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

September 2015

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

September 4 - 5    Smoky Mountain Folk Festival - Lake Junaluska

The festival presents traditional Southern Appalachian music and dance by regional fiddlers, banjo players, string bands, ballad singers, buck dancers and square dance teams, as well as the sounds of dulcimer, harmonica, jew's harp, bagpipes, spoons, saws and folk ensembles of all sorts.

Friday: The Cockman Family, Honey Holler, Betty Smith; Mack Snoderly, Flave Hart and Calvin Parham; Stoney Creek Boys, Warren Wilson String Band; Carol Rifkin, John Fowler and Jeanette Queen; Phil and Gaye Johnson, George and Brooke Buckner, Spirit Fiddle, Boogertown Gap, The Midnight Plowboys with Laura Boosinger, J Creek Cloggers, Fines Creek Flatfooters, Dixie Darlin's, Mountain Tradition Cloggers, Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers, more TBA.
Saturday: The Cockman Family; Mack Snoderly, Flave Hart & Calvin Parham; Rob and Anne Lough, Southern Mountain Fire, Spirit Fiddle, Whitewater Bluegrass, Boogertown Gap, Angie Toomey, The Cockman Family, Spirit Fiddle, Jim Lloyd, Stoney Creek Cloggers, Southern Appalachian Cloggers, Green Valley Cloggers, Blue Ridge Heritage Cloggers, more TBA.

Festival site: Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center

View Larger Map
Free open tent show 5 to 6 p.m.; auditorium shows 6:15 to 11 p.m.

Single-day pass: $10 in advance, $12 at door.

Lake Junaluska offers special lodging packages (at the link above).

September 4 - 6    Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention - Lenoir

At the resting place of Tom Dooley's lamented victim, Laura Foster, musicians and music lovers gather each Labor Day weekend to pay homage to the legends and stories of the Yadkin River Valley. The festival includes a community dance, a daylong competition for old time and bluegrass bands, and Sunday band performances, plus children's activities, historic information, storytelling, hay rides, a duck derby race, food vendors and more.

The Kruger Brothers, Kilby Spencer and the Crooked Road Ramblers, Strictly Clean and Decent, Harris Brothers, Jeff Little Trio, The Wayne Henderson Guitar Extravaganza, Cecil Gurganus and Strictly Strings, The Neighbors Bluegrass Band, plus competitors.

Festival site: Jones Farm

View Larger Map
The festival's Web site provides directions and a map to the private farm hosting the festival.

Friday: Community dance with old-time bands and open mic 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: competitions 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., finals at 6 p.m.
Sunday: concerts 6:30 p.m.

Friday: free.
Saturday and Sunday: $10.
Younger than 16 free.

Camping: $10 per night, no hookups.

September 5 - 6    John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival - High Point

The Labor Day weekend festival is sponsored by The Friends of John Coltrane, which works to preserve and celebrate the life and music of John Coltrane and to enrich the lives of others through the introduction of jazz and other musical genres. It has expanded to two days in 2015, its 5th year.

Saturday: David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Earl Klugh, The Bold Soul Revival, Youth Workshop Band.
Sunday: Snarky Puppy, Poncho Sanchez, Lalah Hathaway, NC Coltrane All Star Band.

Festival site: Festival Park

View Larger Map
Gates open at 3 p.m.

Two-day pass: $115, $100 each for 20 or more.
Daily: $65 in advance, $80 at gate.
VIP (reserved up-front seats, parking, two drinks, access to tent with a meal): two-day $220; daily $125 in advance, $140 at gate.

It's OK to bring in your own food and drinks, but coolers are not allowed, the website says. No alcohol.

September 5 - 6    African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh & Wake County - Raleigh

The annual Labor Day Weekend festival celebrates African American culture through art, music, dance, food and community. Local and national musical acts are presented each day on the main stage in addition to a juried art gallery, craft and food vendors, educational and hands-on activities in the Family Village, and more. It is a free street festival.

