CARRBORO — The Carrboro Music Festival has come and gone for the 21st time. This year’s tunes, food, antics and weather shone, starting Saturday afternoon with five acts and resuming Sunday at noon for the rest of the almost 200 performers. This time around, CMF fell on the same weekend as other popular festivals, but luckily most of its attractions took place on Sunday, the day after the others ended. Art Of Cool, a star-studded R&B, jazz and rap festival, was just a 20-minute ride over in Durham; the powerhouse roots- and folk-focused Wide Open Bluegrass festival was booked the same weekend in Raleigh; and up at Blackwood Farm Park in Hillsborough, the first ever Orange County Local Fest showcased the best area food trucks, microbreweries and craft businesses that weren’t busy at the other Triangle happenings. Carrboro Music Fest stood out with its volume of performers — almost 200 — and by being free, reflected in its overflowing pedestrian traffic. Weaver Street was blocked off from car traffic, giving a good chunk of downtown a friendly carnival vibe. When asked by The Sundial if Carrboro PD experienced any problems trying to navigate confused drivers or dealing with rambunctious concert-goers, Captain Chris Atack reported, “It was a beautiful day and we had no issues.” “People were friendly and I got to talk to numerous good folks... Traffic was normal and the music was great,” he added. One attendee, James Kobel, told the Sundial that his Sunday afternoon and evening at the CMF was his first major Carrboro event since moving to town about a week earlier. He said that it was “probably the most people I’ve seen in one place since moving to North Carolina,” from New York. “Really cool to see how everyone sort of knows each other,” he added. Early skies provoked jitters that outdoor stages could get rained out for awhile, but by Sunday afternoon a cool breeze that complemented sunshine made lounging about on the field in front of Weaver Street Market a perfect option. The Weaver Street Market stage saw a wide range of family-friendly, danceable bands and musicians. Standout performances there included The Drowning Lovers, a “lounge-noir” act familiar to the Triangle and Chapel Hill music scene of the last 10 years. Singer Meredith Snow has a voice that combines the energy and phrasing of Ani DiFranco and the pitch-perfect intonation of Ella Fitzgerald, while adding just the right amount of kitschy irony to her delivery. She was backed up by her excellent band consisting of Robert Cantrell, John Gillespie, Paul Snow and Lisa Lindsey, whose jazzy, funky accompaniment fit the atmosphere perfectly. The Market stage also hosted the psychobilly Americana enthusiasts and Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival favorite Kittybox and The Johnnys. Lead singer Taz Halloween leads the band, which harkens back to nostalgia acts like Sha Na Na and the punk weirdness of The Cramps. Early in the day at The Station, hillbilly punk band Robobilly performed another of their pop-up revival acts. Such performances have happened a few times since one member moved to Texas, and are becoming more frequent recently, to the delight of fans of stomp-and-holler futurism built around the concept of hill music in a post-civilized future. They were followed on the stage by Server, a rock band full of reverb and surf-paced fuzz. It’s the new project of Carrboro’s Boogie Reverie, a weird genius of noise with the conceptual visions of a modern Nikola Tesla. Later in the day, the outdoor stage behind Tyler’s Taproom had traditional Cuban rhythms courtesy of Saludos Company, spurring even novice adults to attempt dancing the samba and the cha-cha-cha. Tré Mars & The Kids Downtown similarly succeeded, getting a room of timid hipsters to dance to their blend of rap lyricism, a live horn section and guitar. Their stage, the back room at Cat’s Cradle, was entirely devoted to regional hip-hop and rap for the festival, starting at 3:30 PM and ending at 10 PM. Some people and performers were notable for their absence this year. Missing behind the scenes was Jim Dennis, the former organizer and owner of Music Loft on Main Street, which has closed since the previous festival. From 2017 to 2018, the predominating sound has moved along the spectrum from jazz to hard noise. Also absent were previous festival highlights, including musicians from the Red Clay Ramblers, Doug Largent Trio, Carrboro super-glam outfit Fantastico!, and members of Superchunk. Foodies also had their senses to think of, and not one block within the designated festival boundaries lacked food and beverage trucks or grill tents. For example, the Napoli pizza oven truck was set up away from its usual location on North Greensboro Street, and instead took up the empty lot between Weaver and Main Street, next to the owner’s brand-new venture the Napoli Café & Gelateria, which was serving up decadent frozen treats. We’ll close our review by paying dues to the ancient art of band names, which can be good, bad, revelatory, so-good-they’re-bad, or just plain confusing. There were the conceptual, such as Pretend I’m a Genius (indie rock) and Tea Cup Gin (indie jazz/blues/soul); the mysterious, such as Jphon01 (rock/jam) and AZULZ (Latin jazz/R&B); and the punning, such as The Carrborators (Americana), Scandimonium (Nordic roots) and Miss Adventures (folk). Whether visitors wandered the festival following monikers, genres, their friends or their noses, Carrboro put on a unique show for prior attendees and newcomers alike this past weekend.