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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October 2016 Music Festivals

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

September 27 - October 1    Wide Open Bluegrass Festival - Raleigh

The International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass annual convention, awards show and fan festival relocated from Nashville to Raleigh for 2013 through 2018. It presents newgrass, jamgrass, traditional bluegrass, old-time and more by more than 150 acts in Wide Open Bluegrass at the downtown amphitheater, the Bluegrass Ramble showcase performances at downtown clubs and the Convention Center, and a free street festival put on by the City of Raleigh. The convention also includes a business conference, music expo, a bluegrass-oriented film festival, workshops, fan / celebrity meet-and-greets and more.
The IBMA Awards show, which is also a part of the weekend, requires separate tickets (see below). Click on the photo for more information.

Wide Open Bluegrass:
  Friday: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dailey and Vincent, Jerry Douglas presents The Earl of Leicester, Soggy Bottom Boys, The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.
  Saturday: Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Kruger Brothers, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, John Cowan with Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, Greensky Bluegrass, Becky Buller Band.
Bluegrass Ramble: Missy Raines and the New Hip, Hackensaw Boys, Town Mountain, Zoe and Cloyd, 10 String Symphony, The Andrew Collins Trio, Annie Lou, Bill and the Belles, Cardboard Fox, Carolina Blue, Hannah Shira Naiman, High Plains Jamboree, The Honey Dewdrops, Hot Buttered Rum, J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band), Jenni Lyn, Joe K. Walsh, Kaia Kater, The Lil' Smokies, The Loose String Band, Molly Tuttle Band, Old Salt Union, Red Wine, Run Boy Run, Steep Ravine, Tellico, The Unseen Strangers, Tim Carter and Bang Bang, Trout Steak Revival, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.
Street Festival: Balsam Range, The Travelin McCourys, Claire Lynch Band, Town Mountain, Wood and Wire, Missy Raines and the New Hip, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Terry Baucom an Dukes of Drive, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, Sideline, The Grass Cats, Volume Five, Billy Strings, Hubby Jenkins, Front Country, Sierra Hull, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Band of Ruhks, Jim Lauderdale, Jeanette Williams Band, Amythyst Kiah, Dale Ann Bradley Band, Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle, Red Wine, Jacob Jolliff Band, Flashback, The Williamson Brothers, Danny Paisley and Southern Grass, Larry Stephenson Band, Alice Gerrard and the Piedmont Melody Makers, Clay Hess Band, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Christiane and The Strays, The Gravy Boys, The Malpass Brothers, The Outliers, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Big Fat Gap, Tellico, Molly Tuttle Band, Kaia Kater, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Flatt Lonesome, Songs from the Road Band, Compton and Newberry, Carolina PineCones, The Honey Dewdrops, Piney Woods Boys, Ray Cardwell and Tennessee Moon with Pat Flynn; Mark Kuykendall, Bobby Hicks and Asheville Bluegrass; Nixon, Blevins and Gage; Moore Brothers Band; Hank, Pattie and The Current; Tommy Edwards and the Bluegrass Experience, Snyder Family Band, David Holt and Josh Goforth, Dave Adkins Band, David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition, New Deal String Band, The Longleaf Pine Nuts, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton, Newtown, Vickie Vaughn Band, Scythian, Fireside Collective, The Buck Stops Here, Patrick Walsh and Friends, The Happy Valley Pals, Haywood Billy Goats, The Ivory Boys, Virginia Luthiers Band, Shamu Garcon, Ellis Dyson and The Shambles, The Zolla Boys, That Dalton Gang, Sugar Creek, The Way Down Wanderers, Williamson Branch, Kids on Bluegrass, East Tennessee State University, Morehead State University, Denison University, UNC – Chapel Hill, Liam Purcell and Eliza Meyer, The Hill Family, Streamliner Bluegrass, Cane Mill Road, The Lang Sisters w/Ruth Shumway, Strictly Strings, Tater Hill Mashers, Virginia Luthiers Band with Shadowgrass, In With the Old, The Band of Kelleys, Gravel Road, The Lindsey Family, Left Lane, ShadowGrass, Allstar JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) Showcase, and one dance band TBA.