Saturday: Arrested Development, Jus Once, Yolanda Rabun, Al Strong, Sandra Dubose, more.
Sunday: Avery*Sunshine, Innertwyned, Marcus Anderson, Connie Rogers and Mo Jazz, Cynthia Jones, The Ethridge Sisters.

Festival site: City Plaza, Fayetteville Street

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

September 5 - 6    ProgDay - Chapel Hill

The intimate festival of progressive rock music features artists from all over the world. The festival, which is in its 21st year in 2015, embraces a Friday night pre-show at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, which is open to all ages. There will also be a free screening of "Romantic Warriors III - Canterbury Tales" on Saturday night at the official ProgDay hotel. Click on the photo for more information.


Friday pre-show: Bruteus, This Falling Sky, Trev Wignall.
Saturday: Tryo, The Mercury Tree, Ut Gret, Eccentric Orbit.
Sunday: Quantum Fantay, Marbin, Jack O' the Clock, Pascal Gutman Trio.

Festival site: Storybrook Farm (map), Local 506

View Larger Map
Music starts 8 p.m. Friday, 10:15 a.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) pass: $100 in advance, $120 day of show.
Daily: $70.
Patron pass for $150 includes preferred parking.
Younger than 16 free, ages 16 to 18 and students half off.
Friday pre-show: $10.

No overnight camping.

September 6    New River Blues Festival - Grassy Creek

A Sunday afternoon in the mountains with acclaimed artists performing in a picturesque setting on the banks of the New River. The King Bees are the festival hosts.

Travis "Moonchild" Haddix, Git Shorty, The King Bees, Veronika Jackson, Lady D, Lawyers Guns and Money.

Festival site: River House Country Inn

View Larger Map
1 to 6 p.m.; gates open at noon.

$15 in advance, $18 at gate; younger than 12 free.

Food, beer and wine will be on sale.

No camping onsite; camping nearby at New River State Park.

September 10 - 12    Hopscotch - Raleigh

Hopscotch, put on by The Independent Weekly of Durham, presents more than 175 national and international bands from rock, hip-hop, alt-country, heavy metal, dance, punk, classical, noise, drone, folk and more at 15 downtown venues. The festival also presents bands at more than 30 day parties happening throughout the city.

Thursday: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Deerhunter, Battles, Eyehategod, Goldlink, Lizzo, Phil Cook presents Southland Mission, Lydia Loveless, Jenny Hval, Mac McCauhghan, Lawrence English, Mumdance, Bully, Sannhet, John Chantler, DJ Earl, OBN IIIs, Dorthia Cottrell, Forn, Wildhoney, Mamiffer, Grandma Sparrow, Grand Champeen, Keath Mead, Adveta, Some Army, Solar Halos, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Eyes Low, Booher, Patois Counselor, Silent Lunch, Lilac Shadows, Soon, Lud, Dad and Dad, Nick James, Shitty Boots, Acid Chaperone, Echo Courts, Wahas, Chulo, TZYVYX.
Friday: TV On the Radio, Pusha T, Tycho, Roky Erickson, Old Man Gloom, Le1f, Natalie Prass and the Spacebomb Orchestra, Moon Duo, Steve Gunn and the Black Twig Pickers, Pile, Father, Mitski, Blaxxx, Nots, Jubilee, Chaz French, Tombs, Zeena Parkins, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Big Ups, Nocando, Obey City, Wizard Profile, Leapling, Tashi Dorji, Pill, Jenks Miller and Rose Cross NC, Carlitta Durand, Loud Boyz, New Music Raleigh: Music by Oscar Bettison and Evan Zipory, Brief Lives, HeCTA, No Love, Natural Causes, SkyBlew, SMLH, May Erwin, Morbids, Nathan Golub, Secret Boyfriend, Must be the Holy Ghost, Lost Trail, Luxe Posh, Naked Naps, Ace Henderson, Escher.
Saturday: Dwight Yoakam, X, Godflesh, Cashmere Cat, Owen Pallett, Chelsea Wolfe, Clark, American Aquarium, Wovenhand, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Jessica Pratt, Porches, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Cakes Da Lila, Zs, Flock of Dimes, Daniel Romano, Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler, Prurient, Elisa Ambrogio, Sheer Mag, Ian William Craig, Black Clouds, Warehouse, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Hanz, Birds of Avalon, Peacers, Microkingdom, River Whyless, Sarah Louise, Leverage Models, Wymyns Prysyn, Breathers, Zack Mexico, Choked Out, The Vibekillers, Oulipo, Less Western, Bandages, Las Rosas, Boulevards, Drippy Input, Yandrew, Outer Spaces, Ameriglow, Thefacesblur.

