Summer Festival Guide: The List

The gig: Asheville Music Jamboree The site: The place: Deerfields, Asheville, NC Thebuzz: “Not your standard sardine can festival, AMJam’s site boastsnearly 1,000 acres of space filled with apple orchards, mature shadetrees, lush grass, hiking trails, wooded camping areas, streams, pondsand gorgeous mountain views.” One(s) to watch: Gov’t Mule, Dumpstaphunk, Burning Spear, Keller and the Keels and James McMurtry Book it: May 23-25 How much: $145 (three-day pass, extra for RV and vehicle camping)

The gig: Fiddler’s Grove Festival The site: The place: Fiddler’s Grove Campground; Union Grove, NC The buzz: “The oldest continuous ole time fiddler’s competition in North America” One(s)to watch: The certified old-time fiddlers (the competition is open tomusicians over 55 who play only by ear and have had no formal training) Book it: May 23-25 How much: $50 weekend pass/$10-$30 per day; camping available

The gig: First annual Bryson City Bluegrass Festival The site: The place: Swain County Center for the Arts; Bryson City, NC The buzz: Sponsored by SAFE, which aids victims of domestic violence in Swain County One(s) to watch: Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad Book it: May 31 How much: $15

The gig: Festival in the Grove The site: The place: Davidson County; corner of Highway 109 and Barnes Farm Road The buzz: A day-long pickin’ fest with proceeds going to Victory Junction Gang Camp One(s) to watch: Kickin’ Grass – high-energy bluegrass, rock and country covers and some originals Book it: May 31 How much: $15, $10 advance

The gig: Ocrafolk Music and storytelling Festival The site: The place: Ocracoke Island, NC Thebuzz: “The festival is a life-enriching experience, full of joy andsharing… a communion of sorts, bringing together musicians, Ocracokeresidents and tourists.” One(s) to watch: More than 30 acts, including Baby Dee & Free Moustache, billed as an “Ocracoke supergroup” Book it: June 6-8 How much: [?? 252-928-3411]

The gig: Galax Leaf & String Festival The site: The place: Downtown Galax, Va. The buzz: Bluegrass and old-time mountain music on two downtown stages and a headliner at the historic Rex Theater One(s)to watch: The Blue Ridge Music Makers Guild holds court at theStringbean Caf’ all weekend, hosting jam sessions and giving lessons ontheir lending library of instruments Book it: June 13-14 How much: Free, donations appreciated

The gig: Charlie Poole Music Festival The site: The place: Eden Fairgrounds, Eden, NC The buzz: Three days of pickin’, grinnin’ and fiddlin’ in honor of the legacy of mill worker and banjoist Charlie Poole. One(s)to watch: The Freighthoppers, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, Waking UpTillie, the New North Carolina Ramblers and Martin & Johnson, withcompetitions all day Saturday including bluegrass fiddle, clawhammerbanjo and best Charlie Poole song, plus a Saturday night concert byGrammy Award-winner Jim Lauderdale Book it: June 13-15 How much: $10-$20

The gig: Groverfest 2008 The site: The place: VanHoy Campground; Union Grove, NC Thebuzz: “[B]rings together genres of music from across the board for anall-ages event geared toward exposing our area’s talent and providing asafe and affordable recreation for a diverse experience unlike anyother around.” One(s) to watch: Bands with great names likeYesterday’s Gravy, Fat Cabbage, Hollywood Red, 5 Finger Discount andthe Mud Bunnies Book it: June 13-14 How much: $15, camping $10

The gig: Twin City RibFest The site: The place: Downtown Winston-Salem Thebuzz: Three days and nights of music and meat off the bone, with aWinston Cup traveling museum, a kids’ area and a rib competition. One(s)to watch: Three to four shows a night, hot ones, including theeverybodyfields, Thacker Dairy Road, Hot Politics, Yo Mama’s Big FatBooty Band, Possum Jenkins and the Two Man Gentlemen band; also lookfor Foxy Moxy’s sideshow tent Book it: June 12-14 How much: $6 (kids free)

The gig: Malcolm Blue Bluegrass Festival The site: The place: Aberdeen, NC The buzz: Not much… couldn’t even find a list of performers online One(s) to watch: We hear you can feed the chickens. Book it: June 14 How much: ?? (910-944-7558)

