March 25, 2009 12:00

THE SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE

Featuring some of the top festivals in the area!

The Gathering of the Peacemakers
The site:
www.onelovepress.com
The place: Camp Rockmont; Black Mountain
The buzz: A traveling hippie circus, with camping and an
organic meal plan available: “It will be a 4-day retreat of
conscious instruction and nights of conscious music.” Miss this
one and you can catch them when they come back through
North Carolina in August.
One(s) to watch: Laura Reed & Deep Pocket, Julian Abey,
Black Rebels, Robanic, Chalwa
Book it: April 9-13
How much: $145 4-day pass

HATCHfest
The site:
www.hatchasheville.org
The place: The Orange Peel; Asheville
The buzz: ”HATCH is a non-profit organization that provides
inspiration in the creative and media arts by facilitating
an ongoing dialog between creative professionals and
groundbreaking new artists and innovators.” Probably not as
boring as wonk-talk makes it sound.
Ones to watch: Lineup TBA, but they better get on it.
Book it: April 15-19
How much: Daytime events are free, evening events will be
ticketed, price TBA

Asheboro’s First Annual Chili Cookoff
The site:
www.asheborochilicookoff.com
The place: Between Worth, Fayetteville and Sunset streets in
downtown Asheboro
The buzz: Now that you can finally buy a beer in Asheboro,
you might want some chili to go with it.
One(s) to watch: Acts TBA
Book it: April 18
How much: $10

Spring Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival
The site:
www.shakorihills.org
The place: Silk Hope
The buzz: Cool little campground neighborhoods in the
woods
One(s) to watch: More than 40 bands, but be on the lookout
for Donna the Buffalo, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Ralph Stanley
& the Clinch Mountain Boys, Rachid Taha, Des Ark, the New
Familiars and our friend Billy Two Rivers who plays a set with
David Reavis
Book it: April 16-19
How much: $26-$85

Two Wheel Frenzy
The site:
www.twowheelfrenzy.com
The place: 315 E. 7th St.; Charlotte
The buzz: A biker festival and rally in downtown Charlotte
centered around two bars, Dixie’s Tavern and Alley Cats.
One(s) to watch: Simplified, Evelyn Rose, Drop D, Matter of
Fact, Below the Belt and Poor Man Revolution
Book it: April 18
How much: $20

Asheville Earth Day
The site:
www.avlearthday.org
The place: Martin Luther King Park; Asheville
The buzz: “[P]eople of all ages and backgrounds of the
Asheville community, gathering to educate and celebrate that
every person can make a difference for environmental change.
One(s) to watch: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Laura Reed &
Deep Pocket
Book it: April 18
How much: FREE

Merlefest

The site: www.merlefest.org
The place: Wilkes Community College; Wilkesboro
The buzz: “The festival is held in a secure and substance-free
setting that complements the experience and fosters an
interest in a variety of musical forms representative of the
repertoire of Doc and Merle Watson.”
One(s) to watch: Too many to list, but the big names inclide
Travis Tritt, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, David
Bromberg and, of course, Doc Watson.
Book it: April 23-26
How much: $35-$225

DarfurFest ’09
The site:
www.groverfest.com
The place: Millstone Farm; Davidson
The buzz: Mass hysteria from the people who bring Groverfest
in June an appetizer, if you will.
One(s) to watch: Greensboro band the Mantras, who thrive in
a festival atmosphere
Book it: April 24-25
How much: $15, with free veggie or barbecue plate

Festival on the Neuse
The site:
www.festivalontheneuse.com
The place: Kinston
The buzz: Fireworks, golf tournament, street dance, pigs in
costumes and the Great Neuse River Duck Race
One(s) to watch: Local acts TBA
Book it: April 30-May 2
How much: FREE

Spring Folly
The site:
www.kernersvillespringfolly.com
The place: Kernersville
The buzz: No skateboards, no alcohol, no pets,
One(s) to watch: The Dixie Cups, old-school New Orleans R&B
girl group best known for “Chapel of Love”
Book it: May 1-3
How much: FREE