Festival site: City Plaza, Fletcher Opera Theater and several clubs downtown.

View Larger Map
Multi-day Hopscotch tickets go on sale early in the year. As groups of "early bird" tickets sell out, the price rises. Prices include all taxes and fees.
Three-day pass: $135 (beginning February 5).
Three-day VIP pass: $195 (beginning February 5).
Daily all-access (on sale in June): TBA.
City Plaza shows (on sale in June): TBA.

September 10 - 12    Music Fest at Blue Bear Mountain - Todd

The campground-based show features side-by-side stages and attendance limited to 500 people on a 155-acre mountaintop site. Tethered hot air balloon rides will also be offered for a fee.

Acoustic Syndicate, Sol Driven Train, The Revelers, Jeff Little Trio, Carter Brothers, Melissa Reaves, Dr. Bacon, Mel Jones and His Bag of Bones, Charleyhorse, Lost Ridge, The Merry Tanksters, Wicker and Jones, more TBA.

Festival site: Blue Bear Mountain Campground

View Larger Map
Two Day Pass: $55 in advance, $60 at gate.
Friday: $25 in advance, $30 at gate.
Saturday: $35 in advance, $40 at gate. Younger than 13 free.

Camping: $90 per person, includes two-day festival pass, Thursday-Saturday night camping.

September 11 - 12    Bull Durham Blues Festival - Durham

The Bull Durham festival has changed repeatedly over its 25-plus years, but in 2014 returned to its usual format of presenting blues and R&B acts in an auditorium show Friday night followed by an outdoor festival on Saturday. Food and craft vendors also join the outdoor show, which for 2015 moves to Durham Central Park.

Friday: Jean Carne, Norman Connors and the Starship Orchestra, Kim Waters, Adrian Duke and Blues Hammer.
Saturday: Grady Champion, Jason Damico and the New Blue; Lawyers, Guns and Money; Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen, Ebbs and Flow.

Festival site: St. Joseph's Performance Hall, Durham Central Park (map)

Doors 5 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friday: $40, $55 VIP ticket.
Saturday: Free.

September 11 - 13    Mountain Song Festival - Brevard

Proceeds of the Brevard Music Center show hosted by Steep Canyon Rangers benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.

Friday: Steep Canyon Rangers, Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith, Del McCoury Band.
Saturday: Steep Canyon Rangers, The Milk Carton Kids, Larry Keel Experience, Sarah Siskind, Town Mountain.
Sunday: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; Steep Canyon Rangers with special guests; Red Wine.

Festival site: Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, Brevard Music Center

View Larger Map
Gates open 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and Sunday.

Three-day pass: $130.
Friday: $46, $51 at gate.
Saturday: $54, $60 at gate.
Sunday: $46, $51 at gate.
All tickets general admission seating; children younger than 11 free on lawn or on lap of paying adult in auditorium.

Camping nearby at Davidson River Campground and elsewhere in the Pisgah National Forest.

