Goombay Festival, Asheville

Goombay Festival, Asheville

September 7-9, 2018
Enjoy sights, sounds and tastes of the African-Caribbean at Goombay, a free weekend festival in downtown Asheville. Held at Pack Square Park, Goombay brings a variety of entertainment including dancing and the beating of West African drums ringing with the harmonic live music featuring gospel, reggae, funk and soul.

Goombay Hours
Friday: 6-10 PM
Saturday: 11 AM-10 PM
Sunday: 12-6 PM

On Friday evening, a collective of Asheville musicians will perform a Tribute to Aretha Franklin followed by the Funk Attack Band featuring Aaron Mills of Cameo. On Saturday, local artists Teyg and Lyric will open for headliner Chubb Rock. Bands begin at 5 PM. There will be a local gospel concert at the nearby YMI Cultural Center on Sunday.

Goombay Festival Asheville

The colorful festival features an eclectic lineup of national, regional, and local music acts, market and dance troupes.

Goombay Fesitval Asheville

Along with the music, see and buy from diverse assortment of craft vendors at the Ethnic Market.. 

Goombay Festival Asheville

Savor some Jamaican favorites like jerk chicken, ox trail, curry goat and more! Also find food trucks and festival favorites.

Goombay Festival Asheville

Goombay is as a cultural expression of a people, enduring slavery days in Bermuda. Both music and rhythm were brought form Africa and West Indies. The original dancers used a skin-covered drum that was called "Gombey" meaning rhythm. In the Bahamas the word is "Goombay" and in Jamaica, the dance is known as "Gumbay". The Goombay dancers wear colorful costumes and high headdresses topped with feathers. Often times, grotesque masks help to enhance the free and exotic movements.

Just a few blocks away is the weekly Drum Circle on Friday night.

What is YMI Cultural Center?
The YMI Cultural Center is located on the corner of Eagle and Market Streets in downtown Asheville. The YMI Cultural Center is an enduring asset in the City of Asheville. Housed in a local landmark building which is on the National Register of Historic Places, the YMICC runs programs in cultural arts, community education and economic development. Commissioned by George Vanderbilt in 1892, this beautiful, multi-level 18,000 square foot, Tudor-style structure was built by and for the several hundred Negro craftsmen who helped construct the Biltmore House. It became known as the Young Men's Institute or YMI.

Downtown Asheville
Downtown Asheville Top 25
Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries and pubs. Dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or enjoy street performers. See our favorite things to do!

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