World Beer Festival
The site: www.allaboutbeer.com/wbfraleigh
The place: Moore Square; downtown Raleigh
The buzz: A solid beer buzz
One(s) to watch: Brooks Wood Band, Jah Creation, Ascella
Vega, The High & Mighties, Sean Aitken, Shane Bullis
Book it: May 2
How much: $50, $85 VIP

Shine to Wine Festival
The site:
www.downtownnorthwilkesboro.com/shinetowine
The place: Downtown north Wilkesboro
The buzz: Wine, food and song, and the 2nd annual Culinary
Chefs Challenge
One(s) to watch: Hope you like the SHU band
Book it: May 2
How much: FREE, wine tasting $20

Nashville Blooming festival
The site:
www.townofnashville.com
The place: Downtown Nashville
The buzz: Mother’s Day festival you can actually bring your
mom to
One(s) to watch: “[A]t 10 a.m. you’ll be entertained by the
band When Stars Fall, a winner in the annual Nash County’s
Got Talent Contest sponsored by Nash Arts. The group will kick
the day off with contemporary Christian music.”
Book it: May 7
How much: FREE

Lake Eden Arts Festival

The site: www.theleaf.com
The place: Camp Rockmont; Black Mountain
The buzz: “Connecting cultures and creating community
through arts.”
One(s) to watch: So much hot stuff, but if you miss the Meter
Men, featuring three of the original four Meters — George
Porter, Leo Nocentelli and Zigabo Modeliste — you will regret
it all summer long.
Book it: May 7-10
How much: Day tickets start at $43 and go up to about $150
for a weekend pass.

Beaufort Music Festival
The site:
www.beaufortmusicfestival.com
The place: Beaufort waterfront
The buzz: An outdoor festival in one of the state’s most
charming waterfront communities
One(s) to watch: Bands TBA
Book it: May 8-9
How much: FREE

Bluegrass in Wilkes
The site:
www.bluegrassinwilkes.com
The place: Forest Edge Amphitheater; Wilkesboro
The buzz: Smokey the Bear will be there
One(s)to watch: Curley Seckler, high lonesome tenor
Book it: May 9
How much: $15

Carolina Blues Festival
The site:
www.piedmontblues.org
The place: Festival Park; downtown Greensboro
The buzz: The folks at the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society
survived several years of inclement weather and venue
changes before finding their groove — and a home — in
downtown Greensboro
One(s) to watch: Headliner Cyril Neville, fresh off the New
Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Book it: May 9
How much: $TBA

Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.smokymountainbluegrasslive.com
The place: Fontana Village Resort; Fontana Dam
The buzz: “”Pickin’ and a grinnin’ in the Mountains. Sweet.”
One(s) to watch: Balsam Range, Pine Mountain Railroad,
Blue Moon Rising, Rye Holler Boys
Book it: May 9
How much: $25, $12.50 children

NC Gold Festival
The site:
www.ncgold.org
The place: Tom Johnson Camping Center; Marion
The buzz: Thar’s gold in them there hills! Or, at least, there
used to be.
One(s) to watch: Music TBA, but expect to see some fiddlers
Book it: May 15-16
How much: FREE [ck]

Artsplosure
The site:
www.artsplosure.org
The place: Moore Square; downtown Raleigh
The buzz: It’s mostly about the art
One(s) to watch: Eric Lindell, northern Californian who found
his chops in New Orleans
Book it: May 17
How much: FREE

Old New and Blue
The site:
www.onbmusicfest.com
The place: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds; Maggie Valley

Guide The buzz: Sunshine and bluegrass in the Smokey Mountains
One(s) to watch: Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys in the right
place at the right time
Book it: May 16
How much: $30

Deep River Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.deepriverbluegrassfestival.venue.groupee.com
The place: Randleman
The buzz: Very low key for a festival — outdated website, and very little
information available
One(s) to watch: Blue Highway, Newfound Road, James King Band
Book it: May 16
How much: TBA

Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Newton Mayfest
The site:
www.newtonmayfest.blogspot.com
The place: Downtown Newton
The buzz: Word is Dale himself may show
One(s) to watch: Bands TBA
Book it: May 16-17
How much: FREE

Carolina Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.carolinabluegrassfestival.com
The place: Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary
The buzz: “Heybro Productions reaches out to help feed the hungry at the
Carolina Bluegrass Festival, benefiting the organization Stop Hunger Now.”
One(s) to watch: The Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the
Tony Rice Unit, IIIrd Tyme Out, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Al Batten & the
Bluegrass Reunion, No Strings Attached
Book it: May 17
How much: $25 general admission, $35 reserved

Little John’s Mountain Music Festival
The site:
www.littlejohnsmountainmusic.com
The place: Cane Creek Campground; Snow Camp
The buzz: “Lil John’s Mountain Music Festival believes in a positive attitude
and giving the bluegrass fans quality entertainment”
One(s) to watch: 13 bands, but we’ve got our eye on Sweet Potato Pie,
which appears to be a bluegrass band comprised of soccer moms
Book it: May 21-23
How much: $65 three-day pass, $15-$30 a day

Heritage Festival Weekend
The site:
None
The place: Riverfront City Park; Bryson City
The buzz: A log-sawing contest!
One(s) to watch: Some really great homegrown gospel mixed with
Highland pipe and drums
Book it: May 22-23
How much: FREE

International Festival
The site:
None
The place: Mendenhall Transportation Terminal; High Point
The buzz: Part of the High Point sesquicentennial celebration
One(s) to watch: Afromotive stands out among the rest
Book it: May 23
How much: FREE

Fiddler’s Grove Festival
The site:
www.fiddlersgrove.com
The place: Fiddler’s Grove Campground; Union Grove
The buzz: “The oldest continuous ole time fiddler’s competition in North
America”
One(s) to watch: The certified Old Time Fiddlers, open to musicians over 55
who play only by ear and have had no formal training
Book it: May 22-24
How much: $50 weekend pass/$10-$30 per day; camping available

Festival in the Grove
The site:
www.festivalinthegrove.org
The place: Shady Grove United Methodist Church; Davidson County
The buzz: All proceeds benefit Davidson County Special Olympics
and Victory Junction Gang Camp
One(s) to watch: Lots of Christian family bands, but headliner
Donna Hughes could make a preacher kick in a stained glass window
Book it: May 30
How much: $TBA

35 th anniversary of Rural Hall
The site:
www.ruralhall.govoffice.com
The place: Covington Memorial Park; Rural Hall
The buzz: A pound cake contest! And Rural Hall is only 35 years
old? WTF?
One(s) to watch: Taylor Vaden, who will perform the finale as Elvis
Book it: May 30
How much: FREE

Malcolm Blue Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.malcolmbluefarm.com
The place: Aberdeen
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 13
How much: ?? (910-944-7558)

Ocrafolk Music & Storytelling Festival
The site:
www.ocrafolkfestival.org
The place: Ocracoke Island
The buzz: “The festival is a life-enriching experience, full of joy and
sharing… a communion of sorts, bringing together musicians,
Ocracoke residents and tourists.”
One(s) to watch: Lineup TBA
Book it: June 5-7
How much: $TBA

Bethania 250th Anniversary Celebration
The site:
www.townofbethania.org
The place: Bethania Visitor’s Center

The buzz: NC’s oldest planned Moravian community throws down
One(s) to watch: Moravian bands and choirs, followed by Tin Can
Alley on Friday night
Book it: June 12-14
How much: FREE

Galax Leaf & String Festival
The site:
www.Galaxfestival.com
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: Wayne Henderson and Jeff Little hold court at the
historic Rex Theater on Friday night
Book it: June 12-13
How much: FREE, some ticketed events

Charlie Poole Music Festival
The site:
www.Charlie-poole.com
The place: Eden Fairgrounds, Eden
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: Headliner Dom Flemon of the Carolina Chocolate
Drops; Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Joe Thompson
Book it: June 12-14
How much: $10-$20