September 11 - 13    National Folk Festival - Greensboro

The National Folk Festival, the oldest festival of its kind in the nation, is put on by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. It presents about 30 acts for free on seven stages ranging in size from large, open-air venues to small, intimate acoustic-style stages. There will also be dance performances, children's activities, a North Carolina folklife area, a festival marketplace, and regional and ethnic foods. The festival moves to a new location every three years and has chosen to be in Greensboro from 2015 to 2017. It celebrates its 75th year in 2015.

Musical Artists
Dale Watson, Mavis Staples, Rhiannon Giddens, Los Tres Reyes, Baba Ken Okulolo and the West African Highlife Band, Marquise Knox, Shiela Kay Adams, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, The Monitors, Henry Butler and Jambalaya, The Dardanelles, Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes, Pine Leaf Boys; Thomas Maupin, Daniel Rothwell and Overall Creek with Kory Posey; Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and the San Francisco Taiko Doko, Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars feat. Eleanor Reissa, Rahim AlHaj, Aurelio, Bobby Hicks Band, Down Home Band, Grace Chang, Hector Del Curto's Tango Quartet, James Kelly and Donna Long, Jeff Little Trio, John Dee Holeman with Williette Hinton, Lutchinha, Phil Wiggins, The Branchettes, The Buckstankle Boys, The Pedrito Martinez Group; Trouble Funk, Wayne Henderson, Welch Family Singers, Yuqin Wang and Zhengli Xu.

Festival site: Downtown Greensboro

View Larger Map
5:45 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
See the Schedule.

September 12    Sounds on Steele - Sanford

The street festival debuts in downtown Sanford with more than a dozen bands on two stages, vendors, food and drink, including tents occupied by craft beer breweries and local restaurants.

Rodney Dillard and The Dillards, Sweet Potato Pie, Tommy Edwards and the Bluegrass Experience, Samantha Casey and the Bluegrass Jam, Sarah Kaboom, Sideline, Three Jack Jenny, Faith Bardill and the Back Row Saints, Josh Phillips, Britton Buchanan, Nakia Latrelle and Track VII, Gary Mitchell: Music with a Message.

Festival site: Steele and Moore Streets

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


September 12    Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival - Mocksville

Proceeds from the day benefit the CBC Scholarship Fund and the CBC Development Fund. The Carolina Bible Camp and Retreat Center hosts summer camps for youths from across the Southeast. The bluegrass festival, which was begun in 2012, also features sales of pulled pork, barbecue chicken, and a variety of sides.

Sierra Hull, Snyder Family Band, Tim White and the VW Boys, Wayne Henderson and Clay Lunsford and Friends.

Festival site: Carolina Bible Camp

11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

$15 in advance, $20 at gate.

RV camping with full hookups, $40 per night (Friday and Saturday).
Cabins (six available): $100 (Friday night to 6:30 p.m. Saturday). Sleep up to 20 in single bunk beds; two bathrooms with full showers and a common area.

No alcohol, no coolers, no pets.

September 12 - 13    Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan - Danbury

The Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan presents a couple of well-known headliners and local acts, plus a children's music stage, along with dance, a parade, arts and crafts and other activities in a park on the Dan River. The festival, which is put on by the Stokes County Arts Council, is in its 41st year in 2015.

Alan Bibey, Terry Baucom and The Dukes of Drive, more TBA.

Festival site: Moratock Park

View Larger Map
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m Saturday, parade at 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Daily: $50
VIP pass (limited number, includes front row seat, backstage pass, parking, food and drink, souvenirs): $85 per day.

Parking at Moratock Park: $10 (limited number)
Shuttle service from Stokes County Government Center (1014 Main Street) and Hilltop Market Tubing parking area (1039 NC 8 and 89 South) near the intersection of Sheppard Mill Road. Here's more parking info.

September 17 - 19    Hoppin' John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention - Silk Hope

Shakori Hills presents musician showcases and hosts competitions that award cash prizes in Old Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Folk Song, Bass, Youth Musicianship, Dance and Youth Dance categories. There are also square dances, musicians' workshops, a hoppin' john cookoff, and arts and crafts, musical instrument and food vendors.

