Top Summer Festivals & Events in Asheville
By Janet Moore
Asheville’s festival scene heats up in the summer with sizzling musical acts, lively performances, arts gatherings and cultural celebrations that span across the season. Connect with Asheville's creative community at some of the Western North Carolina's best summer festivals. .
Here is a look at the top summer festivals, concerts and events in the Asheville area in 2023.
Downtown After 5
April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18 & September 15, 2023
Celebrate the joy of weekends the third Friday of every month from April through September. Performances are free, and feature local and regional jazz, classic soul, country rock, funk and blues musicians.
Asheville Art in the Park
June 3, 10 & 24, 2023
Explore and purchase artwork from some of the finest artists in the region. Asheville Art in the Park takes place on three Saturdays in downtown Asheville in June and October.
June 10, 2023
Downtown Asheville comes alive with the sights, sounds, music, pageantry, colorful costumes and extraordinary talent of Latin America. Don't miss the delicious food vendors and shopping
Music on Main, Weaverville
June 10, 2023
This beloved family-friendly event in downtown Weaverville returned in 2022 and is back again in 2023. Enjoy live music, kids' activities, beer, food and more starting at 4 p.m. along Weaverville's Main Street.
Asheville Ideas Fest
June 13 - 19, 2023
In it's second year, the Asheville Ideas Fest will engage distinguished global thought leaders in the ideas of our time. Make plans to experience this inaugural event that will open with a compelling talk from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meacham.
June 25 - July 29, 2023
This month-long Celtic music festival takes place on the campus of Warren Wilson College. The festival’s workshops and public performances are joyous celebrations of Scots-Irish music and dance and the many musical forms they have inspired.
Shindig on the Green
July 1, 8, 15, 22, Aug. 12, 19, 26, 2023
Shindig on the Green is a free, outdoor mountain bluegrass music and dance festival that takes place throughout the summer months in the heart of downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park. The Shindigs are on most Saturdays from late June through early September each year. The performances begin at about 7 p.m. or “along about sundown,” as folks around here like to say, and generally ends about 10 p.m.
The Carolina Mountain Club Centennial
July 16, 2023
The Carolina Mountain Club will celebrate its 100th year with a free, family-friendly party on Sunday, July 16, at the North Carolina Arboretum from 1 to 5 p.m. The celebration will include guided hikes, live music, food and ice cream trucks, kid activities and 20-plus booths featuring local non-profit vendors.
Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas
July 8, 15, 22, 29, 2023
Formally known as the Swannanoa Chamber Festival, this annual summer event features performances by acclaimed quartets and individual string and wind performers, celebrating the works of composing greats like Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms and Bach. Concerts will be held at Warren Wilson College, as well as surrounding venues in the region.
76th Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
July 20 - 23, 2023
Showcasing the finest artwork of nearly 200 craftspeople from around the region, this four-day festival at the Harrah's Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville offers a unique opportunity to watch artists practice their craft in live demonstrations. Live music also helps set the stage for this event, which features work across every medium, including clay, glass, fiber, paper, wood, jewelry, leather and metal.
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
August 3 - 5, 2023
Hailed as the nation’s longest running folk festival, this is the preeminent event for old-time and bluegrass music. Ballad singers, banjo players and cloggers converge to tell stories of a by-gone era through their music and dance, and by doing so they continue to preserve our classic Southern Appalachian culture.
August 3 - 6, 2023
Asheville welcomes a new music-filled festival this year, AVL Fest! This multi-day music and arts festival kicks off in August and will be a celebration of Asheville's thriving arts and culture scene. Asheville's many local concert halls, clubs and outdoor venues will be featuring amazing lineups of local, regional and national talent.
August 12-13, 2023
Black Mountain's annual Sourwood Festival celebrates the region’s prized Sourwood honey every August. With a line-up of local musicians, honey tastings, and a decadent food fest, this family-friendly festival is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Come to Leicester Studio Tour
August 19 - 20, 2023
This free, self-guided event is held every third weekend in August. Area artists in Leicester open their studios to the public and visitors can choose their own tour stops along the scenic route. The tour comprises both local and visiting artists working in a variety of media including clay, fiber, jewelry, metal, glass, wood, natural materials, painting and mixed media.
September 1 - 3, 2023
For more than 40 years, this annual celebration of African-Caribbean food and music has filled downtown Asheville with memorable flavors and the sounds of gospel, reggae, funk and soul. This year's event held during Labor Day weekend will be held at The Block, Asheville's historic African-American district.
Chow Chow Culinary Event Series
September 7 - 10, 2023
Coming back for the third season, Chow Chow is Asheville’s premier food festival and culinary event series. Held across three weekends during the summer, Chow Chow offers fun, delicious, immersive, meaningful and educational events that celebrate and enrich the unique foodways of Southern Appalachia, while fostering dialogue about issues that impact our community including racial justice, climate change and food justice. Experience flights & bites tasting events, five course dinners, hands-on workshops and more!