October 1-3, 2021
The French Broad River Festival in Hot Springs has grown steadily from a one-night benefit party on the banks of the French Broad River 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 setting.
The part outdoor adventure, part music festival has whitewater and mountain bike races, hiking, kid's village, camping, and musical acts on multiple stages.
The festival takes place at the Hot Springs Campground & Spa, just 45 minutes north of Asheville. The historic town is surrounded by national forest and is a crossroads of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River. Music and entertainment include 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.
On Saturday, be a part of the biggest mass start whitewater raft race in the southeast. The race begins in Barnard, North Carolina, and ends at the festival in beautiful Hot Springs. During the 9 mile race, you will experience Class 1-4 whitewater excitement, as well as bumping boats, crazy people, and a lot of heckling.
The Mountain Bike Race also takes place Saturday at 10 AM. 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.
Over the years, The French Broad River Festival has donated over $200,000 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 include camping, music, registration fees for whitewater and biking events (if you have your own boat/bike), one raffle ticket, festival schwag, and good times.
- $110 early bird / $140 last minute: Check their website for tickets and more details.
- Parking fee to park inside festival or park free just outside
- Children under 12 get in free.