Festival site: Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Convention Center, Fayetteville Street, Nearby Clubs

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Bluegrass Ramble: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Red Hat Amphitheater: 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Street Fest: Noon to 11 p.m.

Two-day pass with reserved seat at amphitheater: sections 1 to 3 - $120 IBMA member, $140 nonmember; sections 4 to 7 - $100 IBMA member, $120 nonmember.
Single-day with reserved seat: section 1 to 3 - $60 IBMA member, $70 nonmember; sections 4 to 7 - $50 IBMA member, $60 nonmember.
Two-day general admission pass: $80 IBMA member, $100 nonmember; younger than 15: $60 IBMA member, $70 nonmember.
Daily general admission pass: $40 IBMA member, $50 nonmember; younger than 15: $30 IBMA member, $35 nonmember.

Bluegrass Ramble: full pass $65 IBMA member, $75 nonmember; $20 per evening IBMA members, $25 nonmembers.

Bluegrass Wide Open tickets include admission to expo as well as amphitheater and convention center stages. Bluegrass Ramble tickets are separate but are included with business conference registration.

IBMA Awards: Lifetime IBMA Members - $90, $50, $40.
Organizational, Individual, or Grass Roots Club IBMA Members - $95, $55, $45.
Non-members: $105, $65, $55.

Camping: N.C. State Fairgrounds (about 5 miles away with a shuttle available) $25 per night for tents, campers or RVs with full hookups (50 sites available). RV camping with no hookups adjacent to convention center $30 per night (30 sites).

September 30 - October 1    Carolina Jubilee - Union Grove

The festival is a fund-raiser for the Carolina Farm Trust, which buys farm land and puts it into a protective trust to lease back to new and existing farmers. In addition to music, several Carolina microbreweries, wineries and farm-related vendors will showcase their products and educate the community. 2015 was the festival's debut year.

Stutso, Groove 8, Tacoma Narrows, Stolen Hearts, Leah Shaw, The Paper Crowns, Saints and Sinners, Amigo, The Business People, Time Sawyer, The Menders, Look Homeward, The High Divers, Aaron Burdett, Camryn Wilson, She Returns From War, Henry River Honey, Roots and Doore, Rinaldi Flying Circus, Sister Love, Striking Copper.

Festival site: VanHoy Farms

Two day pass: $55, with tent camping $65
Daily: $35.

RV camping through VanHoy Farms.

September 30 - October 2    Asheville Barnaroo - Leicester

The festival showcases local and regional singer songwriters and bands in the rock 'n' roll, hard rock and funk genres on two stages, one of which is in a barn. Shows are Saturday followed by "wake-up activities" Sunday. There will also be art and food vendors onsite. A portion of proceeds go to the Asheville Music School.

Friday: Travers Brothership, Pierce Edens, Danielle Howle.
Saturday: Yarn, Folk Soul Revival, Shake it Like a Caveman, Asheville Music School Rock Band, Roots of a Rebellion, Porch 40, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats, Goldie and the Screamers, Taylor Martin, This Mountain, Shivering Timbers.
Sunday: Acoustic jams.

Festival site: Franny's Farm

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10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; gates open 9 a.m.

Three-day pass: $45 until July 5; additional prices TBA (includes camping).
Younger than 13 free.

October 1    Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival - Mars Hill

Regional musicians and dancers remember Bascom Lamar Lunsford, a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. The festival presents showcase (i.e., very short) performances outdoors during the day and in an auditorium at night. The day includes the Fiddlin' 5K Road Race and Fun Run.

