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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

3rd Annual Three Days of Light Gathering (3DL3)

  • October 3, 2014
  • Location: Camp Grier
  • Address: 985 Camp Grier Road, Old Fort, NC 28762
  • Recurrence: Recurring every week day

Now in our 3rd year, the 2014 gathering is subtitle "The Return to Innocence" because after a few intense years of getting used to these incredible changes that WE have been experiencing... it's time that we reconnect with that part of us that really is Innocent, and ready to Play! Play! Play! :) With so many amazing things happening there is too much to list here. Ceremony, Activation. The "big picture" goal of 3DL is to REALLY open people up, with confidence to "being ...

BARNAROO 2014

  • October 4, 2014
  • Location: Franny's Farm
  • Address: 38 Came Sharp Rd, Leicester, NC 28748

Grassroots Youth-inspired music festival perpetuating the support, growth and development of local and regional youth music. BARNAROO is a one day family friendly music festival featuring more than ten local and regional bands. BARNAROO was founded by 16 year-old Andrew Scotchie and family in 2009 as a private, single day mini-festival, and has continued to grow in size annually. In 2013, Asheville BARNAROO moved to a larger venue at Franny’s Farm, located 10 miles from Asheville. The ten...

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.

Asheville Oktoberfest

  • October 11, 2014
  • Location: Coxe Avenue, Downtown Asheville
  • Address: Coxe Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801

The Asheville Downtown Association’s Oktoberfest eturns on Saturday, October 11 from 1pm to 6pm on Coxe Avenue on downtown Asheville’s south slope. Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 1 at noon for $30. Ticket prices will increase to $35 on Sept. 1 and to $40 on Oct. 1. Oktoberfest is a 21 and over festival, we encourage you to leave the kids at home. If you must bring children, those 8 and up must have a designated driver ticket. Children under 7 will be admitted free. Designated...

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...

LEAF - Lake Eden Arts Festival

LEAF is one of the treasured traditions for families and friends across the Southeast and beyond. A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long, multi-cultural music, arts, dance and outdoor-adventures journey, which "recharges our batteries." A few aspects that make LEAF "one of the best fests in the country" [re: Johnny Irion] is the FAMILY-friendly atmosphere, the diverse sampling of arts and music, the setting and the intimate size.

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar

  • October 18, 2014
  • Location: Pritchard Park, Downtown Asheville

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar is happy to announce its 3rd season this fall. A continuation of the Curiosity Market that took place this Summer in Pritchard Park, located in the center of beautiful downtown Asheville. The Holiday Bazaar will showcase the work of more than a dozen local artists. Taking place over three Saturdays this Fall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 18th, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1st. Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar will feature works by local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters, ...

The 2014 HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival

  • October 19, 2014
  • Location: Pack Square Park
  • Address: 1 W Pack Square #513, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Pack Square Park

The 12th-annual HardLox, Asheville's Jewish Food and Heritage Festival in Pack Square in historic downtown Asheville, North Carolina, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 19th. Come and enjoy delicious Jewish food, meet Asheville's Jewish community, and listen to fabulous entertainment.  At this year's HardLox Festival there will be lots of great traditional Jewish food, Israeli dancing, crafts, a Kids Zone, klezmer music and lots more. Dogs are not allowed at HardLox - city ordinance. ...

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar

  • October 25, 2014
  • Location: Pritchard Park, Downtown Asheville

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar is happy to announce its 3rd season this fall. A continuation of the Curiosity Market that took place this Summer in Pritchard Park, located in the center of beautiful downtown Asheville. The Holiday Bazaar will showcase the work of more than a dozen local artists. Taking place over three Saturdays this Fall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 18th, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1st. Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar will feature works by local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters, ...

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar

  • November 1, 2014
  • Location: Pritchard Park, Downtown Asheville

Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar is happy to announce its 3rd season this fall. A continuation of the Curiosity Market that took place this Summer in Pritchard Park, located in the center of beautiful downtown Asheville. The Holiday Bazaar will showcase the work of more than a dozen local artists. Taking place over three Saturdays this Fall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 18th, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1st. Ooh La La's Holiday Bazaar will feature works by local painters, leather smiths, jewelry makers, potters, ...

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