Showcases: Marvin Gaster and Richie Stearns, Adam Tanner, Rosie Newton, The Blues Connection featuring Big Ron Hunter.
Dance Bands: Square Dance with The Hoppin' Johnnies and Caller Rodney Sutton; Rowdy Square Dance with The Five Points Rounders and Caller Aaron Ratcliffe and with Caller Lena Phillips.
Workshops: Richie Stearns (banjo), Rosie Newton (fiddle), Adam Tanner (mandolin), Green Grass Cloggers, freestyle flatfooting dance workshop.

Festival site: Shakori Hills

View Larger Map
7 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $22 in advance, $26 at gate; competitors $18 in advance, $20 at gate.
Thursday $6, Friday $8, Saturday $12.

Competitions and/or dances take place on the Grove Stage and in the Dance Tent (see our Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance page).

Camping: one vehicle and up to two tents $18 in advance, $20 at gate; RVs $26 in advance, $30 at gate; 110 volt electric hookup $15 (limited number). Outdoor hot showers available. Early camping available.

September 17 - 19    Dailey Vincent Land Fest - Denton

The popular bluegrass band Dailey and Vincent started their own festival in 2013. It includes a band contest with cash prizes and stage time for winners.

Dailey and Vincent, The Gatlin Brothers, The Grascals, The Cleverlys, The Isaacs, Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway, The Church Sisters, Summer McMahan and Mountain Faith, Danny Paisley and Southern Grass, Heather Berry, Michael Cleveland and Flame Keepers, ETSU College Bluegrass Band.

Festival site: Denton Farm Park

View Larger Map
Three-day pass: $110 reserved, $90 general admission; younger than 17 $55 reserved, $45 general admission.
Two-day pass (general admission): $70; younger than 17 $35.
One-day pass (general admission): $35 general admission; younger than 17 $17.50 general admission.

Tent camping with one vehicle is free with two-day pass. See the website for RV pricing.

September 18 - 19    White Oak Shores Bluegrass Festival - Stella

Whiter Oak Shores debuts its fall festival in 2015 after the success of its spring show. The campground-based show is on the coast at the edge of the Croatan National Forest. Camping is not required to attend. The campground has a small water park and playgrounds, and food and beverage vendors will be on hand during the festival. Bands play two sets each day and evening.

Friday: Three Rivers Band, Hwy 58, Ted Jones and the Tarheel Boys, Lonesome Drive, Scearse and Ketner.
Saturday: Sourwood Mountain, Ted Jones and the Tarheel Boys, Kelly and the Cowboys, All Batten and the Bluegrass Reunion, Carolina Tradition.

Festival site: White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort

View Larger Map
Noon to 4:25 p.m. and 6:15 to 10:40 p.m. each day; each band plays afternoon and evening sets.

Two-day pass: $35.
Daily: $20.

Camping package: $170 for two nights and two tickets for each day; additional people $35 each for two days; extra nights $50.
"Dry" camping is free.

September 19    Apex Jazz Music Festival - Apex

The festival presents jazz and blues on an outdoor stage and at several clubs, and by street musicians throughout the day. There's also a beer garden. It is in its 5th year in 2015.

Brass-A-Holics, Sidecar Social Club, Downbeat Switch, The Willies, Brian James and the Revival, Grayscale Whale, Valerie Wood, The Message, MikeMckXer, Melted Butter, Peak City Sound.

Festival site: Downtown Apex

View Larger Map
Main stage 3:30 to 11:30 p.m.; club shows 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

$10; beer garden drink tickets $5 each, or five for $20.

September 19    The Blowing Rock Music Festival - Blowing Rock

The day of Americana, folk, blues, rock and jazz on two stages at the site of the famous mountain tourist attraction debuted in 2014.