Stoney Creek Boys, Peter and Susi Gott, Don Pedi, Roger Howell, Rhiannon and the Relics, The Buckners, Carol Rifkin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Leonard Hollifield, Nick Hallman and the Nickpickers, Kathryn Parham Brickey, Joe Penland, Donna Ray Norton, Lillian and the New Potatoes, Carolina Chickpeas, Lonesome Mountain Ears, Larry Davis, The Martins, The Pegtwisters, Betty Smith, Gabriel's Creek Band, Roger Howell and Brian Hunter, Lena Jean Ray and Tom Gardin, Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Cole Mountain Cloggers, Green Valley Cloggers.
Ballad and Story Swap TBA.

Festival sites: Mars Hill University

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Daytime stage 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ballad and story swap 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; evening show starts 7 p.m.

Daytime shows are free; evening show $10, $5 younger than 12, free with Mars Hill University ID.

October 6 - 9    Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival - Silk Hope

The semiannual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance (see May schedule) presents an eclectic mix of music - from rock to jazz and Americana, Cajun and klezmer - on four 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.

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Donna the Buffalo, AJ Ghent Band; Hank, Pattie and the Current; Darlingside, Eileen Jewel, Dr. Bacon, Elastic Bond, Kamara Thomas and the Night Drivers, Kitty Box and the Johnnys, Lobo Marino, The Mike and Ruthy Band, Sarah Potenza, Tushka, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Solas, Dirty Bourbon River Show, dub Addis, Gasoline Stove, Hubby Jenkins, James Olin Oden, Lizzy Ross, Lobo Marino, Preston Frank, Electric Piquete, Awalom Gebremariam, Bubba George Stringband, Bulltown Strutters, Cortadito, Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba, Hoppin' John Presents Old Time, Jack the Radio, Mint Julep Jazz Band, Richie and Rosie, The Midatlantic, The Outboards, Trio Luna and the High Vibes, Kinobe and Dance of Hope, Los Texmaniacs.

Festival site: Shakori Hills

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Music starts 5 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Four-day pass: $104 early bird (to August 14), $114 advance (to October 3), $124 at gate; ages 13-15 $54, $59, $64.
Thursday $27 in advance, $32 at gate; Friday $37 in advance, $42 at gate, Saturday $37 in advance, $42 at gate; Sunday $27 in advance, $32 at gate.
Ages 13-15 (at gate only): Thursday $16, Friday $21, Saturday $21, Sunday $16.
Younger than 13 free.
Check website for various discounts.

Camping: Tents $15 in advance, $20 at gate; vehicle camping (car, camper, RV, van, etc.) $86 in advance, $94 at gate. RV more that 25 feet long or a vehicle and trailer pays double.
Early camping begins prior Saturday at $10 for tents, $10 per day for vehicles.

October 6 - 8    Mustang Music Festival - Corolla

The 2016 edition of the Mustang Music Festival has been cancelled due to impending bad weather.

The 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, presents a slate of shows on two stages at a main outdoor site and late night sets at a various other venues. The Thursday kickoff party is in the parking lot at Cosmos Pizzeria (a late night host). Regional breweries and area restaurants will have contingents at the main festival site alongside arts and craft vendors. See also the Mustang Spring Jam in May.

Friday: Lettuce, Yonder Mountain String Band, Empire Strikes Brass, Mike Dillon Band, Fruition.
Saturday: moe., G. Love and Special Sauce, Smooth Hound Smith, Big Something, Ripe, Lunar Test Drive, Mustang Outreach Kids.
Thursday kickoff party: Stoplight Observations, Universal Sigh, Groove Fetish.
Late Night Friday: Jody Seabody and the Whirls, Sol Element, Octopus.
Late Night Saturday: Nature's Child, Mike Dillon Super Jam.

Festival site: The Whalehead

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5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 12:15 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and to 2 a.m. at clubs.

Two-day pass: $55 until August 9 or sell out, $69 through October 6 or sell out, $85 at gate.
Daily: $40 in advance, $50 at gate.
VIP pass (catered dinner and five beverages each day, VIP tent access with private bar and snacks, flush-toilet restrooms with AC, "'Front Row' viewing area" (sic) at both stages, priority access to late night show, VIP parking): $179.
Younger than 13 free.

