Other Music Events

MerleFest (Wilkes)

The festival preserves and presents the blues as a historic art form with educational programs in addition to blues music. In addition to concerts and musician workshops, the weekend includes a street festival.

Artists: Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, Balsam Range, Claire Lynch Band, Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Jerry Douglas, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, Lonesome River Band, Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, and The Travelin’ McCourys among others.


Pop Ferguson Blues Heritage Festival (Lenoir)

The festival preserves and presents the blues as a historic art form with educational programs in addition to blues music. In addition to concerts and musician workshops, the weekend includes a street festival.

Artists: Phil Wiggins, John Dee Holman, Vonna, Pop Ferguson, Strictly Clean and Decent, Bryan Anderson, The Silver Stars, Darrell Corley, 5:17, Anointed, Donnie Felton.


Sirens on the Mountain (Boone)

The celebration of women’s contributions to the arts began in 2013 with more than a dozen musical acts and 30 artist vendors, a healing arts village, workshops on a variety of topics, and activities that promote women’s art, causes and concerns. Vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian food vendors will also be on hand.

Artists: Rickie Lee Jones, Bettye Lavette, Rising Appalachia, Michelle Malone, Melissa Reaves, Laura Blackley, Red Leg Husky, Amythyst Kiah, Sole Schaefer, Samantha O’Brien, Mountain Laurels, Underhill Rose, Gigi Dover, Shanon Whitworth.


Wayne Henderson Festival (Galax, VA)

On the third Saturday of every June at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition features some of the region’s best traditional musicians. From time to time, they have shared the stage with bluegrass bands from Europe.

Artists: Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, Bill Kirchen, Snyder Family Band, Vince Gill, Kazuhiro Inaba, Wayne Henderson and Friends


Singing on the Mountain (Linville)

The daylong sing at the base of Grandfather Mountain is the oldest ongoing old-time gospel convention left in the Southern Appalachians. The 2014 Singing on the Mountain will pay tribute to the late Arthur Smith, who served as music master for the event from the 1950s through the early 1980s. Smith died in April. The festival, which includes a mid-day sermon, is in its 90th year in 2014.

Artists: The Cockman Family, The Rick Webb Family, The Sneed Family, The Hurleys, Bread of Life Quartet, Michael Combs, Ernie Penley.


June 26-28

Red, White & Bluegrass Festival (Morganton)

In its 11th year, the formerly week-long Fourth of July festival moves to June and shortens to three days. It retains its bluegrass camp for kids and other features. Click on the photo for more info.

Artists: Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Balsam Range, The Lost and Found, Eddie Rose and Highway Forty, Tone Blazers, The Grascals, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, Marty Raybon, Volume Five, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Detour, Kids’ Camp performers and Flatt Lonesome, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and The Whites, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Kenny and Amanda Smith Band, Grasstowne, Claire Lynch, Snyder Family Band.


An Appalachian Summer Festival (Boone)

An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music festival and has developed over the years to become one of the nation’s largest regional multi-arts festivals with over 26,000 people in attendance each year. Presented by the Appalachian State University Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, the annual arts celebration is held every July on and around the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. For nearly a decade, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.


80th Annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention (Galax, VA)

The Old Fiddler’s Convention was originated in the spring of 1935 when a few members of the then new Moose Lodge #733 needed something to raise funds and promote publicity. In a newspaper item at the time it was stated that the Convention was dedicated to “Keeping alive the memories and sentiments of days gone by and make it possible for people of today to hear and enjoy the tunes of yesterday”. The original purpose is held in the same regard today, and the sponsors feel that in some measure this purpose has been accomplished.

Competitions: fiddlers’ youth; old time fiddle, dobro, mandolin; bluegrass fiddle, dulcimer and banjo; clawhammer banjo; autoharp; guitar; old time band; bluegrass band; folk song; flatfoot dance.


Rhythm & Roots Reunion (Bristol, TN)

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion isn’t just a music festival. It’s an infectious, three-day music experience, bursting with creative passion, electricity, and soul. Every third weekend in September, State Street in historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA is amped to the beat of Appalachia’s past, present, and future. It digs down deep into the roots of traditional Appalachian sound and lifts its branches to new heights–and it all happens in the heart of The Birthplace of Country Music.