May 3-5, 2013
The French Broad River Festival in Hot Springs has grown steadily from a one night benefit party on the banks of the French Broad to an all weekend festival featuring some of the best music in the area and a number of outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river and camping setting. See below for ticket information.
The festival takes place at the Hot Springs Campground & Spa, just 45 minutes north of Asheville, and sits on the edge of this historic town that is surrounded by national forest and is a crossroads of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River.
2013 entertainment on three stages includes
Langhorne Slim & The Law, Sol Driven Train, Yarn, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Realms of Ventilation, The Jeff Sip Group, Marley Carroll, Snake Oil Medicine Show, The Mosier Brothers, The Reckoning, Hank West and the Smokin' Hots, Kovacs & The Polar Bear, Brushfire Stankgrass, The Hermit Kings, Evergreen Multi-cultural Beat Ensemble, and more!
This festival always has a few surprises such as a juggling fire show, kid’s parade, trapeze artists, fireworks, late night acoustic jams, and watch out for flying marshmallows.
Outdoor events: You can enjoy the outdoors by participating in the raft race, a 9 mile whitewater race that finishes at the festival, paddling “with the pros”, or the 25 mile mountain bike race. And if you’re not feeling too competitive, you can take a nice hike on the AT or just hang out by the river, listening to the music.
The Raft Race will be held on Saturday at 10 AM, the biggest mass start whitewater raft race in the southeast. The race begins in Barnard and ends at the festival in Hot Springs. During the 9 mile race, experience Class 1-4 whitewater excitement, as well as bumping boats, crazy people, and a lot of heckling. The Mountain Bike Race will also take place Saturday at 10 AM.
Food, prizes and more: There are plenty of food vendors or you can dine out in one of Hot Springs restaurants. See lots of outdoor gear and win some of it in the raffle and silent auction.
Good Cause: Over the years, The French Broad River Festival has donated over $100,000 to designated local charities such as Manna Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of WNC, Eliada Home, Homeward Bound of Asheville, and American Whitewater.
Tickets: General Admission Early Bird tickets are $70 online. Tickets will be $80 at the gate. Admission includes camping, music, registration fees for whitewater events (if you have your own boat), and one raffle ticket.
Rafting plus Admission: For those without boats but who would like to participate in the race, a limited number of tickets are available. These include a spot in a raft for the raft race with a guide, plus everything the general admission ticket offers.
Check their website for more details.