The United States Invite You to Sing and Dance All Year

December 17, 2018 by Mobile Beat

If you’re travelling to the United States this year, or if you live in the US, there are a great many music festivals during all months and all over the vast country.  These festivals usually feature one type of music so you can travel from venue to venue, sightsee on the way, and hear fantastic music throughout your trip. 

One thing about the many music festivals that dot the landscape: they compete to some extent with casinos that also dot the landscape.  But the people who come to these music festivals are generally content to play free casino games on their laptop or mobile device!

In this short piece, we’ll focus on music festivals in North Carolina.  As relatively small as North Carolina is, it has a very large selection of festivals.

Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention

This two-day festival will be held in Surry County on April 6-7.  As its name indicates, the featured music is old time fiddle music.  There are workshops, a dance, and many activities for kids and adults.  If you play a fiddle, or fancy yourself a fiddle player, or just plain enjoy fiddle music, this is a must stop on your itinerary.

Big Lick Bluegrass Festival

This festival will take place in Oakboro on April 12-14.  It begins at 6:00 pm on the 12thwith an open mike lasting until the last band finishes playing.  On Friday, the festival will run from 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm with four bands playing both before and after the supper break at 5:00 pm.  On Saturday, the concerts will begin at noon and run til 11:00 pm. Bring your blanket and picnic basket for a blast!

Spring Fest

This is a one day festival held in Raleigh on April 7th.   The performances run from noon to 8:00 pm on two stages: the adult stage and the kids’ stage.  There are also crafts vendors, yoga, and more – something for everyone!

Depot District

Lexington hosts this one day festival on April 8th.  This is the inaugural year for this festival.  This is an outdoor festival, so bring your own chairs or blankets for sitting.  Interestingly….smoking will NOT be permitted at this outdoor festival. 

North Carolina ‘Cuegrass Festival

This is a one-day affair to be held this year in Raleigh on April 25thfrom noon to 6:00.  It features bluegrass music, a pig roast, and locally brewed beer.  Proceeds go to two charities: SAFEchild and BackPackBuddies.

Tuck Fest

This is more than a music festival.  It is a celebration of outdoor activities with competitions in biking, kayaking, climbing, trail running, obstacle course, and paddle board.

The festival began in Charlotte in 2013 and attendance has grown over 100% from its first year to last year.  This is not an intimate local festival; it is expected to attract as many as 35,000 people this year.

The dates this year are April 18-22.  Each day, the festival lasts from early in the morning until late at night and you can compete in the many competitions, participate in yoga, or just sit back and enjoy the music.

Little Creek Vineyard Earth Day

If the great size of Tuck Fest is less to your liking, you might try to get to this festival; it’s a lot more intimate.  The festival runs this year from April 20-22 in Snow Camp.  The venue for this event is just beautiful – worth the visit!

Songsmith Gathering

Brevard, April 21st.  This will be the first year for this “gathering”. It will be held on the campus of Brevard Music Center.  Songsmith Gathering describes its purpose as bringing songwriters of all genres together in an environment conducive to singing.  Also here, the setting is great – 1800 permanent seats in an outdoor amphitheater.  Bring your blankets to sit on the sides.

Rockyfest

This single-day event will take place in Hiddeenite on April 21st.  This is a physical activities festival with hours and hours of music thrown in for extra fun.

MerleFest

This festival takes place in Wilksboro. This year it will be held on April 26-29.  The festival began in 1988 so is a veteran in the music festival world.  It features traditional mountain music and makes way for other musical genres, primarily blues, rock, and country to be heard as well.

White Oak Shores Bluegrass Festival

As you no doubt have gathered from the descriptions here, bluegrass is a main musical genre in North Carolina.  This festival will take place in Stella on April 26-27.

Triangle Beach Music

Summertime comes early in coastal North Carolina so beachwear will be prominent at this festival to be held in Greenville on April 28.

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

From May 3-6, the Shakori Hills Festival in the college town Chapel Hill will feature music from early morning to midnight.

French Broad River Festival

This will be the 22ndyear for this festival to be held from May 4-6.  It is located in Hot Springs only 35 miles from Asheville.  Like many other festivals, it is a charity-based event benefiting American Whitewater, the Hot Springs Learning Center, and the Verner Center.  The schedule is already packed.

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival

This is a granddaddy of a festival having been established fully 38 years ago.  It will run from May 10-12 in Denton.

Southeast Reginal Folk Alliance

This is less music festival and more convention of songwriters and musicians.  The days are devoted to meetings and workshops with concerts and performances in the evenings.  This year the convention will be held from May 16-20 in Montreat.

Li’l John’s Mountain Music Festival

This festival is also held in Snow Camp so if you missed the Little Creek Festival in April, you can attend this one from May 24-26.  As it’s a mountain music festival, it will feature more than bluegrass although bluegrass will be the most prominent genre played.

Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention

If some festivals are just beginning this year and some has a short pedigree, some have been around a very long time.  This festival dates back to 1971.  It will take place on June 1-2 in Mt. Airy. 

Like the other music conventions, this one will feature workshops along with evening concerts.

Cold Mountain Music Festival

This will be the last one on our list, not because it’s the last festival in North Carolina but because we’ve run out of space.  It will be held at Lake Logan on June 8-9.  In addition to two days of music, you’ll be able to hike along the lake, a full mile long.  Pisgah National Forest is just down the road for more hiking trails.

The festival will have activities for kids, local food and drink, and much more.  This is a decidedly Christian festival as it benefits two ministries. 

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