Groverfest 2008
The site:
www.groverfest.com
The place: Native Vines Winery; Lexington
The buzz: “[B]rings together genres of music from across the board
for an all ages event geared toward exposing our area’s talent and
providing a safe and affordable recreation for a diverse experience
unlike any other around.”
One(s) to watch: Details on this year’s lineup are scarce, but
last year saw bands with great names like Yesterday’s Gravy, Fat
Cabbage, Hollywood Red, 5 Finger Discount and the Mud Bunnies
Book it: June 19-21
How much: Last year it was $15

Twin City RibFest
The site:
www.Twincityribfest.com
The place: Dixie Classic Fairgrounds; Winston-Salem
The buzz: Three days and nights of music and meat off the bone for

this award-winning festival, now in its fifth year.
One(s) to watch: Vanilla Ice. Seriously.
Book it: June 12-14
How much: TBA

North Carolina State Bluegrass Fest
The site:
www.cherokee-nc.com/events
The place: Happy Holiday Campground; Cherokee
The buzz: Wall-to-wall bluegrass in a state renowned for the form
One(s) to watch: Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Doyle Lawson &
Quicksilver and one 90-minute set by Ralph Stanley
Book it: June 18-20
How much: $30/day advance, $35 after June 9; 30day passes are
$75/$85

Kernersville summerfest
The site:
www.kernersvillefoundation.org/summerfest
The place: Kernersville Elementary School; 512 W. Mountain St.,
Kernersville
The buzz: A good old-fashioned street fair with pony rides, classic
cars, a petting zoo and fireworks.
One(s) to watch: Band of Oz, Craig Woolard Band and the Part-
Time Party Time Band
Book it: June 18-20
How much: FREE (donations accepted)

Juneteenth Celebration
The site:
www.durhamjuneteenth.com
The place: Hayti Heritage Center; Durham
The buzz: This year’s theme is “Bridging a COnnection
One(s) to watch: “[O]ld fashion gospel, reggae, blues, positive hip
hop, spoken word, jazz and R&B.”
Book it: June 20
How much: FREE

Eastern Music Festival
The site:
www.Easternmusicfestival.org
The place: Various Triad locations
The buzz: A huge lineup of classical musicians, conductors, small
groups and orchestras along with a Fringe series that’s a little
more hip
One(s) to watch: We love the EMF Fringe series, which brings a
different vibe to the event, but most acts are TBA
Book it: June 27-Aug. 1
How much: $9-$49, but lots of deals available at the website

Annual Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion
The site:
www.threshers.com
The place: FarmPark, Denton
The buzz: “The greatest steam, gas and antique farm machinery
show in the Southeast.”
One(s) to watch: Probably the people
Book it: June 30-July 4
How much: $13 ($6 kids)

Red, White and Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com
The place: Catawba Meadows Park; Morganton
The buzz: A festival born of a 15-minute fireworks show on the
campus of Western Piedmont Community College in the 1980s
One(s) to watch: 28 bands, featuring the Grascals, Blue Highway,
Cherryholmes and the Dan Tyminski Band
Book it: July 1-4
How much: $10/day, $35 weekend pass

Fun Fourth Festival
The site:
www.funfourthfestival.org
The place: Downtown Greensboro
The buzz: Greensboro’s 24th annual Fourth of July celebration
One(s) to watch: The Soul Brothers and the Embers Friday night,
other acts TBA
Book it: June 27-July 4
How much: FREE ($10 block party)

Christmas in July Festival
The site:
www.Christmasinjuly.info
The place: West Jefferson
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
Mayberry Impersonators, Including Barney Fife, Gomer Pyle and
Betty Lou
Book it: July 4
How much: FREE

Heavy Rebel Weekender

The site: www.Heavyrebel.net
The place: The Millennium Center, Winston-Salem
The buzz: “Top soil is a wonderful thing for mud wrestling!”
One(s) to watch: “Dexter Romweber is a god.”
Book it: July 3-5
How much: $25 (one day) $70 (weekend)

