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

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May 2018 - North Carolina Music Festivals

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

May 3 - 6    Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival - Silk Hope

The semiannual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance (see October schedule) presents an eclectic mix of music - from rock to jazz and Americana, Cajun and klezmer - on five stages. There are also musicians' competitions, art and craft vendors, food vendors, games, a drum circle, children's activities and more. Donna the Buffalo is the host band. Click on the photo for more information.

Steve Earle and the Dukes, Donna the Buffalo, Ibibio Sound Machine, Rising Appalachia, Chicano Batman, Driftwood, Dom Flemons, AJ Ghent, Greg Humphreys Electric Trio, Ryan Montebleau Band, Big Mean Sound Machine, Kinobe and Dance of Hope, Arson Daily, Ashley Heath and Her Heathens, Big Fat Gap, Boom Unit Brass Band, The Byrne Brothers, Caique Vidal and Batuque, Cane Mill Road, Chatham Rabbits, Dangermuffin, Dante High, Dr. Bacon, dub Addis, Ellis Dyson and the Shambles, The Fritz; I, Star; (J) Rowdy and the NightShift, James Olin Olden, Jon Shain, Kamara Thomas and the Night Drivers, Kate Rhudy, The Mastersons, Preston Frank, The Shoaldiggers, The Snozzberries, Swift Creek, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen, Uma Galera, Violet Bell, ZooCru, Cane Creek Cloggers, Papperhand Puppet Intervention.

Festival site: Shakori Hills

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Four-day pass: adults $92 until December 31, $104 until February 28, $114 until May 3, $124 at gate; ages 13-15 $49, $54, $59, $64.
Thursday: $27 in advance, $32 at gate; ages 13-15 $16 at gate.
Friday: $37 in advance, $42 at gate; ages 13-15 $21 at gate.
Saturday: $44 in advance, $49 at gate; ages 13-15 $25 at gate.
Sunday: $27 in advance, $32 at gate; ages 13-15 $16 at gate.
Younger than 13: free.

Camping (per tent): $10 until December 31, $15 until May 3, $20 at gate.
RV camping: $69 until December 31, $79 until February 29, $86 until May 3, $94 at gate.
RV more that 25 feet long or a vehicle and trailer pay double.
Early camping (before Thursday): $10.

May 4 - 5    Asheville Electro-Music Festival - Black Mountain

Some of the world's finest electronic and experimental musicians will be joined by local artists for two days of compelling live music and innovative technology. Live video art accompanies the concerts.

Musical Artists
Black Thujone, Vibraphonik Electronik, Surreal Estate, Michael Peck, Synthetic Things, Kri Samadhi / A Pale Void, Waveformation, Paul Vnuk Jr., University of Tennessee Electroacoustic Ensemble, Illumination Station, Mark Mahoney, sToKE, Jamie McMenamy, Tony Gerber, Dan Simpson, The Melting Transistor, Project Ruori, Dr. Wayne Kirby, Kevin Kissinger, Roy "Futureman" Wooten, Kevin Spears, Jamie Howton, Tom Bruce, Twyndyllyngs, Shueh-Li Ong, Klimchak, Solemn Shapes, Paul Harriman.
Visual Artists: Project Ruori, Joe Howard, Michael O'Bannon, Lei Han, Azimuth VIsuals.

Festival site: White Horse Black Mountain

Music starts 3 p.m. daily.

Two-day pass: $25.
Daily: $15.

May 4 - 6    Carolina Rebellion - Concord

The three-stage heavy metal festival is held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex. It expanded to three days in 2017, its seventh year.

Friday: Alice in Chains, Shinedown, Stone Sour, Stone Temple Pilots, Bullet for My Valentine, Underoath, Parkway Drive, Pop Evil, Sevendust, Avatar, Red Sun Rising, Andrew W.K., Tremonti, Texas Hippie Coalition, Power Trip, He Is Legend, Turnstile, Stick to Your Gun, Counterfeit, The Wild!.
Saturday: Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Halestorm, In This Moment, The Used, Trivium, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Hatebreed, Butcher Babies, New Years Day, Shaman's Harvest, From Ashes to New, Emmure, Toothgrinder, Palaye Royale, Palisades, Bad Wolves, Joyous Wolf, Them Evils.
Sunday: Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus, Billy Idol, The Struts, Clutch, Greta Van Fleet, Thrice, Baroness, Quicksand, The Sword, Red Fang, Code Orange, The Bronx, Mutoid Man, The Fever 333, The Blue Stones, Black Foxes, Spirit Animal.