The Harris Brothers and Their Very Greasy Friends, Lacy Green, Moore Brothers Band, Steve Davidowski and Xenobilly, Shelby Rae Moore, Mitch Clark and Masten Cloer, The Buck Haggard Band, The Nautical Wheelers, Carolina Ray and Cecil Palmer, Johnny Green, Charlie Carpenter.

Festival site: The Blowing Rock

View Larger Map
Gates open 10 a.m., music noon to sunset

$30 in advance, $40 at gate.
Younger than 12: $10.
Reserved seats: $40 in advance.
VIP tents and overnight packages available (see website at link above).

September 19    Brewgrass Festival - Asheville

The festival hosted by the Great Smokies Craft Brewers Association presents beer from about 50 local brewers and several bluegrass bands as a benefit for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Western North Carolina.

The Jeff Austin Band, Truth and Salvage Co., Big Daddy Love, The Packway Handle Band.

Festival site: Memorial Stadium

View Larger Map
1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

$55; VIP ticket $150 (light catered fare, private bathrooms, backstage access) sold out.

This festival is for adults 21 years old and older.

September 23 - 26    Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival - Manteo

The festival debuted in 2012 and has established itself as a major fall event on the Outer Banks featuring top bluegrass acts, a band competition, late-night street dance and more. The producers of this festival also present a 4th of July bluegrass festival in Louisburg.

Wednesday: Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Darrell Webb Band, Trinity River Band, Corey Hensley and Friends, Gospel Plowboys, Velvet Blue.
Thursday: Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Nu Blu, Johnny Staats and Delivery Boys, Lonely Heartstring Band, Little Roy and Lizzie, Turning Ground.
Friday: Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Raybon, The Roys, The Spinney Brothers, Adkins and Loudermilk, The Church Sisters.
Saturday: Cherryholmes, Lonesome River Band, Dailey and Vincent, ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, Steve Dilling and Sideline, Mountain Faith, Volume Five.

Festival sites: Roanoke Island Festival Park

View Larger Map
Gates open 10 a.m.

Ticket prices rise periodically without prior notice of price.
Four-day pass: $110 limited in advance; $130 as of June 25 with increase due June 26; ages 7 to 12 $50, $55, etc.
Daily: $40 limited advance; $45 as of June 25 with increase due June 26; ages 7 to 12 $15.
VIP 4-Day Passport (chair in front of stage, backstage access, reserved parking on the island and souvenir gift): $200, raised to $250. Sold Out

All non-VIP parking is at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, where a $5 shuttle (all-day pass) is available.

September 24 - 26    Mantrabash Music & Art Festival - Ferguson

Mantrabash presents national and North Carolina regional bands on two stages, plus arts and crafts, and food vendors. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold. A portion of proceeds are to go to a non-profit organization to be named. The Mantras host.

The Mantras, Eoto, Bernie Worrell, Tauk, Big Something, Consider the Source, The Fritz, The Broadcast, ELM, Empire Strikes Brass, Broccoli Samurai, Groove Fetish, Nomadic, Electric Soul Pandemic, Travers Brothership, Imperial Blend, D. Bacon, Psylo Joe, Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands, Coddle Creek, Treehouse, Soul Mechanic, The Southern Belles, Madd Hatters, Everyday Junior.

Festival site: High Country Motorcycle Camp

View Larger Map
Three-day pass: $75.
Family camping pass (threeday pass, car camping in designated quiet area): $85.
VIP (meet-and-greet with artists, souvenirs, private access shower and restrooms, more): $140.

Must be 18 years old or older to attend unless accompanied by an adult; younger than 12 free.

Free tent camping with ticket; RVs $75; car camping only with VIP ticket.

Parking: $5.

September 25 - 26    Carolina in the Fall - Wilkesboro

The Kruger Brothers bring some of North Carolina's best folk / roots bands and others from elsewhere to their adopted hometown of Wilkesboro for a weekend amid the beauty of the foothills in the fall. The daytime street festival will shift to a local convention center for the Carolina Jam hosted by the Krugers and featuring musicians from the day's lineup plus special guests. There will also be food trucks and other vendors on-site during the day.

