A festival for one and all

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars return to LEAF this spring. Photo by Zach Smith
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars return to LEAF this spring. Photo by Zach Smith

For more festivals, visit Calendar and mountainx.com.

LEAF, at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, returns for its spring installment with family-friendly camping, arts (performance, visual, healing, etc.), dance, crafts, kids activities and plenty of music. Headliners include Los Lobos, Beats Antique, Red Baraat, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars and many more. Thursday-Sunday, May 8-11. Tickets range from $189 for a weekend-plus pass to $48 for day tickets, with discounts for children. theleaf.org

Downtown After 5, at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and I-240 in Asheville, celebrates its 26th year of live summertime music. Bands include St. Paul and The Broken Bones, The Broadcast, Chatham County Line and the local supergroup Asheville All-Stars. Third Friday of the month from May-Sepember starting Friday, May 16, 5-9 p.m. Free. ashevilledowntown.org

The Montford Music and Arts Festival, at Montford Avenue and Soco Street in Asheville, is the largest one-day music and arts festival in Western North Carolina. Over 100 vendors of art, crafts, plants, food and children’s activities are on site. Two stages with over 20 musical acts combine for nonstop entertainment. WestSound, Lyric, Hank West and the Smokin’ Hots and others perform. Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. montfordfestival.org

The Mountain Sports Festival, at Carrier Park in Asheville, merges music and sports for a celebration of community, athletics and local business. Activities include running, bike and raft races, dodge ball, ultimate Frisbee, disc golf and a Family Fun Olympics. Among the bands performing are Zansa, The Get Right Band, Earphunk and the winner of the festival’s Race to the Stage competition. Friday-Sunday, May 23-25. Free. All sports events offer pre-registration. mountainsportsfestival.com

The White Squirrel Festival, in downtown Brevard, offers music concerts, street vendors, food, artists, craftsmen, potters, painters, games, kids activities and the Squirrel Box Derby. Performers include George Porter Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners, Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith, Jeff Sipe Trio and Dave Desmelik. Friday-Sunday, May 23-25. Free. whitesquirrelfestival.com

RiverMusic, at the RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza in Asheville’s River Arts District, brings national musical acts and local favorites to the banks of the French Broad River. Beer from local craft brewers and food trucks are showcased with the river flowing right by the stage. Orgone, Treetop Flyers and The BillySea are among the performers. May 30, June 13, July 11, Aug. 29 and September 12, 5-10 p.m. Free. riverlink.org

The Brevard Blues Festival, at the Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium at the Brevard Music Center, is a family-friendly event with eight hours of blues, barbecue and brews with on-site food from Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue. Headliners include Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling & the Jewel Tones, Anson Funderburgh and Shane Pruitt Band. Saturday, June 7, 3-11 p.m. $20. brevardmusic.org

All Go West, in West Asheville, features three stages of live music. Bands include Stooges Brass Band, Cee Knowledge & the Cosmik Funk Orchestra, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Free Radio. Saturday, June 7. Free. allgowest.com

The Asheville Percussion Festival, at the Diana Wortham Theatre and The OM Sanctuary in downtown Asheville, offers workshops, clinics, concerts and demonstrations. Teaching artists include David Kuckhermann, River Guerguerian, Lizz Wright and Naghmeh Farahmand. Friday-Sunday, June 20-22. Tickets range $20-$150 for a VIP weekend pass, plus free noontime concerts June 21-22. ashevillepercussionfestival.com

The Brevard Music Festival, in Brevard, features performances of some of classical music’s greatest masterpieces for its 2014 season. Guest performers include Itzhak Perlman, Marc Cohn, Garrick Ohlsson and Conrad Tao. June 21-Aug. 3. Tickets range from $115 Orchestra 1 aisle seats to $15 for lawn seats, with discounts for students and children. brevardmusic.org

Shindig on the Green, at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, features a stage show of Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions and informal jam sessions around the park. Saturdays, June 28-July 19; August 9-30, 7-10 p.m. Free. folkheritage.org

Folkmoot, in Waynesville and select surrounding cities, highlights the world’s diverse cultural music and dance. Countries invited for 2014 include Turkey, Trinidad and Romania, and ensembles such as the Warriors of Anikituwah and Tsalagi Touring Group from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Friday-Sunday, July 18-27. Tickets range from $16-$30 for individual events, with discounts for children. folkmootusa.org

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, aims to present the finest Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams. Thursday-Saturday, July 31-Aug. 2, 7-10 p.m. Tickets range from $54 for all three nights to $20 for one night, with discounts for children. folkheritage.org — E.A.

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin is a freelance writer and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA), North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS). He also contributes to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

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