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a performance of Squonk Opera's Hand to Hand with giant blue hand puppets framing the band

50th Anniversary Block Party

Kick off NC State LIVE's spectacular season with an afternoon of live music, interactive art and cake!


Sunday, September 18, 2022
Festivities from 1PM to 5PM

Squonk’s Hand to Hand performances at 2PM and 4PM
Stafford Commons (behind Talley Student Union)

“A blazingly unique spectacle! A flood of contraptions, visual jokes, and gloriously eccentric music!”

-Time Out New York

About the Event

Gather your family and friends and meet us on Stafford Commons to kick off our 50th anniversary season. We’ll have jaw-dropping performances, interactive craft making, and who could forget the cake? It is a celebration after all.

Anchoring the afternoon are two performances by ingenious junkyard engineers of music and puppetry, Squonk. Their Hand to Hand concert features two giant puppet hands, each the size of a house and rigged like a sailing ship. Between the delightful puppets, Squonk musicians climb a multi-tiered stage delivering a progressive rock journey that is spectacular, hypnotic and joy inducing. Audience members are invited up to grab the rigging, each person powering a section of these giant puppet hands – creating a celebration of shared discovery and humanity.

In addition to Squonk’s concerts we’ll feature performances by student groups (Fusion Dance Crew & Wolfgang A Cappella), a set by 88.1 WKNC, NC State LIVE t-shirt giveaways, tasty treats (Howling Cow anyone?), custom poems by The Poetry Fox, and interactive art-making activities for the whole family led by the Scrap Exchange and the Arts Club at NC State.

See our FAQs at the bottom of this page for all the details!

Performance Schedule

1pm – Gates open, art-making + 88.1 WKNC DJ set begins

2pm – Squonk’s Hand to Hand

3pm – Sing “Happy Birthday” to NC State LIVE + cake cutting & ice cream

3:15pm – Student performances by Wolfgang A Cappella and Fusion Dance Crew

4pm – Squonk’s Hand to Hand

Interactive Art-making & T-shirt giveaways

Share your creativity with us!

We’ll have art making for the whole family from 1pm to 5pm led by the Scrap Exchange and the Arts Club at NC State.

T-shirt and swag giveaway schedule to be announced soon.

Cake & Ice Cream

Join us to sing a round of “Happy Birthday to NC State LIVE” at 3pm.

Then, we’ll share FREE cake and Howling Cow ice cream while the goodies last.

If you need a little more to nosh on, restaurants will be open for business in Talley Student Union.

Where is Stafford Commons?
Stafford Commons is the grassy plaza adjacent to Talley Student Union. SEE MAP HERE.

Where can I park?
On Sunday, you can park for FREE in the following places:

  • Jeter Drive parking lot (beside Reynolds Coliseum)
  • Reynolds Coliseum parking deck

There is a place to drop off patrons steps from Stafford Commons near the tower at Talley Student Union, at the end of Dunn Avenue. The closest accessible parking is in the Jeter Drive parking lot by Reynolds Coliseum at the corner of Dunn Avenue and Jeter Drive.

Do I need a ticket?
No. This event is open to the public and free for everyone.

What time does the event start?
The event will begin with interactive art making at 1pm. Performances will begin shortly thereafter, with Squonk’s first performance at 2pm. Feel free to come early with your blanket to get a spot.

How long is the event?
The event will run through 5pm, with Squonk’s final performance beginning at 4pm.

What is the weather policy?
Our event can proceed in light rain, but will be moved inside Talley Student Union if the weather forecast is severe. If we move the event inside, we will announce it on our website and social media channels.

Are the event grounds wheelchair accessible?
Our event site is a grassy field surrounded by sidewalks. The grass is not thick and wheelchairs are able to roll through the grass with little resistance.  

Am I allowed to bring my own food?
Yes. We will be serving free cake and ice cream at 3pm, while the goodies last. Restaurants in Talley Student Union, including Howling Cow ice cream in Talley Market, will be open. Please do not bring any grills or open flame cooking devices.

What is the alcohol policy?
Alcohol is NOT permitted at our event.

Are pets allowed?
No. For the safety and comfort of others, pets are not permitted at the concert. Only service animals are allowed.

What am I supposed to sit on?
Patrons are encouraged to bring low back chairs and blankets to sit on. If you are bringing a high back folding chair, please be considerate of others and select seating around the perimeter of the event. Please also be aware of the amount of space you take up during the performances. We want to make sure we have room for everyone.

Are umbrellas allowed? Tents?
Umbrellas are allowed. However, once the program begins, all shade umbrellas will need to be taken down as not to obstruct the view of other patrons. No tents are allowed.

Are there public restrooms?
Yes, restrooms are available within Talley Student Union.

Is smoking permitted?
Smoking is not permitted on the concert grounds.

What COVID-19 precautions are you taking?
NC State LIVE is fully committed to the health and wellness of our campus, community and artists. We are following all public health and University requirements as of the date of the event. Face coverings are not currently required on campus.


NC State LIVE strives to make our programming accessible to everyone. If you have an access need or an accommodation request, please email Liza Green, associate director at Learn more about accessibility at NC State LIVE.