The Kruger Brothers, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Balsam Range, The Secret Sisters, Mipso, Barefoot Movement, Snyder Family Band, Lindsay Lou and the Flat Bellies, Kontras Quartet, Zoe and Cloyd, The Hook and Bullet, The Neighbors, Backporch Bluegrass, The Idle Time Band.

Festival site: Wilkes Heritage Museum (map) and Holiday Inn Express (Carolina Jam)

View Larger Map
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Carolina Jam 10 p.m. to midnight.

Two-day pass: $20.
Two-day VIP pass (includes Carolina Jam): $60.

Camping available nearby for free in city park used for MerleFest, as well as at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, about a mile west of town on NC 268, for a fee.

September 25 - 27    Ancient Tones - New Sounds Festival - Union Grove

The festival debuts in 2015 with a lineup of Americana, Celtic, bluegrass and old time country music artists to put a focus on the common musical thread that runs through the roots of each of those genres. The festival will also present various world food vendors and an arts and crafts marketplace.

Scythian, The Horse Flies, Yarn, Mountain Heart, Blu Bop, The Fighting Jamesons, Big Fat Gap, Hard Cider, Whiskey of the Damned, Brynmor, The GoodFellers, The Brown Liquor Pickers, Mason Via and Friends, Take Two, Seven Handle Circus, The Josh Daniel / Mark Schimick Project, The Prairie Belt Boys, The Morning After, Jamestown Pipes and Drums.

Festival site: VanHoy Farms

View Larger Map
Noon to midnight Friday, noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, open jam Sunday.

Two-day pass: $80 until June 30, $100 July through September 20, $120 at gate; age 14 to 16 - $40 until June 30, $50 July through September 20, $60 at gate; younger get in free.

Friday: $40.
Saturday: $60.

Weekend passes include car camping (tents).
RV camping booked through VanHoy Farms Family Campground.

September 26    French Broad Brew Fest - Hot Springs

The festival, which is in its fifth year in 2015, presents a celebration of music, the mountains and craft beer. The festival's producers also present the spring French Broad River Festival.

Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work, David Mayfield Parade, The Legendary Singing Stars, Wick-It The Instigator, GrassHoppa, The Honeycutters, more TBA.

Festival site: Hot Springs Resort & Spa Campground

View Larger Map
10 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

$75 (includes T-shirt, 5-ounce commemorative souvenir sampling glass, unlimited beer samplings)
Designated driver or younger than 21: $60.
Must be at least 12 years old to attend.

Camping free with admission, but it's $25 to park in the campground.

September 26 - 27    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. The 2014 festival was in October.

Les Amis, Lyric, Danielle Howe, Laura Blackley, Stolen Hearts, Bare the Traveler, Red Honey, Porch 40, Demon Waffle, The Paper Crowns, Kick the Robot, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats, Asheville Music School Rock Band.

Festival site: Franny's Farm

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

Adults $20, younger than 13 free; $35 with camping.

September 26 - 27    Carrboro Music Festival - Carrboro

The festival presents about 150 acts from around the Triangle in all sorts of genres at about two dozen indoor and outdoor venues all day and into the night.

TBA. 2014 lineup included Marie Vanderbeck Group, Tim Smith and Eileen Regan and friends, Rhonda Robichaux Band and many more.

Festival site: Downtown Carrboro

View Larger Map
2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday times vary at stage and venues but outdoor stages generally start at 1 or 3 p.m. and run to 7 p.m.; indoor venues, especially bars/nightclubs go into the evening. The festival's website has alphabetical, chronological and stage schedules.

A shuttle bus runs from remote parking to downtown between 1 and 6 p.m.

September 27    Live & Local Bluegrass on Hillsborough Street - Raleigh

The community event celebrates the culture, history and future of bluegrass music with bands on three stages. The festival will also present dozens of local artisans, food trucks, local beer, and a kids' zone. It is in its second year in 2015.

