The annual downtown street festival gears up for what may be its last year as a city-sponsored event. But even if that is the case, the three-day event is wrapping up more than 35 years with a memorable (and largely local and regional) roster of musical acts.
This year’s Bele Chere will be the last — at least, the last run by the city, as Asheville City Council members agreed during a March 12 budget session to end their financial involvement. As part of an overhaul in the way government deals with arts and festivals, city staff are also studying a proposal that sets up a “creative economies” chief, instead of a traditional arts administration staff. Photo by Max Cooper.
Starting in a special budget session this afternoon, Asheville City Council will contemplate a possible overhaul of the way the city deals with arts and festivals. At its formal meeting tonight, Council will appoint members of the school board.
Videographer Jesse Hamm captures the action of Bele Chere — from air dogs to line dancing — as set to stephaniesid’s cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “Strange Eyes.” Click through for the video.
Videographer Jesse Hamm filmed the country/indie-rock cross-over artist’s Sunday set at Bele Chere. Photo by Rich Orris.
The Philadelphia-based indie-rockers perform “Hang On” in this video by Jesse Hamm.
Throughout Bele Chere, Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd checked out your Instagram photos. Compiled using Storify, here’s what all the Ansel Adams wannabes took at Asheville’s largest arts and music festival. From Ultimate Air Dogs to Dr. Dog, maybe you’ll see one of your own shots here (or maybe you’re just in one). Photo by @ArtOfficialMusic on Instagram.
Jesse Hamm sets the sights of Asheville’s street festival to the music of Kovacs and the Polar Bear.
Even if you’re totally over any mention of the three-day festival, now safely behind us for another year, check out photos and videos from the Mexo-Americana outfit’s Sunday afternoon set. Photo by Rich Orris.
Strolling around downtown Asheville this morning, you would never suspect Bele Chere had happened, and ground is broken on the Pritchard Park fountain work.
The level of arrests and crimes that the Asheville Police Department saw at this Bele Chere were “on par” with past years, Lt. Wally Welch tells Xpress. Photo by Bill Rhodes.
Oh, the blessed Oreo. Whether you eat it like a sandwich or take off the top and scrape out the middle, there is nothing wrong with creamy filling surrounded by chocolate cookies. So what happens when they’re deep fried? Xpress finds out.
Not sure about some Bele Chere’s most unusual desserts? Let Xpress try them for you so you can branch out or stick to the usual.
Xpress tries some of Bele Chere’s most questionable food so you don’t have to.
Here’s a few personal highlights and observations from the first couple days of Bele Chere, including videos of Crazy Horse and Colston, Los Amigos Invisibles, Lucero, and Kovacs and the Polar Bear.
Asheville’s annual ritual showdown with fire-and-brimstone street preachers has played out much the same as usual, with some mutations: street preachers have discovered the Bele Chere hashtag on Twitter, and the city’s attempts to restrict amplification failed to bear fruit. (photo by Bill Rhodes)
To scale, Lexington Avenue Brewery may be as crowded as Bele Chere tonight — but guitarist Shane Perlowin should be audible still. He plays in the front room from 6 to 9 p.m.
Bele Chere lovers and haters speak their minds for the folks back home.
At last year’s festival, Xpress visited Asheville’s cutest convicts at the Bele Chere Doggie Jail. A far cry (or bark) from Alcatraz, proceeds from this rather posh and comfortable hoosegow go to Animal Compassion Network, a local foster and adoption organization whose many goals include finding “lifelong, stable and loving homes” for animals. For more information about ACN, visit http://www.animalcompassionnetwork.org.
Today’s the biggest music day of the weekend. With 19 bands performing between noon and 10 p.m., you’re going to find something that rocks/swings/bounces/pops/hops/shimmies/shakes and grooves at every turn. Best to go into it well-rested and with a plan of action. Photo of Delta Rae by Jeff Watson.
Street preachers, tourists, cops, kids, hippies, cooks, shoppers, musicians, and weirdos … and it’s only the first day.