew Kelly, Mateo’s menu has a Spanish heart with a Southern soul. In addition to its delicious menu, Mateo also boasts one of the largest sherry offerings in the country.

A colorful dish sits in a pan on a table at Mateo.

Grab a delicious plate at Mateo. Photo: Baxter Miller

Speaking of decades, it’s not lost on us that Sylvan Esso is celebrating 10 years since its debut album was released in 2014. It might be a little sentimental of us, but also gave us enough reason to Google and remind ourselves of what other quintessential Durham establishments were launched in 2014. Bon Appetit named Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets one of the best new restaurants in the country in 2014 – the married team of Katie and Justin Meddis hasn’t slowed down since, with still some of the best ramen and ice cream sandwiches here in the Tastiest Town of the South.

Gocciolina, an Italian restaurant in Northern Durham with nightly chalkboard specials also first opened in 2014 and has been named an "indispensable Durham Restaurant" since. Never skip on an offering of the Parmigiano, imported from Hombre Farm in Modena, Italy. Juju Asian Tapas + Bar, tucked on the corner of Durham’s beloved Ninth Street and Hillsborough Road, which has an accessible menu for those with dietary restrictions (or not!).

Located on the first floor of the 21c Museum Hotel, Counting House Restaurant and Bar also opened in 2014. Under new kitchen leadership, check out the seasonally fresh menu with a focus on North Carolina’s heritage of fresh seafood – plus, the house-made cocktails.

Visit the American Tobacco Campus

We’d be remiss not to plug the diverse offerings at the American Tobacco Campus, the main backdrop of the festival. Smash burgers steal the show at QueenBurger, all the while with the veggie and vegan burger holding its own. Press Coffee, Crepes and Cocktails will transport you to a cute European café; Parker & Otis offer stellar sandwiches as you peruse an eclectic offering of souvenirs and local wares; nestled next to Seraphine, a new-ish New Orleans-inspired restaurant offering staple dishes with modern twists. Grab a handmade cocktail from The Waiting Room prior to strolling along the man-made river under the iconic Lucky Strike Tower. Across the breezeway from Parker & Otis, fill up on food with a Southern soul, Caribbean flair and Euro-African Roots. Zweli’s Ekhaya has received national acclaim for its Bantu-fusion tapas. Ekhaya means “home” in the Zulu or Ndebele languages.

The Durham duo shared their favorite spots in the Bull City with Forbes Magazine recently. Check it out.

A beautiful plate of food from Zweli's Ekhaya patiently waits to be enjoyed.

Zweli's Ekhaya is one of the many awesome restaurants at ATC. Photo: Zweli's / Discover Durham


Hotel room booked, dinner reservations and tickets to the festival acquired. One burning question remains: where do you park your car in Durham? Can you park your car once for the weekend or should you plan to keep your wheels handy? Check out our guide to learn all you need to know about parking in the Bull City.


We could continue, but know this guide is already getting a little bit long. If you’d like personalized recommendations for what to do, where to eat or how to shop before doors open, we got you. Walk into our Visitor Info Center at 212 W. Main Street, about a 0.3 mile stroll from the DBAP, for a curated list of things to do based on your interests, provided to you by Durham locals. There will also be a pop-up Visitor Info Center set up at Good Moon with folks happy to help you on site.