Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC

Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC

Experience a variety of North Carolina mountain live music and dance traditions including bluegrass, old-time, blues and clogging in and near Asheville. Thanks to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC project, you can easily find events and places to go throughout the year. Often you get up close to musicians at impromptu jam sessions or concerts. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes, as locals love to teach their moves. Appalachian mountain music includes many instruments, styles and sounds. There are many opportunities to enjoy for free! Photo above: Shindig on the Green

The traditional Blue Ridge Mountain music in North Carolina that has evolved over two centuries has influenced many other American music styles. The Blue Ridge Music Trails showcase and promote traditional music in all of Western North Carolina, a program of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council.

Go to the Blue Ridge Music Trails website for a calendar of live music and dance events. Below are just a few of the possibilities.

Blue Ridge Music Trails Weekly Music Sampler

Sundays

  • One Stop at Asheville Music Hall (55 College St, Asheville) - Bluegrass Brunch (year round)
  • The Orchard at Atlapass (1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine) - Mountain Music (May-September, weekend afternoons in October)
  • Folk Art Center (382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville) - Old-Time Dulcimer Jam (second Sunday, year round)
  • Mountain Gateway Museum (24 Water St, Old Fort)- Old Fort Afternoon Jams w/ Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel (year round)

Mondays

  • Archetype Brewing (265 Haywood Rd, Asheville) - Old-Time Jam (year round)
  • Oskar Blues Brewery (342 Mountain Industrial Dr, Brevard) - Mountain Music (year round)
  • Hendersonville Visitor Center (201 South Main St, Hendersonville) - Monday Night Street Dance (mid-July - mid-August)

Tuesdays

  • Isis Restaurant & Music Hall (743 Haywood Rd, Asheville) - Bluegrass Jam (year round)

Wednesdays

  • Jack of the Wood (95 Patton Ave, Asheville) - Old-Time Mountain Music Jam (year round)
  • Funkatorium (147 Coxe Ave, Asheville) - John Hartford Bluegrass Jam (year round)

Thursdays

  • Jack of the Wood (95 Patton Ave, Asheville) - Bluegrass Jam (year round)
  • Zuma Coffee (7 North Main, Marshall) - Bluegrass Jam (year round)
  • Silvermont Mansion (364 E Main St, Brevard) - Mountain Music Jam (year round)
  • Marion Depot (Railroad St, Marion)- Bluegrass (year round)
  • The Depot (282 S Main St, Marshall) - Bluegrass, Old-Time (year round)

Fridays

  • Fletcher Feed & Seed (3715 Hendersonville Rd, Fletcher) - Bluegrass, Gospel, Country w/ Dancing (year round)
  • The Depot (282 South Main St, Marshall) - Old-Time, Bluegrass, Country w/ Dancing (year round)
  • Woody’s Original Mountain Music (3354 Highway 70 West, Marion) - Bluegrass Jam (year round)
  • Lake Toxaway Community Center (81 Slick Fisher Rd, Lake Toxaway) - Blue grass (year round)
  • Waynesville Mountain Street Dances at the Courthouse (285 N Main) on four summer nights

Saturdays

  • Killough’s Music & Loan (104 South Main St, Marion) - Saturday Morning Jam w/ Bluegrass, Gospel & Old-Time (year round)
  • Fletcher Feed & Seed (3715 Hendersonville Rd, Fletcher) - Bluegrass Gospel & Country (year round)
  • Historic Rickman Store (251 Cowee Creek Rd, Franklin) - Bluegrass Jam (Late Spring-December)

Stompin Ground, Maggie Valley
Dancing & mountain music on spring, summer and fall Saturday nights at Stompin' Ground.

Go to the Blue Ridge Music Trails website for details and a complete calendar.

Blue Ridge Music Festivals

Cherokee Voices Festival
Cherokee Voices Festival
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Experience the 11,000-year old Cherokee culture through dance, music, storytelling, arts and crafts. Held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 10 AM-5 PM, with a blowgun contest at 11 AM. Traditional food available for purchase. Free admission. 
Bluff Mountain Festival
Bluff Mountain Festival
Saturday, June 15, 2019
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages and more. 10 AM to 6 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.
Red, White & Bluegrass Festival
Red, White & Bluegrass Festival
Thursday, July 4, 2019 to Saturday, July 6, 2019
Go to one of the top bluegrass music festivals in the South, with 20+ bands including some national headliners. Camping, food, crafts and more in a beautiful park in Morganton. Fireworks on the 4th. Daily admission starts at $15/advance. Event pass starts at $25/person.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, July 6, 2019, Saturday, July 13, 2019, Saturday, July 20, 2019, Saturday, July 27, 2019
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the "green."
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Thursday, August 1, 2019 to Saturday, August 3, 2019
Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come together the first weekend in August for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.
NC Bluegrass Festival
NC State Bluegrass Festival
Thursday, August 15, 2019 to Saturday, August 17, 2019
This big outdoor concert weekend in Marion is on the grounds of Tom Johnson's Camping Center - complete with camping options, pavilion and dozens of performers. Single day and weekend tickets.
Smoky Mountain Folk Festival Lake Junaluska
Smoky Mountain Folk Festival
Friday, August 30, 2019 to Saturday, August 31, 2019
Held on beautiful Lake Junaluska, this longtime favorite includes two nights of the finest traditional music and dance of the Southern Appalachians with region's finest fiddlers, banjo players, ballad singers and square dance teams.
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Held on the campus of Western Carolina University, this long-running outdoors celebration features the sights, sounds, crafts and flavors of yesteryear. Get a taste of southern Appalachian culture, art and music. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Sunday, September 22, 2019
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Two long-running festivals celebrate mountain craft, music and dance: the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. Both held downtown, adjoining Mars Hill University. Free. 10 AM-4 PM. Small fee for indoor evening concert. 
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
Friday, October 18, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
Harvest Festival Stecoah
Harvest Festival, Stecoah Valley
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Experience quintessential traditional mountain life with Appalachian dance, music, food, arts and crafts in the beautiful Nantahala National Forest at Stecoah Valley, near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, designated by Congress and affiliated with the National Park Service, protects, preserves, interprets and develops our natural, historical and cultural resources of Western North Carolina. Go to the Blue Ridge Music Trails website for much more.

A must stop for art lovers is the Folk Art Center in Asheville, featuring the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians. Shop the wonderful Southern Highland Craft... read more
July 18-28, 2019
The world comes to western North Carolina for 11 days. Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's Official International Folklore Festival, is a 10-day celebration of the world's cultural... read more
Fascinating history can be found at a variety of museums and historic sites in Asheville and the many small towns of the western North Carolina mountains. Learn about our Appalachian natural and... read more