Carolina Music Festivals is a comprehensive calendar and guide to multi-act, daylong or multiple-day music shows in North Carolina.

August 2016

Dates and other details may be estimated based on last year's festival until confirmed by festival organizers.

Through August 1    Eastern Music Festival - Greensboro
(See the June calendar)

Through August 2    Brevard Summer Institute & Festival - Brevard
(See the June calendar)

August 4 - 6    Mountain Dance and Folk Festival - Asheville

Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has presented a wide repertoire from old-timers as well as the newest generation of mountain musicians, dancers and cloggers whose performances echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage. The festival also designates “Legacy Performers” who have made significant contributions to the region’s musical heritage over several decades.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Grey Eagle - Stoney Creek Boys, Buncombe Turnpike, Spirit Fiddle, The Ross Brothers, and about 20 more.

Festival site: Diana Wortham Theatre

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7 to 10 p.m.

Three-day pass: $54, younger than 13 $24.
Nightly: $20, younger than 13 $10.

August 4 - 6    Soulshine Farm Music Festival - Green Mountain

In addition to three music stages reflecting old and new mountain ways, the weekend is to include hiking, camping and workshops on topics ranging from songwriting and contra dancing to an edible plants hike, sacred geometry and sword battle.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Toubab Krewe, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Zach Deputy, and 25 more.

Festival site: Sunshine Organic Farm

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Gates open noon Thursday for campers with three-day pass.

Three-day pass (includes primitive camping): $65 until May 15, $80 in advance, $95 at gate; ages 13 to 17: $25, $35, $40.
Daily: $45 until May 15, $55 in advance, $65 at gate; ages 13 to 17: $20, $25, $30.
Younger than 13 free.

Add $100 to three-day pass for RV camping, $50 for car camping (limited number available for each).

August 5 - 6    Reevestock Music Festival - Elkin

The festival was started by local folk-rock band Time Sawyer to raise money for restoration of the Reeves Theater in Elkin, and continues as a broader benefit to the community. It includes music for all ages on two stages, food and drinks, and activities for the kids. It is in its 6th year in 2016.

TBA. 2015 lineup included The Black Lillies, Steelism, Time Sawyer, and five more.

Festival site: Elkin's Hidden Amphitheater and Liberty Reception Hall

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Friday's kickoff concert at Liberty 7 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.

Two Day Pass: $30 until May 31, $35 until June 30, $40 until July 17, $45 afterward.
Friday: $10 until May 31, $15 until June 30, $17 until July 17, $20 afterward.
Saturday: $15 until May 31, $20 until June 30, $25 until July 17, $30 afterward.

August 5 - 6    Ola Belle Reed Music Festival - Lansing

The celebration named for the acclaimed singer-songwriter presents bands from the Americana, bluegrass, old-time, country and folk traditions. There are also instrumental, songwriting and voice workshops, an outdoor jam tent, a craft market, food court and more.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Terry Baucom and the Dukes of Drive, Wayne Henderson, David Reed, and five more.

Festival site: Lansing Creeper Trail Park

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Starts 5 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday.

The festival is free; a $5 donation is suggested.

Primitive tent camping onsite: $10 per night donation requested.
RVs at American Legion field 1.5 miles from festival, with water and "some" electricity: $35 per night.

August 6    Awesome God Festival - Harmony

The festival combines Christian music of all genres and ministry from two stages, and adds activities at several church-sponsored booths, plus food and arts and craft vendors. There's also a hay ride and inflatables for kids.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Bethel Music, Abandon, Brian Houston and 12 more.

Festival site: VanHoy Farms Campground

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


August 6 - 7    LEAF Downtown AVL - Asheville

The LEAF, which puts on four-day May and October festivals in nearby Black Mountain, brings a taste of the 20-year-old event to downtown Asheville. It debuted in 2015 with three stages of music, plus art, workshops, family activities and "creative collaborations." In addition to a companion 5K run, the festival presented about 90 local vendors. And it's free.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Bootsy Collins' Rubber Band, Red Baraat, Dangermuffin, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, and 15 more.

Festival site: Downtown Asheville

Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
5K run begins 9 a.m. Saturday.

VIP tickets (regular admission is free): $75 for cocktail party at Biltmore Building rooftop, access to the VIP lounge at Twisted Laurel Cafe with complimentary beer and appetizers, surprise performances and games, artist meet-and-greets, swag.

August 12 - 14    Irie Vibes Music Festival - Forest City

The festival presents mostly reggae bands from all over the Southeast on three stages, along with vendors, yoga, camping and more. The festival is in its fourth year in 2016. Sun-Dried Vibes is the host band.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Sun-Dried Vibes, Oogee Wawa, See Water, Floralorix and 20 more.

Festival site: Copper Mines Event Park

Noon Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Weekend Pass: $50 early bird (through July 4), $60 in advance.
Friday: $20.
Saturday: $30.
Sunday: $10.
Additional packages available: (See tickets and scroll down).

