May 21, 2013
Music Festival Kicks Off 2013 Season in the River Arts District.
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May 20, 2013
Photos of the Day: Pink Dogwoods and Mountain Catawba Rhododendron.
May 17, 2013
A Southern Gothic Supernatural Musical Comes to Asheville.
May 16, 2013
Rangers at Chimney Rock State Park Rescue Injured Bear Cub.
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Asheville music festivals
Hear local and world musicians perform in Asheville.
People have been traveling to Asheville to hear music for generations. In 1928, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce asked local folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford to invite local musicians and dancers for an event to encourage tourism.
His creation was the Mountain Folk and Dance Festival, which was so successful that it became a permanent event. Today, the combination of traditional music and mountain beauty remain a major draw for the city's multitude of visitors. And just as the Asheville area has grown, so has its range of musical offerings.
Asheville Annual Music Events
From the local and national acts that perform at Bele Chere, to the global performers at July's Folkmoot festival in nearby Waynesville, to the African-Caribbean sounds of the Goombay festival held downtown each August, the Asheville area's summer music festivals are as eclectic as the city itself.
Enjoy the unique traditions of the Festival of Native Peoples in Cherokee or listen to the indie bands at the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival. Whatever your musical tastes, Asheville's music festivals provide another compelling mix of musical sounds.
Plan Your Music Journey to Asheville
To get your planning started, here's a brief overview of more than a dozen options in Asheville and around Western North Carolina:
Bele Chere Asheville’s signature music festival is the largest street festival in the southeast. The event offers an earful of free tunes, delicious food and handmade crafts during this three-day street party in July. (Popular misspellings include Belle Chere, Belle Cher, Belle Share, Bell Chere, Bell Cher, Bell Share, Bele Cher, Bele Share, Bel Chere, Bel Cher, Bel Share)
Biltmore’s Summer Evening Concerts Experience the exhilaration of a live concert at Biltmore. Enjoy star performances on the South Terrace, while savoring breathtaking sunset views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
MoogFest Three extraordinary days of music, featuring amazing music and bands, exhibitions, installations, films, workshops, and discussions celebrating the spirit and expansive vision of Bob Moog.
Bluff Mountain Festival Enjoy bluegrass music and a square dance at this free public festival on the grounds of the Hot Springs Spa and Resort in June. A silent auction of donated arts and crafts raises funds for the Madison County Arts Council.
Brevard Music Festival If it’s classical music you’re after, check out the performance calendar of the acclaimed Brevard Music Center’s Summer Institute & Festival.
Downtown After Five Locals celebrate the vibrancy of downtown Asheville at these music-filled Friday evening gatherings. Join the fun every third Friday, May through September. The music menu includes jazz, blues, rock and more.
Festival of Native Peoples Experience song performances and dance exhibitions from a host of tribes. This annual showcase of Native American culture is held every summer at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds in July.
Folkmoot USA Global sights and sounds take center stage in Western North Carolina during the Folkmoot festival in July, which spotlights folk music and dance by more than 350 performers from about a dozen countries.
Goombay Festival Each August "The Block" at the intersection of Eagle and Market streets comes alive with music, crafts, food and more during this African- and Caribbean-inspired festival. Look for R&B, steel drum, gospel and blues music during the celebration.
Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) LEAF brings sounds from around the globe to the stage.
Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival This downtown avenue will turn into a showcase of indie bands, street performers and artwork in September for this all-local festival.
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Generations of fans have celebrated the sounds of the banjo, fiddle and dulcimer along with traditional dance at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at in July.
North Carolina State Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass legends and newcomers headline at this three-day June festival in nearby Cherokee.
Shindig on the Green "Along about sundown" is the calling card for these free bluegrass song and dance gatherings, which have been taking place in Asheville for more than four decades in the summer.
Singing on the Mountain The oldest ongoing old-time gospel convention of its kind in the Southern Appalachians, this free day-long event is held at the foot of Grandfather Mountain in June. The day includes top Southern Gospel groups and Grand Ole Opry performers, plus a midday sermon.
See more festivals with live music.