October 7 - 8    3B Music Festival - Union Grove

The 3B festival presents country, bluegrass, blues and barbecue, plus crafts, a hayride and children's area, and more in a benefit for the American Renaissance School, a K-8 arts-centered public charter school.

Friday: Rob McHale, Mitch Hayes.
Saturday: Lou Reid and Carolina, Sons of the South, Jim Avett, Misty River Band, Karla Kincaid, 3rd Creek Bluegrass, The Rob McHale Band, Rick Davis, Bruce Hedrick, ARS Chorus.

Festival site: Fiddler's Grove Campground

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6 p.m. Friday, noon to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

$15 until September 30; later prices TBA.

Fiddler's Grove is an alcohol-free facility.

October 8    The Shindig - Clayton


Due to impending bad weather, The Shindig has been moved to November 13.

The small-town gathering also features beer from local breweries, food trucks and other vendors, plus a wing-eating contest. A second stage was added for 2015 to accommodate a lineup of 10 acts, mostly of Americana and bluegrass bands. Click on the photo for more information.

American Aquarium, The Black Lillies, Yarn, Big Daddy Love, Forlorn Strangers, Packway Handle Band, Knockin Spirits, Snyder Family Band, Lonesome Drive, Michael Cosner and the Fugitives.

Festival site: Downtown Clayton

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Noon to 10 p.m.

$20; $35 includes unlimited beer tastings from 1 to 5 p.m. and a commemorative glass.
Younger than 13 free.

October 8 - 9    Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival - Kure Beach


Due to impending bad weather, the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival has been moved to April 23, 2017.

The oceanside festival presents national, regional and local blues and jazz performers on two stages, plus coastal cuisine; craft vendors; wine, beer and liquor; and a children's area with magicians, jugglers, clowns and more. The festival is sponsored by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, which serves Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Click on the photo for more information.

Saturday: Jonny Lang, Kara Grainger, David Gerald, Gate City Divas, Urban Hill.
  Jazz Stage: Nina Repeta, Lynne and the Wave, Nelson and the Rock-a-fellas.
Sunday: Samantha Fish, Luxuriant Sedans, Snake Malone and the Black Cat Bone.
  Jazz Stage: Max Levy and the Hawaiian Shirts, Nita B and the Swinin' Soiree, Benny Hill Trio.

Festival site: Fort Fisher Air Force Recreational Area

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Begins 12:30 p.m. each day; gates open at 11 a.m.

Two-day pass: $50 in advance.
Saturday only: $60.
Sunday only: $25.
Younger than 13 free.

Tickets are limited; this event tends to sell out.

October 14 - 15    Ol' Front Porch Music Festival - Oriental

The picturesque coastal village of Oriental opens the front porches of several homes and businesses for about a dozen performers who play a variety of music throughout Saturday afternoon. Artisans and crafters display their wares at the Country Marketplace, and various restaurants and businesses support the festival with special sales and other activities. The festival also presents a classic car show and a chicken barbecue dinner. The festival is in its third year in 2016 and is free.

Salty Paws, Moores Creek Bluegrass, Woody and Sunshine, Mitch Hayes, Coastal Notes Woodwind, UHOOs, Downeast Dulcimers, The Carmonas, Far From Done, Green Creek Bluegrass, Frederick Ingram, Dennis Cash, The Brown Mountain Lightening Bugs, The New Sensational Messengers, Pamlico Flutes, First Sunday, Harbor Sounds, Gumbo Lily, The Del Rios, Saltwater Gold, Pauline Smith, Shiloh Hill, Dan River Girls, Sally Belangia, Merchants Road, ShedBelly.

Festival site: Broad and Hodges streets (map), Old Theater

6:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

October 14 - 15    Deweyfest - Burlington

Deweyfest is fiddler Dewey Brown's family-style bluegrass celebration. The festival changes again for 2016, moving from spring to fall and scaling back from a week-long series of shows and a two-day fest, to just the two-days of shows without musicians' competitions. The festival also has vendors and a fishing pond. Some bands play two sets each day.