Festival site: Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Gates open 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon on Sunday; campground opens at noon Thursday.

Ticket prices increase three times as they sell out.
Weekend pass: $149, then $199, $249, $299; 4-pack of weekend passes (limit of three): $660, then $740, $820.
Two-day pass: $99.50, then $150, $175, $200.
Daily pass: $89.50, then $109.50, $129.50, $149.50.
VIP (shade, seating areas, premium cash bar, premium food for purchase and private restroom access): $200 (sold out), $350.

Camping: Tents: $175 for two people, $275 for four; RV no hookups: $325; RV with water and electricity: $375.

"Carolina Rebellion is an all-ages show; however, we encourage you to leave the kids at home," the website says.

May 4 - 6    French Broad River Festival - Hot Springs

The festival focuses on the French Broad River, with a river cleanup, raft races and the French Broad River Festival Bike Race, in addition to the weekend of live music. There will also be local visual artists and other vendors, and a kids' village. Ticketed attendance is limited to 2,500. It is in its 21st year in 2018.

The Travelin' McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, The Grateful Ball, Billy Strings, Jon Stickley Trio, Dangermuffin, Sol Driven Train, HipGnostic, Sally and George, Lover's Leap, Fireside Collective, more TBA.

Festival site: Hot Springs Resort & Spa Campground

Three-day pass: $80.
Saturday only: $65 (other daily TBA).

Guided whitewater rafting: $45.

Campground parking (all weekend): $75.

Primitive camping free with admission. Limited riverside and RV sites available by reservation online.

May 10 - 12    Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver's Bluegrass Festival - Denton

The bluegrass great's annual festival includes a golf tournament on Thursday and, on Saturday, a free children's area with rides and games, and cooking demonstrations and tastings. Bands typically play afternoon and evening sets, though headliners may not. The festival is in its 38th year in 2018.

Thursday: Balsam Range, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, Larry Stephenson Band, Sideline, Salt and Light and the Moore Family Band.
Friday: Larry Sparks, Seldom Scene, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Unbridled Strings, Flint Hill, Ladies and Gents.
Saturday: Lawson and Williams, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, Deeper Shade of Blue, Donna Ulisse, Mountain Highway.

Festival site: Denton Farmpark

Shows start at noon and end about 11 p.m., and include a supper break.

Three-day pass: $80 through May 4, $90 gate.
Two-day pass: $65 through May 4, $70 gate.
Single day: $35 through May 4, $40 gate. Age 15 to 17 half off gate price with paying adult. Younger than 15 free with paying adult.

Camping: Tents, RVs with no hookups $12, free with two-day pass. 30-amp sites $25 per night, 50-amp sites $35 per night; sites with sewer for $10 more. Early RV arrivals $10 per night with hookups, $5 without.

May 10 - 13    The LEAF - Black Mountain

The semiannual LEAF - Lake Eden Arts Festival - embraces world music, new ageism and the outdoors (see October schedule). There's also a contra dance, a poetry slam and a songwriter competition. The weekend includes a lot of activities, especially for kids, and it's held at a mountain camp well-appointed for weekend festivals. The festival is in its 23rd year in 2018. Click on the photo for more information.

Snarky Puppy, Ani DiFranco, Rising Appalachia, Samantha Fish, The Suffers, Supaman, Bokanté, Flor de Toloache, Boukman Eksperyans, Ganga Giri, Shook Twins, I Draw Slow, Leah Song (of Rising Appalachia), Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Mdou Moctar, Kalatea and Super Yamba Band, The Broadcast, David Lamotte, The Screaming J's, Beny Esguerra and The New Tradition, Kinobe and The Wamu Spirit, Irish Mythen, The Screaming J's, The Digs, Arkansauce, The Paper Crowns, Sally and George, Ordinary Elephant, Medisin in Dub, The Change, Oshima Brothers, The Campfire Reverends, Masanho Banda, LEAF International Haiti, The Golden Trumpets, Natadas and more.
Contra Dance: Wake Up Robin, Turnip the Beet, Buddy System, Electro Heart, Will Mentor, Emily Rush.

Festival site: Camp Rockmont

Tickets are discounted early and prices increase periodically. Prices below are maximums.
Four-day pass with tent camping (three nights): $184 adults, $153 ages 10-17.
Three-day pass with tent camping: $159 adults, $134 ages 10-17.
Community Pass (weekend for local residents): $106 adults, $94 ages 10-17.
Single-day passes (no camping):
  Friday or Sunday: $40 adults, $47 ages 10-17.
  Saturday: $57 adults, $50 ages 10-17.
Age 9 and younger free; younger than 18 must be with a parent. Packages for spring and fall festivals also available.