Cape Fear Blues Festival
The site:
www.capefearblues.org
The place: Wilmington
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 the
Cape Fear Blues Society was able to lure Mel Melton & His Wicked
Mojos onto a Cape Fear Blues Cruise, so they’ve got some juice.
Book it: July 24-26
How much: $TBA

FloydFest 8: Revival
The site:
www.floydfest.com
The place: Floyd, Va.
The buzz: “FloydFest is named after our one-stoplight, two-block
town, or rather the special essence of our town, which residents
and visitors alike experience as a respite from the restless, hurried
activity of our modern society, and the cookie-cutter look and feel
of many, if not most, modern places.” It is not a Pink Floyd tribute
festival.
One(s) to watch: These guys throw down year after year. Watch
out for Greensboro boy Dave McCracken on the Hammond B-3
with Donna the Buffalo, the Duhks, the Lee Boys, New Orleans’ Hot
8 Brass Band, the ubiquitous Laura Reed & Deep Pocket, Mad Tea
Party, the Jugbusters and, yowza, Blues Traveler.
Book it: July 24-27
How much: $55-$415

High Country Bluegrass Festival
The site:
www.highcountrybluegrassfestival.com
The place: High Country Fairgrounds; Boone
The buzz: The usual: altitude, banjos, high-lonesome wailings
One(s) to watch: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver headline, but we’re
more interested in the fiddle and banjo workshops. Get to pickin’
and sawin’, ’all
Book it: July 25
How much: $25

BeleChere
The Site:
www.belecherefestival.com
The place: Downtown Asheville
The buzz: “Bele chere means ‘beautiful living.’”
One(s) to watch: In it’s 31st year, BeleChere is making some
changes to the festival layout and renewed a pledge to make the
music completely free. Lineup TBA, but last year saw Travis Tritt,
Edwin McCain, Cowboy Mouth and plenty more.
Book it: July 24-26
How much: FREE

Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival
The site:
www.sneadsferryshrimpfestival.com
The place: Sneads Ferry
The buzz: A festival with its own wine — Stone Bay Blush, the
shrimp festival features a shrimp heading/peeling contest, a
parade, a Shrimp Queen pageant, fireworks and the Shrimp Ball;
also has its own song (mp3 on the website)
One(s) to watch: The lineup still in the early planning stages, with
no announced acts as of yet
Book it: Aug. 10-11
How much: $TBA

Winterville Watermelon Festival
The site:
www.watermelonfest.com
The place: Winterville
The buzz: The 23rd annual festival dedicated to that most
succulent of fruits.
One(s) to watch: Lineup TBA, but last year they had Travis Tritt
(seriously!)
Book it: Aug. 27-29
How much: FREE

Happy Valley Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention
The site:
www.happyvalleyfiddlers.com
The place: Jones Farm; Lenoir
The buzz: Lenoir is the place where Tom Dooley actually hung
his head and cried in 1867 after being executed for murdering his
neighbor, Laura Foster, 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: Sept.4-6
How much: $5, $10 camping

Festival in the Park
The site:
www.festivalinthepark.org
The place: Freedom Park, Charlotte
The buzz: In its 45th 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 folk musicians. On the main stage look for Peralta, the
Spongetones and Wink Keziah
Book it: Sept. 24-27
How much: FREE

Carrboro Music Festival
The site:
www.carrboromusicfestival.com

The place: Carrboro
The buzz: In its 12th year, the day-long festival takes over the
city with shows at such disparate venues as bars, cafs, dance
studios, garden stores 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, including the Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Showcase
Book it: Sept. 20
How much: FREE (donations accepted)

The Gathering of the Peacemakers
The site: www.onelovepress.com
The place: Camp Rockmont; Black Mountain
The buzz: Bookending the April event, the Peacemakers finish
out in Black Mountain in a full week of love and harmony. Plus,
there’s a pool
One(s) to watch: Lineup TBA, but it should be sufficiently
crunchy
Book it: Aug. 30-Sept. 5
How much: $275

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