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Asheville Music Festivals

Dancing at the Drum Circle in Asheville, NC

From the local and national acts that perform at Moogfest, to the global performers at July's Folkmoot festival in nearby Waynesville, 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.

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.

Plan Your Music Journey to Asheville

To get your planning started, here's a brief overview of a few annual festivals in the Asheville area:

  • 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

    Five extraordinary days of music, featuring amazing music and bands, exhibitions, installations, films, workshops, and discussions celebrating the spirit and expansive vision of Bob Moog.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


All Upcoming Music Festivals

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Upcoming Events

RiverMUSIC Concert Series

  • August 29, 2014
  • Location: RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza
  • Address: Clingman Ave. at Lyman St., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  River Arts District

Five Friday nights of live concerts by the French Broad River in the River Arts District of Asheville returns for a third year in 2014. RiverLink has teamed up with Heira Productions to assemble a top-notch mix of quality national acts and local favorites. Gates for all events open at 5 p.m., and the party goes until 10 p.m. There will be beer from local craft brewers, food trucks, live music from local and national acts, and the waters of the beautiful French Broad flowing right by the stage...

BaconFest Asheville

  • August 30, 2014
  • Location: Highland Brewing Company
  • Address: 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Highland Brewing Company

After selling out the 2013 inaugural event in less than two weeks, 105.9 the Mountain (WTMT) invites our community to go hog wild again as the Mountain presents the 2nd-Annual BaconFest Asheville being held in the outdoor meadow at Highland Brewing on Saturday, August 30th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Last year's event featured over 20 local restaurants showcasing their most unique pork creations, both sweet and savory, from classic BBQ and good old-fashioned bacon to pork-belly dishes, bacon-inspi...

RiverMUSIC Concert Series

  • September 12, 2014
  • Location: RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza
  • Address: Clingman Ave. at Lyman St., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  River Arts District

Five Friday nights of live concerts by the French Broad River in the River Arts District of Asheville returns for a third year in 2014. RiverLink has teamed up with Heira Productions to assemble a top-notch mix of quality national acts and local favorites. Gates for all events open at 5 p.m., and the party goes until 10 p.m. There will be beer from local craft brewers, food trucks, live music from local and national acts, and the waters of the beautiful French Broad flowing right by the stage...

Shining Rock Riverfest

  • September 13, 2014
  • Location: Camp Hope
  • Address: 312 Camp Hope Road, Canton, NC 28716

Mountain Music Fans mark your calendars. The 2nd-Annual Shining Rock Riverfest 2014 is fast approaching. Taking place at Camp Hope, Canton NC, established in 1925. Featuring nine of NC, TN, & Atlanta's rising bands with their roots firmly planted in Appalachian Mountain Music. Admission is $10 @ the gate, kids under 12 Free. Great BBQ by Blue Ridge BBQ Company and 12 arts & crafts vendors in the lodge. Parking is limited, so please carpool when possible. No dogs or glass bottles allowed....

Downtown After 5 Presented by Harmony Motors: Asheville All-Stars

  • September 19, 2014
  • Location: North Lexington Avenue at I-240 Bridge
  • Address: Downtown Asheville, Asheville, NC 28801

Downtown After 5 takes place the 3rd Friday of the month from May through September, Downtown After 5 is located at N. Lexington Avenue and I-240 and is always free. Asheville All-Stars The All-Stars will include members from Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, The Asheville Horns, Molli Party, The Hermit Kings, Bayou Diesel, Mary Francis and The Dirty Classics, The Tuesday Night Funk Jam House Band, and many more. As a testament to the abundance of musical talent in Asheville, this year's Asheville A...

Art In Autumn

  • September 20, 2014
  • Location: Downtown Weaverville
  • Address: 20 N Main Street, Weaverville, NC 28787

Sponsored by the Weaverville Business Association, the festival features over 100 juried artists and craftspeople, as well as an exciting array of food and live music. In recent years, Weaverville has established itself as a culturally rich destination point. It has earned a reputation for its quaint small town atmosphere, artistic spirit, and distinctive shops. The annual Art in Autumn festival brings a jovial celebration of community and fine art to the Main Street of this 'Mayberry-esque' tow...

Asheville Greek Festival

  • September 26, 2014
  • Location: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Historic Montford
  • Address: 227 Cumberland Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Three days of fun at the Asheville Greek Festival. Wonderful homemade Greek food and pastries, Greek dancing, Greek beer and wine, cultural demonstrations, church tours, kids' rides..come and get a taste of Greece right in Asheville.

Three Days of Light Gathering 2014

  • October 3, 2014
  • Location: Camp Grier
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

3DL is all about connection. To the Earth, to spirit, to each other. It is about taking the time to FEEL how deep these connections can be. 3DL is an event that was designed and created for all ages in mind. Three Days of Light = Three Days of Relaxation, Yoga, Mediation, Educational Workshops, Ceremonies, Music, Art, Activites, and Performances... and LOTS OF CELEBRATION! Want to get a feel for 3DL? Check out our documentary (www.youtube.com/v/YGgTLVKrPcg?version=3)!

Blue Ridge Pride Festival

  • October 4, 2014
  • Location: Pack Square Park
  • Address: Pack Square Park, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Pack Square Park

Annual LGBT grassroots festival featuring education, celebration and entertainment.

Biannual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands - Fall

  • October 16, 2014
  • Location: US Cellular Center
  • Address: 87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  US Cellular Center
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Over 200 exhibitors, craft demonstrations and live regional music and entertainment! For four days each July and October, the US Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C., comes alive with fine traditional and contemporary crafts. Over 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the center, selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.  The Fairs, a local tradition since 1948, showcase the work of members of the Southern Hig...

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