Innovative Tech And Arts Conference Bull City Summit Returns To Durham For 2023

Bull City Summit event flyer, courtesy of the Bull City Summit Facebook.

Looking for something to do in Durham but not sure where to start? Are you interested in AI, the arts, cannabis, or blockchain? Thankfully, there’s one event that has it all.

Bull City Summit (BCS)—a showcase festival and business conference celebrating innovation in music, the arts, science and technology—returns to Durham after a successful 2022 pilot event.  The event will be held Sept. 18-24 and consists of many panels and presentations featuring local and global speakers, ranging from industries from tech to music. 

The week-long summit encompasses the hotbed of creativity that Durham possesses, BCS Director of Communications Cait Brauner said. In a city so immersed with music and arts while also producing one of the fastest-growing tech communities, BCS will bring together all of these elements with tons of exciting presentations, live performances, art exhibitions and more. 

“What’s exciting for us in our year of this [event] as Durham and the greater Triangle area expands in general, it’s really the summit’s goal to support the community and really grow in tandem with the area’s trajectory,” Brauner said.

Interested in cryptocurrency or music? Interested in both? The conference features renowned keynote speakers such as Harvey Mason Jr., the President and CEO of The Grammys and The Recording Company, and Mark Yusko, the CEO and CIO of Chapel Hill-based Morgan Creek Capital Management, who is returning to the summit for his second time.

Harvey Mason Jr. (left); Mark Yusko (right)

Harvey will conduct a fireside chat about AI’s impact on the music industry, while Yusko will speak on the current state of blockchain and Web3 in what he describes as an imminent “new crypto bull market.” 

“I’m excited about a number of things [for this event],” Yusko said. “The eclectic mix of speakers is very interesting, the multiple focuses on different areas of interest from music to culture, to religion, to politics, to all the things that make communities stronger.”

GrepBeat Managing Editor Pete McEntegart will conduct a fireside chat with Nihal Mehta, the Founding General Partner of San Francisco-based VC Eniac Ventures, on the future of ethics in AI.

Other panels and keynotes will include conversations about the state of electronic music, the balance between music and entrepreneurship, the metaverse, cannabis and much more that anyone interested in the arts and/or tech will enjoy. BCS will also feature arts programming from presentations across topics such as the impact of art on behavioral growth, entrepreneurship within the visual arts industry, LGBTQ+ and gender equality, climate change and more. 

The specific theme of including and overlapping all of these elements in programming is really just all things Durham, explains Parag Bhandari, BCS’ Founder and Executive Producer. 

Performers at the first Bull City Summit in 2022, photo courtesy of BCS event photos from website.

“[Durham] epitomizes the post-pandemic space,” Bhandari said. “There’s just so much here that hasn’t been developed or sought out. We need to showcase all this stuff… [BCS] is all over the place because Durham is all over the place. There’s music, art, science, and tech, but there’s 100 levels to that.”

BCS will kick off their week of events on Monday, Sept. 18 with an opening-night benefit concert at Motorco Music Hall featuring NC soul icon Lee Fields, who is returning home after his European tour.

The benefit will be in support of Durham-based Families and Communities Rising (FCR), the official non-profit fiscal agent for BCS. FCR possesses a 50+ year history of providing evidence-based assistance services to transform and positively impact the trajectories of vulnerable children, families and communities. Throughout the summit, FCR and additional local organizations will be presented at BCS conference events, happy hours, music concerts, community events and more. 

BCS conference panels and presentations will take place at The Durham Armory and all throughout the downtown area at live music venues, office spaces and public squares. Happy hours and networking opportunities will also be available at local food and drink establishments. 

BCS Business PRO industry badges are on sale now and you can purchase them here. These badges provide access to all panels, speeches, concerts, exhibitions, events and more. Individual concert and event tickets are now available at

About Kaitlyn Dang 12 Articles
Kaitlyn is a reporter covering tech startups and entrepreneurs. Before starting at GrepBeat, she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in media and journalism in May 2023. She has written for The Daily Tar Heel. In her spare time, she likes going to concerts and going on nature walks.