October 17-20, 2013
May 8-11, 2014
October 16-19, 2014
May 7-10, 2015
Set amidst the Blue Ridge mountains, just below Mt. Mitchell and near Black Mountain, the LEAF Festival (Lake Eden Arts Festival) magical site is a short drive from Asheville. Experience wildly spontaneous and great music from many corners of the globe at LEAF. A dizzying array of traditions unite to present music from a diverse range of cultures: African, Latin, Appalachian, Cajun, Celtic, Blues, Bluegrass, French, Texas Sounds and more. Discover new music and enjoy LEAF traditions by the lake, under the sun and stars, in the mountains. three days, four stages, jam tent, healing arts, poetry, african drum circle... continuous wonderment & celebration.
Headlining the 37th festival (Oct 17-20, 2013) is the unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots that is Dr. John & The Night Trippers; Belgian polyphonic Afrobeat queen Zap Mama; the voice of a country and the son of a legend, Mali’s Vieux Farka Toure; and Western North Carolina’s own folk rockers, Acoustic Syndicate, performing an official record release show for their first album in almost a decade.
Take a sampling of folkloric flavors this Fall: the roux of New Orleans [Soul Rebels Brass Band, 101 Runners] and Cajun Country [BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet]; the spicy Latin heat of Grammy-winners Grupo Fantasma and salsa/cumbia/timba dance band Orquesta GarDel; nostalgic nuances of soul & vocal jazz from the James Hunter Six and Lake Street Dive; a hint of Hebrew with New York’s Metropolitan Klezmer; an essence of East Africa with Uganda’s Samite; and right back to the rootsy aura of Appalachia with some familiar favorites [John Cowan Band and Rising Appalachia].
These artists and others provide a soundtrack that is only a portion of the LEAF experience. Combining a great diversity of names and faces with a myriad of dancing [Contra, Latin, Cajun, Bhangra], poetry and puppetry slams, healing arts workshops, folk art & handcraft exhibitions, and camping/watersports/outdoor adventure, LEAF never ceases to offer new and exciting cultural connections.
See photos from May LEAF on Facebook!
Formerly the historic Black Mountain College, presently a summer camp (Camp Rockmont), it's a beautiful 600 acre site. Rolling hills for camping, mountain lakes for swimming, canoeing, and ziplining, streams to play in, woods to hike and explore, and a setting which is relaxing and inspiring. Many folks come for the weekend with plenty of room to camp. Be sure to make advance reservations for camping or day passes since it is always a sell-out. Tickets are limited, since only 5,500 are allowed each day! Save money by buying tickets early! It's only about 12 miles from downtown Asheville.
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What to Expect at LEAF?
A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural musical and dance odyssey.
Along the way to enjoy some incredible music at Lakeside Stage, your senses are overcome; the scent of crepes from one side, the splash of laughter from the other, and is that your friend on a massage table over there looking ooooh so relaxed.
Ahead, the Juried Art Fair pulses with life; the muted throbbing of carefully crafted drums, sun sparkled colored glass and cleverly scented soaps and ornate candles vie for your attention with the current featured performer on Lakeside Stage.
To Contra, Cajun, Swing, Celtic, African, Latin, Clogging, Zydeco, Waltz and more or just get out and boogie to your own groove. Dedicated to the pursuit of a good time dancing, they lay a wooden floor in Brookside Pavilion to create one of the south's largest dance floors. If you can move, they can teach you the groove in one of the many dance workshops or mini dance demos that cover everything from belly dance to Irish step dancing.
More than 40 artisans, contemporary and folk-styled, demonstrate their craft and sell original artwork, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and more throughout the festival weekend. Dance in a new batik dress, join the drum circle with a new drum, or light up your campsite with a new candle. For many, the treasures acquired here serve to keep fond memories of LEAF fresh and alive.
The Healing Arts Area weaves an underlying matrix of healing consciousness that permeates every aspect of the festival and affects every person here either directly or indirectly, making LEAF a truly magical microcosm of idyllic existence.
LEAF offers gourmet international festival food. All the food is freshly prepared on site. Experience wildly spontaneous and great music from many corners of the globe when you visit LEAF. LEAF’s music is but one thread that holds together the cloth of a weekend experience that includes art and culture from around the world, and right here, for the entire family.