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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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Lake Julian Festival of Lights

  • December 5, 2014 - December 23, 2014
  • Location: Lake Julian Park
  • Address: 406 Overlook Road Ext., Arden, NC 28704
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Light up your Holiday nights at the Lake Julian Park Festival of Lights. The park is brightly lit with thousands of colored lights and over 50 animated and stationary light displays. The road circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights.