For the Music Lover- Asheville
Concerts, festivals, or just a weekend of tunes in Asheville's music scene
You could visit Asheville for the national music acts that the picturesque mountain town draws each year. There’s no shortage of big names stopping in smaller venues like Jack of the Wood pub (jackofthewood.com) or the famed Orange Peel (theorangepeel.net), which Rolling Stone named one of the “Top Five Rock Clubs in the Country.” And, of course, there are the larger spots like Thomas Wolfe Auditorium or the Asheville Civic Center (ashevillenc.gov), which host sellout crowds for bands like the popular Mumford & Sons or the Avett Brothers. But some of the best music in this thriving city can be found in unexpected places, like the corner of Haywood and College streets, where street musicians often entertain crowds for hours, or inside the grand rooms of the Biltmore Estate (biltmore.com), where members of the esteemed Asheville Symphony frequently play for seasonal events.
At the luxurious Inn on Biltmore Estate (from $189 per night, biltmore.com/stay/inn), you’re a quick drive to the downtown music scene. Plus, the estate offers a little bit of musical action of its own with the Biltmore Summer Evening Concert Series, which stretches through the warmer months and to the end of October. Familiar names like Alison Krauss, the Beach Boys, Styx, and Eddie Money perform weekly at the estate, and the inn offers accommodation packages that include tickets.
Timing is everything when it comes to planning a musical adventure in Asheville. While locals play year round in the town’s pubs and concert halls, Asheville has become a hot spot for annual music festivals. Much of the current scene stems from a history of mountain folk music, which is reflected in annual events like Bele Chere Festival (belecherefestival.com), the Mountain Folk and Dance Festival (folkheritage.org), and Shindig on the Green (folkheritage.org). The latest festival to launch here is Moogfest (moog fest.com), a three-day event in late October focused on electronic music. It may be a far cry from the city’s Scotch-Irish folk roots, but this three-day tribute to modern music makes perfect sense in Asheville’s diverse, ever-evolving scene.