Lonesome River Band, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Grass Cats, The Church Sisters, Tommy Edwards and Carolina Lightnin', Big Fat Gap, The Reckless Brothers, Counterclockwise String Band, Swift Creek, Boys from Carolina, Moore Brothers Band, more TBA.

Festival site: Compeign Park and adjacent streets.

Noon to 7 p.m.

Free admission.

September 29 - October 3    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 added in 2014, 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.

Blugrass Ramble (Tuesday through Thursday): April Verch, Ash Breeze Band, Big Virginia Sky, Blue Mafia, Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys, Caribou Mountain Collective, Charm City Junction, Chris Henry and The Hardcore Grass, Detour, Donna Hughes, Front Country, Gold Heart, Greg Blake, Hank Smith & Lindsey Tims, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Mipso, Rex McGee, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Ryan Cavanaugh, Songs of the Fall, Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle, Taarka, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, The Missy Werner Band, The Original Five (from Sweden), The Steel Wheels, The Tyler Williams Band, Unspoken Tradition, Vickie Vaughn Band, Wood and Wire.
Wide Open Bluegrass (Friday and Saturday): Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush Band, The Gibson Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Kruger Brothers (with special guests), Balsam Range, The Claire Lynch Band, Blue Highway, The Infamous Stringdusters, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, O'Connor Family Band, The Wailin' Jennys, Flatt Lonesome, Band of Ruhks, and performances from "Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited" with Jesse McReynolds, Ashley and Shannon Campbell, Carl Jackson, The Shotgun Rubies, The Church Sisters, Corbin Hayslett and special guests.
Street Fest: (Friday and Saturday): The HillBenders present "Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry," Sierra Hull, Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, The Steel Wheels, Blue Ridge Music Trails Jam, The Harris Brothers, Town Mountain, Terry Baucom's Dukes of Drive, The Railsplitters, Wayne Henderson and Friends, Jeff Little Trio, Front Country, Jayme Stone's Lomax Project, Kids on Bluegrass, Brothers Keeper, Love Cannon, The Gravy Boys, Ashley and Shannon Campbell, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, The Clay Hess Band, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, Joe Newberry and Jim Watson, Volume Five, The Church Sisters, Irene Kelley, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, Larry Stephenson Band, Kristy Cox; Nixon, Blevins and Gage; Strictly Clean and Decent, South Carolina Broadcasters, The Piney Woods Boys, The Rorrer Brothers and Son, Zoe and Cloyd, Lonely Heartstring Band, Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Lynda Dawson and Pattie Hopkins, Tommy Edwards and The Bluegrass Experience, Moore Brothers Band, Clay Bank, Rusty Nail Crossing, Dreamcatcher, Rodney Sutton and The Stuart Brothers, Zydeco Ya-Yas, Southern String Band, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Sideline, Mipso, Billy Strings and Don Julin, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Special Consensus, The Snyder Family Band, The Grass Cats, Jeannette Williams Band, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, Nu Blu, Ragged Union, Sideline, Tony and Gary Williamson, The Buckstankle Boys, Bobby Hicks and Friends, Stuart Brothers, Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth, Whitewater Bluegrass, Wood and Wire, The Malpass Brothers, Barefoot Movement, Mr. Sun, The Bankesters, Morning After Music, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, North Caountry, KBA Treblemaker, Loose Stringsm Williamson Branch, Mike 12, Gangstagrass, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton and The Down Hill Strugglers, Chocolate Sundae, Ruth Pershing and The Freight Hoppers, Patrick Walsh and Friends, Valerie Helbert.

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

View Larger Map
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).

Return to the Carolina Music Festivals home page.

Go to August Music Festivals     //     Go to October Music Festivals

Visit Our Sister Sites

Carolina Outdoors Guide     //     This Land, Your Land

PC Nelson Communications     //     The Medium, The Message