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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

87th Annual Mountain Dance & 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. In 2014, performers at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival will take to the stage for the 87th time at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville on Thursday through Saturday (July 31 through August 2) at 7 p.m.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America – Southeast Edition

  • August 3, 2014
  • Location: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Address: 100 Sierra Nevada, Mills River, NC 28732

This summer Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is throwing an unprecedented seven-city traveling beer festival called Beer Camp Across America, and it’s stopping in Mills River. Sierra Nevada invited every U.S. craft brewer—around 2,800—to serve their beers at the festival location nearest them. Beer Camp Across America is a celebration for the entire craft beer community, bringing together brewers and the fans who’ve helped them thrive. Visit SierraNevada.com/BeerCamp for festiv...

RiverFest 2014

  • August 9, 2014
  • Location: RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza
  • Address: 144 Riverside Drive, Asheville, NC 28801

There's something for everyone at RiverFest - RiverLink's biggest party of the year. This is a family-friendly event, and RiverFest offers lots of fun for kids: face-painters, art supplies, hula-hooping, craft booths, and puppies from Brother Wolf. Kids can ride, skate, walk, run, and skip in costume in the Kids Parade, which always kicks off the festivities at 1 p.m. It wouldn't be summer without the "Anything That Floats" Parade. Participants construct vessels out of anything th...

RiverLink's Anything That Floats Parade

  • August 9, 2014
  • Location: Hominy Creek Park
  • Address: 194 Hominy Creek Road, Asheville, NC

RiverLink's ANYTHING THAT FLOATS PARADE is to be held on Saturday, August 9, 2014 on the French Broad River in Asheville. Gather your crew and join us for the wildest, wackiest event of the summer. Judges will select a winner in each of the four categories: 1. Most Creative 2. Green Machine 3. Funniest 4. Judges' Choice. Registration, fees and details at: http://riverlink.org/experience/riverfest/anything-that-floats/. The ANYTHING THAT FLOATS PARADE is a featured event of RiverFest 2014, ...

8th-Annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival

  • August 13, 2014
  • Location: Various Locations Around Downtown Asheville
  • Address: Downtown Asheville, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

The Laugh Your Asheville Off festival has become one of the largest and most respected stand-up comedy events in the country. The event attracts top comedy producers and representatives that will be in attendance to scout the hottest new comedic talent. The festival prides itself on its non-competitive nature, as the producers of Laugh Your Asheville Off believe stand-up should be enjoyed not judged. It will feature over 50 comics from all around the country.

Downtown After 5 Presented by Harmony Motors: The Dynamites Ft. Charles Walker

  • August 15, 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. The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker (thedynamites.net) The Dynamites take very seriously their sacred mandate of carrying the torch of "real" soul music forward. Charles Walker continues his age-defying prowess, at the top of his powers; strong and getting stronger. The Dynamites continue their relentless commitment to ...

2014 Asheville Wine & Food Festival

  • August 21, 2014
  • Location: US Cellular Center
  • Address: 87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801

A vibrant restaurant, brewery, wine, spirits, and boundless downtown scene have placed Asheville in the national spotlight time and again. Underground supper clubs, James Beard-nominated chefs, nationally recognized distilleries, and boasting more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville is the culinary destination. And there's no better opportunity to sample it all in one place than during the 6th annual Asheville Wine & Food Festival, held August 21-23 at the US Cellular Center ...

DIG Festival

  • August 22, 2014
  • Location: • The Orange Peel • Asheville Music Hall • One Stop • Broadways • Tressa's • 5 Walnut • The Social • Wicked Weed •
  • Address: 101 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

DIG FESTIVAL DOWNTOWN INDEPENDENT GROOVE FESTIVAL AUG. 22nd & 23rd ASHEVILLE, NC Two days, 8 venues , 40+ local and regional bands! Alanna Royale • Alarm Clock Conspiracy • Blushin Roulettes • Bubonik Funk • Bulgogi • Camp David • Carolina Wray • Dave Dribbon & The Stomping Rain • Can't Kids • Debrissa and Bear King • Doc Aquatic • Empire Strikes Brass • The E Normous Trio • Hank West • Hearts Gone South • ...

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...

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