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Travel Guide
June 04, 2015

Go for the goats!Photo by KD Ecological Services.Chimney Rock State Park ... more

June 04, 2015

Bus Tour Pairs Craft Beer & Local BeatsIn Asheville, aka Beer City USA, ... more

June 04, 2015

Exhibit Gets Close to Carnivorous PlantsSomething big has landed at the ... more

June 03, 2015

Run, Have Fun in AshevilleIn honor of National Running Day on June 3, here ... more

Asheville Music Scene

From Bluegrass to Newgrass to Nograss

A progressive and collaborative arts community, Asheville's modern music scene melds old and new with surprising ease. Music permeates the city from the street musicians who serenade you downtown, to multi-generation bluegrass jam sessions, to a rock club (Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club) named one of the best in the country by Rolling Stone.

Today, Asheville's music scene is all encompassing. Traditional mountain music still rings out from national artists such as David Holt and Laura Boosinger who live in the area. Classical music from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra fills the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium throughout the year.

These Hills are Alive with the Sound of Appalachian Music

The instruments needed for distinct mountain sound have old world origins. The banjo hails from Africa and the fiddle has European roots. However, the only native instrument to the mountain region, is the Appalachian dulcimer. This instrument is considered to be one of the easiest to learn due to its small string count and simplified fret system. Want to find one for yourself? Visit the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville where the Woodrow stringed instruments are sold. If you travel to Black Mountain visit Song of the Wood to see a wide collection of mountain dulcimers for sale.

Roots & Trails: New Guidebook!

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

Mountain music traditions are alive and well in the Blue Ridge and a new travel guidebook, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, offers an epic tour to the public settings where folk music and dance still thrive. Mountain musicians are as laid-back and welcoming as they come, so when heading out to find some Asheville music, bring your dancing shoes and banjo and play on in…

Musical Road Tripping

A CD Guidebook for the Ears

Listen while you explore. Many of the region's historic musicians are featured on a 20-track companion CD for the newly released Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. Imagine driving along the famed Blue Ridge Parkway with sweeping mountain views—nothing could be more fitting than a soundtrack of authentic Asheville music with that distinct Appalachian flavor.

Songs from this “guidebook for the ears” include “Swannanoa Tunnel,” “Frankie Silver's Confession,” and “Tom Dooley” and are based on actual events that took place in the region. The rich storybook of folk songs features raw, field recordings made in musicians' homes as well as professionally recorded tracks.

Top 8 Toe-Tappin' Adventures in Asheville

  1. Shindig Under the Stars - Bring your lawn chair (and an instrument, if you play one) for a free evening of traditional Southern Appalachian music, jam sessions and folk dancing at Shindig on the Green, Saturday nights under the stars from June through August in Pack Square Park. This is one of the most popular Asheville festivals of the year.
  2. Pick 'n Pie – Learn the secrets of mountain kitchens and mountain music in the same evening! Native Ground Music and Log Cabin Cooking partner to share their deep knowledge of Appalachian arts in beginners' classes in a charming farmhouse setting.
  3. Old Time Jam Session – Appalachian and Celtic music legacies are honored at the informal weekly jam sessions at Jack of the Wood. Rub elbows, and instruments, with Asheville bands and the locals while you enjoy a fresh, hand-crafted pint from Green Man and some time-traveling acoustic tunes.
  4. The Nation's Longest Running Folk Festival – Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves "along about sundown" the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
  5. Bluegrass Buskers – Nowhere is the music culture and bluegrass influence more accessible than on the streets of Asheville. When the weather is nice, nearly every downtown corner offers a spontaneous stage. Head to Pack Square or the iconic Flat Iron statue along the Urban Trail for bands like 13 Strings and a Two Dollar Bill, Flat Creek Trio and The Leather Britches.
  6. Asheville Music Hall Haunts – From intimate listening rooms to large music halls ideal for dancing, Asheville area music venues run the gamut: Grey Eagle, White Horse Black Mountain, Isis Music Hall and The Orange Peel offer variety in their line-ups, but bluegrass and roots can always be found if you watch the schedules. Tip: Asheville's breweries are also musically inclined. Pisgah, Highland, Wedge and French Broad Brewing all offer live music with craft beer cool.
  7. Asheville Drum Circle
  8. Contra and Square Dance – Pack a skirt that twirls! European and American folk dance is seeing a revival, and nowhere is that more clear than in the mountains of Western NC. At Grey Eagle, Warren Wilson or White Horse Black Mountain, the locals will take you in their arms, quite literally, and show you the steps.
  9. Asheville Drum Circle – You might hear a fiddle or banjo thrown in the mix, but the instrument of choice for this 10+ year Asheville music tradition is the drum. Follow the pounding rhythm downtown to a dance party under the stars. You can't help but move your feet.

A Thriving Music Scene

Miike Snow and Petter Winnberg on stage at Moogfest 2012

The sounds of the modern era also thrive in Asheville. Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music, spent his final years in Asheville and set up a company here that continues his musical vision.

Alternative rockers The Smashing Pumpkins made Asheville their temporary home with a nine-show residency in 2007 at the Orange Peel. And well-known artists such as Gladys Knight, Warren Haynes and David Wilcox have made Asheville their newfound home and drawn inspiration from the area.


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Single-Day Events

1st Annual West End 4th of July Celebration w/ The Broadcast

This Independence Day, join us at New Mountain Asheville for the 1st Annual West End 4th of July Celebration! Headlined by homegrown Rock & Roll local favorites The Broadcast, the day long event will be held outdoors in the New Mountain Amphitheater with additional performances from Blu Bop: A Tribute to the Music of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, East Coast Dirt, and Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats! Tickets are only $10.

4th of July CookOff & Lyric

  • July 4, 2015
  • Location: The Social
  • Address: 1078 Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

Join us for a 4th of July Celebration to remember! Enter your favorite smoked meat, grilled meat, or side dish in our cookoff for up to $500 in cash prizes. Asheville's premiere funkstress LYRIC will take the stage after the fireworks are over! Grateful Dead live show on the monster screen outside.

Ooh La La Curiosity Market

  • July 4, 2015
  • Location: Pritchard Park
  • Address: 67 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

Ooh La La Curiosity Market is an art market that takes place in Pritchard Park, located in the center of beautiful downtown Asheville and will showcase the work of more than a dozen local artists. Taking place over 11 Saturdays throughout Summer beginning May 23th. Ooh La La will feature works by local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters, up-cycled crafters, and other curious delights, all beneath the colored canopies of large market umbrellas. In addition to the artists, the marke...

Recurring Events

"Saturday Night Lights" Summer Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center

  • July 4, 2015
  • Location: Tryon International Equestrian Center
  • Address: 4066 Pea Ridge Road, Mill Spring, NC 28756

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is launching its "Saturday Night Lights" summer series starting Saturday, June 27th from 5-9 p.m. These Saturday nights will feature free admission to TIEC to watch the Grand Prix competition, plus free carousel rides, street performers, live music, and more. Restaurants are now open onsite, as well, with a wide array of food options.

Beats, Burgers and Brews

Relax outdoors to the beat of bluegrass, Americana, folk, blues or other genres while enjoying a regional craft brew or glass of wine on our riverside deck. Talented local musicians and singer-songwriters liven up the scene on Friday & Saturday evenings in July at this popular burger joint in Chimney Rock Village. The Old Rock Café features one of the 2014 Zagat-rated “Must-Try Burgers Across the Country” with Hickory Nut Gap Meats' 100% grass-fed beef burger. The full men...