Cabins: Sleeps 9 $305; sleeps 12 $395; lodge room for five $350; lodge bunk $115. Prices are for Friday and Saturday; Thursday add $70 for cabin, $45 for bunk.
Car camping: $60; RVs $106.

May 11 - 12    North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival - Huntersville

The "celebration of music, North Carolina, and its craft brewing traditions" presents about a dozen bands, beer tastings and information about beer making, food, children's activities, and vendors representing local merchants and nonprofit groups. The Friday night show formerly for campers is now an open ticketed event. Saturday's festival has two stages.

Friday: Acoustic Syndicate, Larry Keel Experience, Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project.
Saturday: Leftover Salmon, Chatham County Line, Front Country, Forlorn Strangers, Annabelle's Curse, Cicada Rhythm, Tony Eltora Band, Arkansauce.

Festival site: Historic Rural Hill

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5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; beer tastings 12:45 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friday: $15.
Beer ticket: $42 until January 31, TBA afterward.
All day music only: $28 (can buy beer)
Designated driver (16 and older): $16
Ages 5 to 12 (younger free): $8.

Open to all ages; wristbands will designate those old enough to drink.

Camping: tents - $18 Saturday, $45 Friday and Saturday; campers, RVs - $78 Friday and Saturday.

May 17 - 20    Moogfest - Durham

The festival, which began in 2004 to honor Bob Moog, presents cutting edge music by early pioneers in electronic music, and pop and avant garde experimentalists of today in venues throughout the city. Daytime programming features talks, panel discussions, workshops and presentations with futurist thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, designers, etc.

Musical Artists
Amber Mark, Annie Hart, Armen Ra, Aurora Halal, Bonaventure, Carla Dal Forno, Caterina Barbieri, DJ Haram, Ellen Allien, Emily Sprague, Fatima al Qadiri, Fawkes, Gavin Rayna Russom, Helen Money, Honey Dijon, Jamila Woods, Jenny Hval, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Karyyn, Katie Gately, Kristin Kontrol, Kyoka, Lawrence Rothman, Madame Gandhi, Maliibu Miitch, Midori Takada, Nadia Sirota, Nicole, Mitchell, Noncompliant, Pamelia Stickney, Sassy Black, Shanti Celeste, Stud1nt, Umfang, Upper Glossa, more TBA.
Chelsea Manning is the event's keynote speaker.

Festival site: American Tobacco Campus, Art Institute, Bull McCabe's, Carolina Theatre, Motorco, Pinhook, more

Festival Pass: Pre-Sale $199, $249.
VIP Pass (priority access all venues, exclusive viewing areas, artist events, gift bag, complimentary food and drink in select locations): $499.
Engineer VIP (three-hour workshop to "build, modify and keep a new, unreleased Moog synth module with the Moog engineers who designed it"): $1,500.

May 18 - 19    Carolina Roots MusicFest - Statesville

Carolina Roots MusicFest debuted in 2016 to celebrate diverse music styles performed by nationally known, regional and local artists in a benefit for National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc., which in turn supports local nonprofit groups. Food trucks and wine and craft beer vendors will also be onsite.

Note: Carolina Roots MusicFest has been "suspended until further notice," according to the website, as the sponsor looks for property to make the permanent home of the October hot-air balloon festival and the music fest.

TBA. 2017 lineup included The Black Lillies, The Waydown Wanderers, Forlorn Strangers and 12 more.

Festival site: Statesville Regional Airport

5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Two-day pass: early bird $25 through February; $35 advance, $40 at gate.
Friday: $10 advance; $15 at gate.
Saturday: $25 advance; $30 at gate.
Hops Garden Tasting: $20.
Rhythm Lounge (two-day pass, premium parking, premium seating, hospitality tent, food and drinks, wine and beer, etc.): $125.
Younger than 13 free.

Camping: Tents $25 (one vehicle), RVs $40; extra vehicles $20. Website says: "NO Drive-up campsites available to purchase."

May 18 - 20    Artsplosure - Raleigh

The Artsplosure street festival draws large crowds for performances by one or two national acts plus several local and regional bands alongside visual art displays and kids' arts activities downtown. Admission is free.

TBA. 2017 lineup included William Bell, Seratones, Phil Cook and the Guitarheels, and 11 more.

Festival Site: Fayetteville Street

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Music starts: 5 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday.

