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Explore Asheville Festivals

Asheville area Music Festivals, Bele Chere, Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF)

festival 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.

From the local and national acts that perform at Bele Chere, to the global performers at July’s Folkmoot festival in nearby Waynesville, to the African–Caribbean sounds of the Goombay festival held downtown each August, 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.

Bele Chere

Asheville’s signature music festival offers an earful of free tunes during this three-day street party from July 26th – July 28th. >> MORE >>

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.    >> Website >>

Bluff Mountain Festival

Enjoy bluegrass music and a square dance at this free public festival on the grounds of the Hot Springs Spa and Resort in June. A silent auction of donated arts and crafts raises funds for the Madison County Arts Council.>> Website>>

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. >> Website>>

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. >> Website>>

Goombay Festival

Each August “The Block” at the intersection of Eagle and Market streets comes alive with music, crafts, food and more during this African- and Caribbean-inspired festival. Look for R&B, steel drum, gospel and blues music during the celebration. >> Website>>

Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF)

LEAF brings sounds from around the globe to the stage. Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival This downtown avenue will turn into a showcase of indie bands, street performers and artwork in September for this all-local festival that benefits arts2people. >> MORE >>