August 13    WhoDat Festival - Greensboro

The volunteer-run, non-commercial festival celebrates North Carolina artists and musicians. In addition to electric and acoustic stages, the festival presents a local comedy showcase this year. It also offers inclusive art projects, skill shares, open mics, jam sessions, art and food vendors and more, including a beard and mustache competition by the N.C. Beard and Mustache Club.

TBA. 2015 lineup included The Chit Nasty Band, Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands, The Midatlantic, and five more.

Festival site: Doodad Farm

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Gates open and open mic performances begin at 11 a.m.

Suggested donation of $15 to $30 goes totally to bands playing the festival.

Camping onsite.

August 18 - 20    N.C. State Bluegrass Festival - Marion

This campground-based festival is in its 41st year in 2015. Bands typically play afternoon and evening sets, though headliners may just play evening shows.

Thursday: Dailey and Vincent, Dale Ann Bradley, Joe Mullins and Radio Ramblers, Dry Branch Fire Squad, The Crowe Brothers, David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition.
Friday: Balsam Range, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, The Gibson Brothers, Russell Moore and 111rd Tyme Out, The Primitive Quartet, The Gary Waldrep Band.
Saturday: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Goldwing Express, Nothin' Fest, The Little Roy and Lizzy Show, Feller and Hill and the Bluegrass Buckaroos, Ma Crow and The Lady Slippers.

Festival site: Tom Johnson Camping Center Rally Park

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Noon to 10 p.m. (open stage at 11 a.m.)

Three-day pass: $90 in advance, $95 at gate; ages 7 to 13, $45 in advance, $50 at gate.
Daily: $40 in advance, $45 at gate; ages 7 to 13 $15.
Younger than 7 free with an adult.

Campground stay during the festival requires a three-day ticket.

August 20    Groove in the Garden - Raleigh

The Pour House Music Hall in downtown Raleigh put on the first Groove in the Garden in 2015. The day at Raleigh Little Theatre's rose garden presented mostly local bands playing indie pop, Southern rock, R&B and bluegrass. There were also food trucks and a "vendor village" populated by a couple of dozen booths. Click on the photo for more information.

TBA. 2015 lineup included The Love Language, Bombadil, 6 String Drag, and five more.

Festival site: Stephenson Amphitheater at Raleigh Little Theatre

1 to 9 p.m.; gate opens at noon.


August 25 - 27    Clear Mountain View Music Festival - Polkville / Lawndale

The festival offers a weekend full of music on two stages, plus camping, vendors, a sugar cane field sculpture, on a fourth-generation family farm. It is in its fifth year in 2016. Click on the photo for more information.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Larry Keel Experience, Big Daddy Love, Dangermuffin, Simplified and seven more.

Festival site: Elliott Family Farms

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Music starts 5 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $70.
Thursday: $10
Friday and Saturday: $55
Saturday only: $30
VIP three-day pass: $170, includes VIP parking, backstage passes, shuttle between stages, seats in tents, drinks, snacks, souvenirs, etc.

Camping (primitive): tents free with ticket; RVs $5.

August 26 - 27    American Roots Bluegrass Festival - Greensboro

In addition to traditional and modern bluegrass, a showcase of young bands, and musicians' workshops, the festival presents food, craft and merchandise vendors. It is in its throd year in 2016.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Terry Baucom's Dukes of Drive, Rich in Tradition, The South Carolina Broadcasters and 11 more.

Festival site: Groome Inn

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Workshops 8 to 10 a.m., music 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

$15 advance, $20 at door.
VIP (early admission for workshps, t-shirt, goodie bag): $30 advance, $35 at door.
Age 5 to 13: $10 advance, $15 at door.
Younger than 5 free with adult.

August 26 - 28    Three Days of Light Gathering - Old Fort

The 3DL festival bills itself as part retreat, part festival, part summer camp, part earth school. In addition to music in the evenings, the weekend offers three dozen workshops on such topics as sustainable living, natural health and wellness, personal / spiritual development and community and culture, plus keynote speakers, yoga and movement classes, flow / fire performances, fire dance, drum circles, and more. It is in its fifth year in 2016.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Sacral Crown, EarthCry, Srikalogy, Jenna Gilmore, Human Experience and 21 more.

Festival site: Camp Grier

2:30 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday.

Three-day pass: early ticket sales - $75, includes camping; $100, includes camping and poster; $150, includes camping and t-shirt.

(2015 pricing) Weekend pass with rustic lodging: $180; indoor lodging $220.
Couples' indoor lodging package: $333.
Group rustic cabin (sleeps up to 10): $1,200.
Meal passes: $75.
(Details with ticket info.)

August 27    Youth Fest Christian Music Festival - Louisburg

Since 2003, the festival put on by Pilot Baptist Church of Zebulon has grown from a free show on the church lawn to a day-long event with several bands plus a guest speaker, a BMX stunt team, rock climbing wall, obstacle course, a gladiator joust, and more. Concessions will be sold onsite as well.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Mikeschair, Abandon, Surrounding Jericho and one more.

Festival site: Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex

Noon to 6 p.m.

$10, ages 4 to 10 $5.

See our look at another festival held at Norris Creek.

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