May 19    Carolina Blues Festival - Greensboro

Celebrating its 32nd year in 2018, the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society's Carolina Blues Festival is the longest-running blues festival in the Southeast.

TBA. 2017 lineup included Eric Gales, Brandon Santini, Big Ron Hunter and five more.

Festival site: LeBauer Park

1:30 to 11 p.m.

Early Bird General Admission (until February 14): $25.
General Admission: $31 (through March 17), $37 (through April 18), $42 (through May 19), $50 (day of show).
10-pack General Admission Tickets (until February 14): $22.50 each.
Gold Circle (until February 15; reserved seating in first rows): $75.

May 19    Durham Blues and Brews Festival - Durham

In addition to bands, the festival features about 20 local craft beers in 12-ounce pours meant to eliminate long lines. Local food trucks are on hand, as well, and the whole thing is a benefit for the Exchange Family Center, which works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect. This is an adults-only event.

Bulltown Strutters, Mel Melton and The Wicked Mojos, The Selwyn Birchwood Band.

Festival Site: Durham Central Park

4 to 9 p.m.

$35 through February 29, then $40; designated drivers $20.

May 19    Atlantic Beach Music Festival - Atlantic Beach

The free festival on the boardwalk at the Circle in Atlantic Beach presents a day of beach music. It is in its fifth year in 2018.

Coastline, Band of Oz, Fantastic Shakers, Mighty Saints of Soul.

Festival Site: Atlantic Beach Boardwalk

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Free admission.
No glass containers or pets.

May 19 - 20    Beaufort Music Festival - Beaufort

The festival presents performances Friday evening and Saturday on the Beaufort waterfront. The festival also presents food trucks, a "beer garden," kids' activities and more.

Seratones, Town Mountain, Devon Gilfillian, Caroline Dare, Leah Blevins, L Shape Lot, Matt Walsh and The Movers, Laura Reed, Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba, Arson Daily, Ellis Dyson and The Shambles.

Festival site: Downtown waterfront

5 to 10:15 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.


May 20    Mustang Spring Jam - Corolla

The Mustang Spring Jam is to present eight bands, including Mustang Outreach Program student bands. Mike Dianna’s Grill Room will be serving their outdoor cookout menu and selling beer, wine and cocktails. Like October's Mustang Rock and Roast, the festival is a benefit for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, a nonprofit organization working to protect and preserve the last remaining herd of Spanish Mustangs on the northern Outer Banks. The Mustang Spring Jam is in its seventh year in 2018.

Marcus King Band, Of Good Nature, Fireside Collective, Porch 40, Sensi Trails, Mustang Outreach Student Bands.

Festival Site: Mike Dianna's Grill Room

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1 to 10 p.m.

$25 in advance, $30 day of show.
VIP (brunch, dinner, three beverage tickets, private bar, early access to the venue): $99.

May 24 - 25    Charlie Poole Music Festival - Wentworth

The festival honoring the legacy of North Carolina string bands and roots music includes a dozen musicians' competitions in addition to stage shows Friday evening, and the presentation a lifetime achievement award to the headlining artist. It is a project of Piedmont Folk Legacies, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes and preserves the musical and cultural legacy of the Piedmont, and celebrates its influence on American vernacular music as exemplified by banjoist Charlie Poole who, with his North Carolina Ramblers in the 1920s, had a great influence on the development of bluegrass. After a hiatus in 2017, the festival moved from a June date in Eden to Memorial Day Weekend in Wentworth for the 2018 edition.

TBA. 2016 lineup was Bob Carlin and Cheick Hamala Diabate, Seth Swingle, The Zinc Kings, plus competitors.

Festival site: Rockingham Community College

Stage shows 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday; competitions begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and are followed by dance at 8:30 p.m. and awards ceremony.

Two-day pass: $25.
Daily: $15.

Camping: $10 per night, $20 maximum.

Competition categories: Youth Band, Youth Instrument, Youth Vocal, Flatpick Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar, Bluegrass Fiddle, Old Time Fiddle, Clawhammer Banjo, Bluegrass Banjo, Open Instrument, Solo Vocal, Duet Vocal, Bluegrass Band, Old Time Band, Folk Song, Poole Song, Grand Prize - Three-Finger Banjo.

May 24 - 26    Lil John's Mountain Music Festival - Snow Camp

The family-oriented bluegrass show on Memorial Day weekends offers top names in bluegrass plus several vendors, and their full-service campground has a fishing pond and hot showers. The Skip Cherryholmes Cornhole Tournament is scheduled for Saturday. The festival is in its 40th year in 2018. Click on the photo for more information.

