2015 Festivals: May 7-10 & October 15-18
Set amidst the Blue Ridge mountains, just below Mt. Mitchell and near Black Mountain, the LEAF Festival (Lake Eden Arts Festival) magical park setting is a short drive from Asheville. Experience 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.
Fall 2015 Festival Update: The fall LEAF will feature New Orleans funk, big time brass, bayou blues, swampy soul, Mardi Gras Indian traditions and all the sights, sounds, and smells of The Big Easy! Celebrate the Spirit of New Orleans at LEAF Festival and artistry from one of the greatest cities in the world with four time Grammy Award winning artist Aaron Neville; Preservation Hall Jazz Band – legendary band touring 150 days per year since 1961; and Rebirth Brass’ whose single “Rebirth of New Orleans” reached #1 on the CMJ Jazz charts and earned the group a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Many more will perform on six stages – and Roaming Performing Artists around grounds – over the course of four days!
LEAF Festival musicians provide the soundtrack to a memorable experience filled with cultural treasures and fun. Combining a great diversity of names and faces with a myriad of community dances including Salsa, Swing, the Waltz and traditional, contemporary and techno forms of Contra; poetry and puppetry slams; folk art and handcraft exhibitions, installations and interactive demonstrations; camping, watersports and outdoor adventure; and kid’s activities throughout the festival.
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!
Purchase tickets online at the LEAF Web site or by phone at 828-686-8742. Take advantage of discounts for early bird registration. Adult early bird prices start at $31 for the day or $143 for the weekend. Children 9 and younger are always free. Limited car camping, lodge rooms and cabins are available. Funky costumes and festive attitudes welcome!
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. Save money by buying tickets early ! It's only about 12 miles from downtown Asheville.
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. 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.
Discover new music and explore cultures through music at LEAF. From local old time, Cherokee and bluegrass traditions to Celtic, Brazilian, Haitian, African, Indian, Jamaican, Tibetan back to funk, New Orleans, swing, Blues, folk, Cajun and more. LEAF performing artists take you on journeys through music around the world.
Arts express so many cultures, traditions, and forms of creativity. Browse the all original juried fine arts and crafts show. The folk art exhibits give new directions to creativity. Healing arts create the path towards discovery and total relaxation. Poetry is the outspoken art form. Music, dance, theater, and more. At LEAF, you are able to experience so many expressions of art.
Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain is a non-profit dedicated to reaching out in our local community and globally. LEAF in Schools & Streets empowers local youth through arts, mentoring, experience, and education. See the youth perform at LEAF! LEAF International matches kids globally with instruments and mentors.
Salsa, Swing, Contra, Hip-Hop, Cajun, Zydeco, Waltz and African shake up anyone's sit down blues. Dance! Dance! Dance all weekend!
Purchase tickets in advance - the more in advance you purchase tickets, the lower the price. Often, the festival sells out their day passes early in the day - or even before the festival begins. More ticket info.
- From West (from Asheville): 1-40 to Swannanoa Exit 59. Left at end of ramp. Right at light onto US 70. Left at next light,cross small bridge, right at yield onto Old US70. 1.9 miles to light. Left onto Lake Eden Rd.
- From East: I-40 to 1st Black Mtn. Exit #65. Exit merges to Hwy. 70. 3.5 miles, pass lots of small businesses, Marine Boats & see large Ingles Warehouse on left. Right at traffic light onto Grovestone Road. Left at next light onto Old US 70. 1st light right onto Lake Eden Road.
- By Air: Asheville Airport w/ USAir, Delta, Continental, Northwest-25 minutes
Greenville SC (GSP) Airport- 1.5 hours Charlotte NC (CLT)- 2.5 hours
- By Bus: Ride the Asheville Transit Bus from Asheville, Airport or Black Mtn.
- By Bike: Discounts for bike riders who arrive in this environmentally friendly style. Park & lock bikes at tennis courts.
Ins & Outs:
- NO ARRIVALS prior to Thursday 4pm
- Thursday Arrivals - 4pm-11pm only.
- Friday - 9am-1am Saturday - 9am-10pm Sunday - 8:30am-4pm
- The festival ends Sunday eve at 7pm. Please plan to depart by dark.
- LEAFbit: Once you are parked please plan to leave only when necessary.
Help make LEAF more car-free:
- Carpool with friends. Saturday only (non overnight leafers) please park in our off-site shuttle parking at Owen High School.
- For Vehicle Camping remember you must have a vehicle camping space reserved in advance.
- All Cars park in Gate 6 or designated parking areas. Plan once you park in car-camping not to leave and re-enter.
- All cars not needed as part of the campsite please park in Gate 6 lot. Thanks - less vehicles about-more friendly space.
Read and see more at the LEAF Web site.