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Summer events happening around Asheville

Make the most of the warm weather and sunshine with this list of the best local events and activities happening this summer.

Juggler at the LEAF Global Arts Retreat with Mountain Circus Arts

Mountain Circus Arts will host a workshop at the LEAF Retreat.

Photo via LEAF Global Arts

Summer’s almost here and Asheville is so ready. From live music and celebrations to hiking and festivals, summer is when the 828 comes alive.

Get ready to get outside with this guide featuring 15+ summer events happening between May and August.

Concerts and live music

Downtown After 5 | Third Friday of the month, April-September | 5-9 p.m. | North Lexington Avenue, Downtown Asheville | Free | Filling downtown with music each summer, the series also includes food + drink vendors, a marketplace, and a nonprofit beneficiary.

Anno XI | Saturday, June 15 | 12 p.m. | Burial Beer Co. Forestry Camp, 10 Shady Oak Dr., Asheville | $60-$115 | For more than a decade, Burial Beer Co. has hosted this celebration of music, beer, and community — the lineup is forthcoming.

Shindig on the Green | Saturdays, July 6-Aug. 24 | 7-10 p.m. | Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plaza, Asheville | Free | Gather around sundown for a show of Appalachian music and dance as well as informal jam sessions and concessions.

AVLFest | Thursday, Aug. 1-Sunday, Aug. 4 | Times vary | Various locations | $135-$250 | After a big bang last year, the concert halls, clubs, bars, and outdoor venues of Asheville are coming together again for the second year of the festival — explore the first-wave lineup then grab your tickets.

Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas | Saturday, July 6-Saturday, July 27 | 7:30 p.m. | Various locations | $15-$30 | Entering its 54th season, the classical concert series showcases chamber music in the region with everyone from string quartets to pianists.


AVLFest will bring the sound to town.

Photo via AVLFest

All about the arts

LEAF Global Arts Retreat | Thursday, May 9-Sunday, May 12 | Times vary | Lake Eden, 377 Lake Eden Rd., Black Mountain | $56-$270 | This intimate version of the large fall festival still hosts talented artists, enlightening experiences, and informative workshops all weekend long.

Asheville Art in the Park | Saturdays, June 8-22 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plaza, Asheville | Free | Artists from around the Asheville area will gather for this twice-yearly market of handmade goods and wares.

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands | Wednesday, July 18-Sunday, July 21 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Harrah’s Cherokee Center - Asheville, 87 Haywood St., Asheville | $12 | Artists will fill the concourse and arena levels with works of clay, wood, metal, glass, leather, mixed media, and more (plus, live music and craft demonstrations). Kids under 12 get in free.

The Big Crafty | Saturday, July 6-Sunday, July 7 | 12-6 p.m. | Harrah’s Cherokee Center - Asheville, 87 Haywood St., Asheville | $0-$10 | Browse the works of community creatives and makers who make the area vibrant.

Summer festivals

GrindFest AVL | Friday, May 24-Sunday, May 26 | Times vary | A-B Tech Conference Center, 16 Fernihurst Dr., Asheville | Free | The weekend celebration of local Black entrepreneurs + business owners will be filled with music, performances, food, and chances for employment, partnership, and learning.

Connect Beyond Festival | Friday, June 7-Sunday, June 9 | Times vary | Various locations | Prices TBD | After a 2023 hiatus, Asheville’s version of SXSW returns with a lineup of art, music, film, and media through screenings, fireside chats, workshops and more. This year’s theme is “connection to deepen resilience and keep moving forward.”

Asheville Ideas Fest | Monday, June 17-Thursday, June 20 | Times vary | UNC Asheville, 1 University Heights, Asheville | $1500-$2000 | Network, learn, and be inspired as experts discuss everything from leadership and technology to theoretical physics and equity for service workers.

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival | Thursday, Aug. 1-Saturday, Aug. 3 | 7-9 p.m. | Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, 701 Warren Wilson Rd., Swannanoa | $5-$55 | Celebrate the talent and traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the dancers, musicians, and storytellers who are keeping it alive.

crowds at the sourwood festival downtown black mountain

The honey-focused Sourwood Festival is a good first step for burgeoning beekeepers.

Photo via Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce

Love Shine Play Yoga Festival | Thursday, July 25-Sunday, July 28 | Times vary | Downtown Asheville | $0-$545 | Feel like love with expert-guided experiences like sunset hikes, lyrical yoga, belly dancing, and meditation throughout the area.

Asheville Comedy Festival | Wednesday, Aug. 7-Saturday, Aug. 10 | Times vary | Various locations | $46+ | The festival lineup will be announced in June — but we do know that Tom Segura will be headlining on his “Come Together” tour (and you can get tickets for that now).

Sourwood Festival | Saturday, Aug. 10-Sunday, Aug. 11 | Times vary | Downtown Black Mountain | Marking the beginning of the sourwood honey season each year since 1977, the festival features streets of vendors and live music.

Bite Me AVL | Wednesday, Aug. 14-Sunday, Aug. 18 | Times vary | Various locations | $79-$149 | This brand new festival from JD Ellison & Company and partners will feature cooking classes, gourmet dinners, workshops, culinary conversations, and late-night after parties. The schedule will be released soon.

View of a performer at the Asheville Comedy Festival

Crack up at the Asheville Comedy Festival.

Goombay Festival | Date + times TBA | Downtown Asheville | Free | After taking a pause last year, the YMI Cultural Center is planning to bring back the annual celebration of the culture, art, food, and entertainment of Asheville’s African American community.

Hola Asheville | Date + times TBA | Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plaza, Asheville | Free | The heart of Asheville will light up with the music, pageantry, art, and food of Latin America for a festival hosted by Hola Carolina.

Seasonal essentials

  • Tired of losing your sunglasses in the water? These floating sunglasses provide optimal clarity and comfort for all your summer adventures.
  • Shield yourself from the sun while adding a touch of flair to your outfit with one of our hats.
  • This iceless cooler keeps your drinks cold for 7 hours.

Did we miss your favorite summer event? Let us know.

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