Sideline, Bass Mountain Boys Reunion Show, Flatt Lonesome, Russell Moore and III Tyme Out, Blue Hwy, Lost and Found, Terry Baucom and The Dukes Of Drive, Dave Adkins, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, David Parmley and The Cardinal Tradition, Bluegrass Experience, Steady Drive, Three Jack Jenny, Salt and Light.

Festival site: Cane Creek Campground & RV Park

2 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, "1 p.m. until" Saturday.
Most bands play afternoon and evening sets.

2017 prices
Three-day pass: $65 until May 6, $85 after.
Thursday and Friday (each): $30.
Saturday: $35.
Younger than 12 free with paying adult.

Three-day pass includes primitive camping. Additional camping info here.

May 25 - 26    Willow Oak Park Beach Music Festival - Roxboro

Mike and Debbie Wilson, longtime partners with John Maness at the Bass Mountain Bluegrass Festival, carry on the tradition of with shows at their own venue. This beach music show feature bands each afternoon/evening plus a covered dance floor and DJs playing between live performances. They also present an April bluegrass festival.

Friday: Jim Quick and Coastline, and a DJ.
Saturday: Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band, The Attractions Band, The Castaways, and DJs.

Festival site: Willow Oak Park

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4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday.

Two-day pass: $35 advance, $40 at gate.
Friday: $15.
Saturday: all day $25; 7 p.m. to midnight $15.
Students / ages 13-16 $15 daily.
Younger than 13 free with paying adult.

Camping: Two-day minimum. Site with electricity: $20 in advance, $25 at gate. No electricity: $10.

Weekend package for two: $105, includes tickets and campsite with electricity (bought by May 19).

May 25 - 27    Ole Time Fiddler's & Bluegrass Festival - Union Grove

The Van Hoy family presents the oldest continuous old-time fiddlers' convention in North America with a barn dance Friday night, stage shows and children's shows, musicians' workshops and lots of campsite picking. Band and musicians' competitions include categories for juniors and seniors. It is in its 95th year in 2018.

TBA. 2017 lineup included Spirit Fiddle, Wicker and Jones, The Cockman Family, four more, plus competitors.

Festival site: Fiddler's Grove Campground

Three-day pass: $25.
Friday $10, Saturday $15, Sunday $5.
Younger than 13 free.

Camping: No hookups is $15 per night for family (two adults and their kids); $7 per additional adult.
RV water and 15 amp electricity $25 for family (two adults and their kids); RV water, 30-50 amp electricity and sewer $35 for family; $9 per additional adult.

May 25 - 27    Mountain Sports Festival - Asheville

The Mountain Sports Festival calls itself a "weekend music and sports festival," and presents about a dozen bands along with a variety of participatory sporting events for adults and kids, sporting gear vendors, and food and drink sales, including local craft beer. The free event is in its 18th year in 2018.

TBA. 2017 lineup included Empire Strikes Brass, The Nth Power, Funk You, and seven more.

Festival site: Carrier Park

Free admission.

Music: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 12:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

May 25 - 27    White Squirrel Festival - Brevard

The downtown street festival celebrating albino squirrels in the area includes a slate of musical acts, plus arts and craft vendors, a parade, kids' activities; a 5K, 10K, and children's fun walk; food vendors and beer garden.

TBA. 2017 lineup included Jeff Sipe Trio, Front Country, Jeff Austin Band, and 11 more.

Festival site: Downtown Brevard

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Music noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Street festival 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Camping available nearby, including at the Pisgah Forest's Davidson River Campground.

May 25 - 28    Gears and Guitars Music Fest - Winston-Salem

The festival held in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic retooled from a six-day event to four days of country and rock acts in 2017, its second year. Music is each evening, except the afternoon Memorial Day show, which is free. There will also be several food and drink vendors on hand.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Cold War Kids, more TBA.

Festival site: Bailey Park

6 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. Monday.

Three-day pass: $75.
Friday: $25. Saturday: $25 and $35.
Sunday: $25 and $35.
Monday: Free.

May 28    Sandburg Folk Fest - Flat Rock

Connemara, the North Carolina home of poet Carl Sandburg, hosts a gathering of local musicians each Memorial Day, which is open to the public and free. Tours of the house at Connemara, which is a national historic site that includes gardens, an apple orchard, goats raised on-site, trails and more, are available throughout the day for a small fee.

TBA. 2017 lineup included Peggy Ratusz and Daddy Longlegs, Nitrograss, The Gypsy Swingers, and two more.

Festival site: Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Free admission.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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