In celebration of the 25-year milestone, the festivities will expand to two nights of performances and collaborations at the downtown arena. The only other time Christmas Jam took place over two nights was in honor of the benefit’s 20th anniversary.
According to the Oct. 7 initial lineup announcement, with the exception of a few intimate shows in California, Christmas Jam will be the first concert in over 10 years for the Phil Lesh Quintent, featuring Lesh (former Grateful Dead bassist), Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco and John Molo.
Another popular jamband making a rare appearance at this year's show is The Aquariaum Rescue Unit. It will be the band's second show since 2007, marking the band’s return to the event after a 13 year absence.
The Christmas Jam also heralds the return of Sco-mule, the revered collaboration between Gov’t Mule and guitar legend John Scofield. In addition, the lineup includes pop-rock band Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, which features longtime Asheville resident Michael Libramento on bass.
"Additional surprises and unique musical pairings will undoubtedly also take place in Asheville in December," according to the announcement. Fans can "look forward to Michael Franti delivering a unique set featuring many of the artists on the bill the way he did five years ago when his 'solo' set wound up being a full band featuring Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on mandolin, amongst others."
Organized by Grammy-winning Gov't Mule guitarist and native Ashevillian Warren Haynes, proceeds from the jam will benefit the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7p.m. each night. VIP tickets and hotel packages go on sale Wednesday Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. here. General admission pre-sale tickets go on sale Oct. 10 at noon here.
Organizers say more artists and the daily lineups will be announced in coming days.
Here's the initial list of performers as of Oct. 7:
Phil Lesh Quintet
Aquarium Rescue Unit
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals