Walking the streets of downtown Asheville can be a musical experience. Most evenings bring encounters with an assortment of buskers, drummers and dancers. The city also hosts a large, if ever-changing, calendar of free music events and festivals scattered throughout the year. Some have been around for decades, while others are preparing to launch.
Next Tuesday, Sept. 24, Asheville City Council will consider an overhaul of the city’s agricultural ordinances to allow for growing more food in more places. Council will also contemplate making official inquiries into partnering with private organizations to find an event to replace Bele Chere.
We’re still thinking about the incredible Bele Chere set by multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi and his band. Here’s a video of his song “Intro/Pathos, Pathos.”
Asheville’s funk collective performed “Badonkadonk” live at Bele Chere. Click through for the video.
While Doc Aquatic’s Sunday show at Bele Chere was not the final set of the festival, the local band’s potent mix of psychedelic experimentation and relaxed indie-rock played like the final word on a weekend’s worth of music. Photos by John Zara.
Click through for photos (by John Zara) of Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Doc Aquatic and Mountain Goats.
Check out this slideshow of the full weekend’s worth of bands.
Whether you mourned the loss or celebrated its final days, Bele Chere has now been packed up and laid to rest after 35 years. To help with the grieving process, Xpress asked the community to share how they felt about Bele Chere’s final chapter. These are some of the parting words, pictures, videos and more about the summer street festival’s last celebration.
Click through for photos (by John Zara) of Matrimony, Space Capone, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, David Holt, Moon Taxi, Son of Bill, Kishi Bashi, The Birchtree Band, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and videos (by Jesse Hamm) of Kishi Bashi and the Booty Band.
Three and a half decades of taxpayer-funded and city-organized fanfare and fury for an annual festival celebrating the region’s art, music and cuisine set amidst a backdrop fire with social, business and financial love and despair came to end on Sunday afternoon. Bele Chere was 35.
It’s time to say goodbye (or good riddance) to Bele Chere, and Xpress wants you to help write the festival’s obituary. Use #RIPBeleChere to be part of the fun this weekend.
Kishi Bashi headlined a magical Saturday night at Bele Chere. Photos by John Zara.
Local funk ensemble Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band kicked off Bele Chere’s Saturday night with style to spare, and a fierce horn solo or two. Photos by John Zara.
The family band from Charlotte, N.C., put their own spin on roots-rock during an energetic and uplifting set. Photos by John Zara.
Click through for photos (by John Zara) of Bright Lights Social Hour, Dan Deacon and Wanda Jackson, and videos (by Jesse Hamm) of CrazyHorse & Colston and Chuck Brodsky.
Gyros prove popular near Pritchard Park, and Taste of Asheville holds (food) court at the Vance Monument.
The local hip-hop act opened the festival in style, with a set of songs that celebrated the South (and specifically, Asheville) with plenty of swagger. And lots of guests.
Even if this is the final Bele Chere, the arts, crafts and wares for sale are as good as ever. Shop on Haywood and College Streets; Patton, Battery Park and Biltmore Avenues; and in the Art Park on Patton Avenue.
For Bele Chere weekend only, Creative Allies hosts a shop at 58 Wall St. selling limited edition band t-shirts, posters, mugs and iPhone cases created by some of the best emerging designers from around the world.
As the final city-run Bele Chere approaches, rumors have swirled about a private company or organization taking it over. But according to the city of Asheville, so far they’re just rumors.
Local bands will talk about their sets at this weekend’s street festival. Tune in to iamavl on Thursday afternoon for interviews.