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.
Sunny looks on Friday
The local band opened the festival on the Haywood Street stage. Photos by Rich Orris.
Day three: We’re updating our Twitter and Tumbler live feeds constantly as the festival thrums and hums along. You’re one click away from the best Bele Chere coverage this side of the BB&T building. (Photo by “mackthought”)
Xpress hit the streets to find out what people love and hate about Bele Chere.
Bele Chere is more than just bands and foods-on-a-stick. It’s shopping, too. Think: gifts, apparel, jewelry, accessories and Asheville souvenirs. Here are some of our top shopping picks for this year:
Bele Chere is a festival of many colors. So it’s natural for Xpress to offer coverage that’s equally nuanced. Read on for quick routes to your preferred online format. (And of course, if you’re the classic paper-and-ink type, we’ve got festival guides on almost every block downtown with a map, band bios, food and shopping tips and more.)
It almost always rains at some point during Bele Chere. The early Friday afternoon storm sent musicians scrambling to cover instruments and the streets nearly cleared of pedestrians for a few minutes.
Who can forget last year’s Bele Chere Hats? Complete with original theme song! Let us revisit last-year’s lids as a reminder to cover up this year.
Downtown Asheville bustled with activity Thursday evening as vendors and staff prepared for Bele Chere, setting up tents and tables and giving directions. Though the festival officially starts tomorrow, enthusiastic sightseers already roamed the closed streets, dodging the occasional Bele Chere staffer in a golf cart or local commuter on a bicycle.
Check out a time lapse video of Bele Chere preparations from 2011. Set to the music of Paper Tiger, this film of photos was produced by erstwhile Xpress intern, Joseph Chapman.
We hope y’all have checked out our Bele Chere Love it and Leave it guide that published this week. If you did, though, don’t take our advice and float to the Bywater this weekend, cause it’ll be closed. Here are a few other weekend closings.
Welcome to the 34th annual Bele Chere. To some, the festival translates as “beautiful living”; to others it means “leave town.” If the first applies to you, please proceed. Lift your eyes for a moment and take in the hordes: of people, food, music, art and heat. Before you disappear into this confetti of entertainment, […]
Friday, July 27 As tempting as it is to laugh at the many shirtless men at Bele Chere, there are other, less mean-spirited outlets for humor. Disclaimer Comedy’s local showcase, for one, yuks it up at Elaine's Piano Bar in the Grove Park Inn starting at 8 p.m. To find out more go to http://www.disclaimercomedy.com. […]
If you like your festival with more edge and less sideshow, Gurp Fest may be what you're looking for. The two-day hip-hop lineup (with all of the Gurp City South bands) takes to the Emerald Lounge stage on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28. First, what's Gurp City South, you ask? It's the Southeast […]
"Come prepared for raucous humor, bad girls, noteworthy indecency, empowered, naked wit and naked ladies." No, this is not a report on late-night downtown debauchery following Bele Chere. It's in the press release for No She Didn't! Good Girls Gone Bad and the Dances That Happen. The show, which runs at The Magnetic Field, uses […]
What should still be playing Now, the truth is that I have an almost perfect record of not attending Bele Chere. OK, so I got cajoled, bamboozled and frankly tricked into filling helium balloons at the Xpress booth one year, but I'd prefer not to think about that. So I find it fairly easy to […]
The mountains and rivers surrounding Asheville offer ample opportunities to escape the sweltering crowds and chaos of Bele Chere. The Blue Ridge Parkway provides easy access to numerous hikes among lofty peaks. Only about a 25-minute drive north of Asheville on the scenic roadway, the Craggy Gardens area near milepost 364 is a convenient starting […]
Here's the scenario: You're downtown and you're craving a bite of something good, but want to avoid the chaos of Bele Chere proper. May we suggest heading to the The Lot, Asheville’s food truck court at 51 Coxe Ave. Nate Kelly, owner and operator of the Lowdown food truck, says the Lot will remain open […]