The gig: The Magnolia Baroque Festival The site: The place: Various venues; Winston-Salem, NC Thebuzz: “[V]irtuosic performances of Baroque orchestral, solo, chambermusic and dance celebrating the theme, Triumph of Love.” One(s)to watch: Check out Thursday night’s installment, The Excitement ofImprovisation, featuring a rendition of early baroque-era number “TheHarmonious Blacksmith” performed on harpsichord, lute and theorbo Book it: June 18-22 How much: $25/day, $20 seniors, $10 students

The gig: Kernersville Summerfest The site: The place: Kernersville Elementary School; 512 W. Mountain St. The buzz: A good old-fashioned street fair with pony rides, classic cars, a petting zoo and fireworks. One(s) to watch: The Embers shag it up on Thursday night Book it: June 19-21 How much: Free, donations accepted

The gig: North Carolina State Bluegrass Fest The site: The place: Happy Holiday Campground; Cherokee, NC The buzz: Wall-to-wall bluegrass in a state renowned for the form One(s)to watch: Eighteen acts, including heavy hitters Mike Snider, DoyleLawson & Quicksilver and Ralph Stanley, each with 90-minute sets atthe end of each night Book It: June 19-21 How much: $30-day advance, $35 after June 9; 30-day passes are $75-$85

The gig: North Carolina Country Music Festival The site: The place: Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area; Kure beach, NC One(s)to watch: Headliner Joe Diffie has been performing since he was fouryears old, garnering 12 number-one hits, a CMA award, a Grammy, twoplatimun albums, induction into the Grand Ole Opry and a notable duetwith Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Not Too Much to Ask” Book it: June 21 How much: $17 advance, $20 at gate, $5 kids

The gig: Inaugural Vortex Music Festival The site: The place: Asheville Civic Center Thebuzz: A brand-new music festival in the friendly confines of downtownAsheville, this one has plenty of the live stuff plus DJs and a moogstage featuring weird, weird sounds One(s) to watch: Toubab Krewe, Laura Reed & Deep Pocket, SeepeopleS, Perpetual Groove Book it: June 27-28 How much: $30, $50 day of show

The gig: EMF The site: The place: Various Triad locations Thebuzz: A huge lineup of classical musicians, conductors, small groupsand orchestras along with a Fringe series that’s a little more hip One(s)to watch: We love the EMF Fringe series, which this year includes theGreencards, Lee Roy Parnell, “Steady Rollin'” Bob Margolin and TromboneShorty Book it: July 5-Aug. 1 How much: $9-$49, but lots of deals available at the website

The gig: Annual Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion The site: The place: FarmPark, Denton, NC The buzz: “The greatest steam, gas and antique farm machinery show in the Southeast.” One(s) to watch: TBA Book it: July 1-5 How much: $13 ($6 kids)

The gig: Fun Fourth Festival The site: The place: Downtown Greensboro The buzz: Greensboro’s 23rd annual Fourth of July celebration One(s) to watch: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Black & Blue Book it: June 28-July 4 How much: Free, or $10 for block party

The gig: Christmas in July Festival The site: The place: West Jefferson, NC The buzz: Activities include a Civil War reenactment and a square dance One(s)to watch: Lots of music, but we’re looking forward to the Mayberryimpersonators, including Barney Fife, Gomer Pyle and Betty Lou Book it: July 5 How much: Free

The gig: Heavy Rebel Weekender The site: The place: Millennium Center, Winston-Salem The buzz: “Top soil is a wonderful thing for mud wrestling!” One(s)to watch: “Three stages running in separate “bars,” all in onebuilding! Ranging from rockabilly, rock and roll, psychobilly, honkytonk, ska to punk rock!” Book it: July 6-8 How much: $25 (one day) $70 (weekend)

The gig: FloydFest 6 The site: The place: Floyd, Va. Thebuzz: “FloydFest is named after our one-stoplight, two-block town, orrather the special essence of our town, which residents and visitorsalike experience as a respite from the restless, hurried activity ofour modern society, and the cookie-cutter look and feel of many, if notmost, modern places.” It is not a Pink Floyd tribute festival. One(s)to watch: Wow; dozens, including the Avett Brothers, Rusted Root, AmosLee, Dumpstaphunk, Donna the Buffalo, David Grisman Quartet, the Rev.Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Giant Panda Geurilla Dub Squad, and an emergingartist series with a couple dozen more Book it: July 24-27 How much: $25-$730

The gig: Cape Fear Blues Festival The site: The place: Wilmington, NC The buzz: Blues on the beach courtesy of the Cape Fear Blues Society One(s) to watch: Still in the planning stages, but last year’s featured 10 national and local acts Book it: July 25-27 How much: TBA