Friday: Tommy Brown, The Bass Mountain Boys, The Churchmen, Oak Grove String Band, Tommy Brown.
Saturday: Nathan Stanley, Bobby Osborne, Tim White and the VW Boys, Marteka and William, Tommy Brown, Flint Hill, Smokey Hollow, Out of the Wood Work.

Festival site: Maplewood Hills

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Show starts: 1 to 8:30 p.m. Friday; 10:20 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Two-day pass: $50 until September 30; $55 afterward.
Friday: $30.
Saturday: $35.

Free camping with tickets; showers available on site.

No alcohol allowed in the concert area.

October 14 - 22    Clayton Piano Festival - Clayton

The festival dedicated to concert piano presents five pianists in individual concerts, and a final show at the Clayton Center with each performing a piece of personal significance, and then all playing together. Pianists involved in the festival also make presentations in local schools and to local piano students while in town. The festival is in its fifth year in 2016.

Rachel Flowers, Jonathan Levin, Angello Rondello, Wiliam McNally, Azamat Sydykov, Mary Prescott.

Festival site: Wagner House (map), Cary Arts Center, Preston Woodall House (Benson), Clayton Center

7 p.m. October 14, 3 p.m. October 16; remaining shows, 7:30 p.m.

Individual shows' prices vary.
Shows October 18 with Angelo Rondello at Wagner House, October 20 with Bill McNally at Preston Woodall House, and October 21 with Aza Sydykov at the Wagner House have options for meals and receptions with the artists.
Final show: $20, $15 seniors, free younger than 19.

October 20 - 23    The LEAF - Black Mountain

The semiannual LEAF - Lake Eden Arts Festival - embraces new ageism, world music and the outdoors at a mountain camp well-appointed for weekend festivals (see May schedule). Click on the photo for more information.

Balkan Beat Box, Beats Antique, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Third World, Solas, Here Come the Mummies, Too Many Zoos, Chali 2nd and the House Vibe, Dar Williams, Vaud and the Villains, Leah Song of Rising Appalachia, The Hip Abduction, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Shel, Ranky Tanky, Ursula Rucker, Jaden Carlson Band, The Primate Fiasco, The Screaming Js, Arouna Diarra and the Aza Band, Dynamo, The Roamin Jasmin, Crystal Bright and the Silverhands, Bayou Diesel, Indigo De Sauza, Ethan Crump, Space Cowboys and Cosmic Girls, Nex and DJ Kutzu, Pardiso and Rasamay, Miss T's Art v Boogie, Ka Amorastreya, Trillium Dance, Zulu Connection, Faerie Kin, Clan Destiny Circus, Nu Paradigm.
Contra Dance: Elixer, The Coffee Zombies, DJ Jor-D, Buddy System, Lisa Greenleaf and Emily Abel.
Late addition: Billy Strings has replaced Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.

Festival site: Camp Rockmont

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Ticket prices in several combinations increase periodically or as limited numbers available at each tier are sold out. These are prices 2016 for August 25 to October 20:
Weekend pass (with tent camping, three days, two nights): $173 adults, $146 ages 10-17.
Weekend Plus (with tent camping, three and a half days, three nights, i.e., Thursday): $209 adults, $182 ages 10-17.
Community Pass (weekend for local residents): $115 adults, $102 ages 10-17.
Friday or Sunday: $52 adults, $42 ages 10-17.
Saturday: $62 adults, $55 ages 10-17.
Age 9 and younger free; younger than 18 must be with a parent. Packages for spring and fall festivals also available.

Car camping: $80 per 20x20 spot (one vehicle per spot).
RV Parking: $160 per spot (for larger vehicles that do not fit within the 20x20 vehicle camping spots)
Cabins: Sleeps 9 $458; sleeps 12 $504; lodge room for five $458; lodge bunk $184. Prices for Thursday through Saturday.
More options at website.

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