You know this place as the beach town on TV One Tree Hill which is really Wilmington, North Carolina. What these two towns have in common is a love for music. One is made up and one is very real. One of the great cultural events is the W.E. Festival (short for Wilmington Exchange) which has been taking place since 1996! The do it yourself event was founded and enabled by Kenyata Sullivan who has imposed a couple new rules this time around and has alumni curating some of the bills. In the past decade there was a gauntlet review process for bands wanting to play, no sponsors and no major labels bands like at SXSW, CMJ, NEMO, etc. This year local or musician centric and relevant sponsors are being brought in because the playing field has changed in for the music industry significantly and secondly to help pay the bands who are traveling a great distance to perform (gas ain’t cheap). Years past the pay was free beer and you’d find a place to stay on somebody’s floor. Which is probably true this time around but I recommend one of the affordable hotels or even renting a beach-house for us older folks. Public admission is $1.00 American or 1/3 of a Euro. Which is dirt cheap for three floors of great Indie music from Thursday May 24th to the 28th over Memorial Day weekend. So if you dig music and want to take a rock n’roll vacation. There is no party like this anywhere so pack your vitamins because it is sort of like a sleep deprivation experiment where your ears will be tested. Years past bands like DPlan, Ex Models, Money Susuki and tons other bands from all over the US have played this fun filled fest so check out the schedule. Chances are you never heard of any of them unless they are from your hometown scene. Personally I’ve played (Aviso’Hara, The Slow Wire) and attended a half dozen times and made some incredible friendships, seen some amazing performances, drank a lot of beer to the point of sobriety and have obviously nothing bad to say other than don’t be fool. Plan a road trip today to WeFest 2008.