The gig: BeleChere The site: The place: Downtown Asheville The buzz: “Bele chere means ‘beautiful living.'” One(s) to watch: Travis Tritt, Edwin McCain, the Wailers, Cowboy Mouth and lots, lots more; also: the Purina Ultimate Air Dogs Book it: July 25-27 How much: Free

The gig: Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival The site: The place: Sneads Ferry, NC Thebuzz: A festival with its own song, the shrimp festival features ashrimp heading/peeling contest, a parade, a shrimp queen pageant,fireworks and the Shrimp Ball; also has its own song (mp3 on thewebsite) One(s) to watch: The lineup still in the early planning stages, with no announced acts as of yet Book it: Aug. 11-12 How much: TBA

The gig: Winterville Watermelon Festival The site: The place: Winterville, NC The buzz: The 22nd annual festival dedicated to that most succulent of fruits. One(s) to watch: No lineup posted as of yet, but in the past they had Travis Tritt (seriously!) Book it: Aug. 23-25 How much: Free

The gig: Happy Valley Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention The site: The place: Jones Farm; Lenoir, NC Thebuzz: Lenoir is the place where Tom Dooley actually hung his head andcried in 1867 after being executed for murdering his neighbor, LauraFoster, who grew up on the festival site One(s) to watch: Check out the competitions, especially the ones for autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer and mountain dance Book it: Aug. 29-31 How much: $5, $10 camping

The gig: Festival in the Park The site: The place: Freedom Park, Charlotte The buzz: In its 44th year, the festival has been ranked among the top 200 in the US by Sunshine Artists magazine One(s)to watch: Special stages for kids, clowns, magicians and folkmusicians. On the main stage look for Peralta, the Spongetones and WinkKeziah Book it: Sept. 18-21 How much: Free

The gig: Carrboro Music Festival The site: The place: Carrboro Thebuzz: In its 11th year, the day-long festival takes over the city withshows at such disparate venues as bars, caf’s, dance studios, gardenstores and markets, as well as the venerable Cat’s Cradle. One(s) to watch: Still booking, but last year’s event saw well over a hundred acts Book it: Sept. 28 How much: Free, donations accepted

Out of the Way The gig: Spoleto Festival USA The site: The place: Various venues, Charleston, SC Thebuzz: “[O]ne of the world’s major arts festivals, presenting 100 worldpremieres and 93 American premieres since its inception in 1977.” One(s) to watch: Monkey: Journey to the West, martial arts musical theater based on 400-year-old Chinese mythology Book it: May 23-June 8 How much: TBA

The gig: Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival The site: The place: Manchester, Tenn. The buzz: It’s only the biggest, baddest and best music festival of its time. One(s)to watch: Oh god… Pearl Jam, Metallica, Widespread Panic, Kanye West,Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, Willie Nelson, the Raconteurs, MyMorning Jacket, BB King, Phil Lesh & Friends, the Derek Trucks& Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival, Les Claypool, Stephen Marley,Dweezil Zappa… and if that’s not enough for you, there’s like ahundred more Book it: June 12-15 How much: About $250 for a four-day pass

The gig: Pitchfork Music Festival The site: The place: Union Park, Chicago Thebuzz: “With so many blockbuster festivals gouging their attendees outof absolutely obscene sums of money, only to confine them inuncomfortable, tight spaces and skimp on basic necessities, our goal isto do the right thing: That is, to create a reasonably priced summermusic festival that provides an overwhelmingly positive, comfortableand fun festival experience for both attendees and musicians.” One(s)to watch: Public Enemy, the Hold Steady, Vampire Weekend, JarvisJocker, Animal Collective, Spoon, Dinosaur Jr. and el Guincho, to namea few Book it: July 18-20 How much: $30/day, multi-day passes available

The gig: Midwest Music Summit The site: The place: Various venues, Indianapolis The buzz: “The top emerging artist event in the Midwest” One(s) to watch: Lineup TBA, but the 2006 installment featured Cat Power, Fall Out Boy and Brazil. Book it: Aug. 7-9 How much: $TBA

The gig: Austin City Limits Music Festival The site: The place: Zilker Park; Austin, Texas The buzz: A three-day music orgy put on by the people from the TV show One(s)to watch: Another hot one with Foo Fighters, Beck, John Fogerty, NekoCase, the Black Keys, David Byrne, Gnarls Barkley, G. Love &Special Sauce, Silversun Pickups, Galactic, Okkervil River, BluesTraveler, Duffy, the Mars Volta and so much more it’s sickening. Book it: Sept. 26-28 How much: $170 3-day pass