Around Town: Music Video Asheville returns with first in-person event in three years

DRESSED TO THE NINES: The 14th annual Music Video Asheville Awards will begin as attendees walk the red carpet Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Salvage Station. Photo by Leigha Rochelle Beck

It’s been three years since organizers of the Music Video Asheville Awards rolled out the red carpet, and they are more than ready to return to action with this year’s festivities at Salvage Station.

The annual event showcasing collaborations between filmmakers and musicians was last held with an in-person audience in 2019 before going virtual in 2020.

“We made do and were happy with the way it turned out, but we are so excited to be back in person,” says Josh Blake, founder of IamAvl, which produces the event. “There is something so special and fun about watching a bunch of music videos with friends in a large room and cheering each other on.”

The 14th annual Music Video Asheville Awards will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5. Things get underway at 5 p.m. as guests walk the red carpet and get their photos taken by paparazzi. The show and awards ceremony will follow from 7-10 p.m., with local comedian Hilliary Begley hosting.

Out of about 90 videos submitted, about 30 will be shown on the big screen at Salvage Stage. Once the crowd votes for its favorite videos, the awards ceremony will begin with winners announced in such categories as best costume design, best direction, best cinematography and best soundtrack.

The winner of the Judges Choice Award will receive $500, and the Crowd Favorite will earn a day at Echo Mountain Recording.

Music Video Asheville was started in 2008 by Jenny Fares, Margaret Lauzon and others as a way to showcase the work of local musicians, filmmakers, photographers and designers.

“Music Video Asheville has been around since before the current influx of residents and visitors, so it holds a special place in our city as a staple event that has been showcasing local talent well before Asheville became so popular,” Blake says. “It helps put a well-deserved spotlight on our city’s creative culture and gives people a chance to put down their craft for a night of networking and celebration.”

Salvage Station is at 468 Riverside Drive. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 on the day of the event. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to

Gimme some truth

About five years ago, retired attorney Jay Bergen went out to the garage of his Saluda home to take a look at six boxes full of legal documents from his most famous case. In the 1970s, Bergen represented legendary former Beatle John Lennon in a  dispute with music industry titan Morris Levy.

Included in the files, which Bergen had lugged around through several moves, were thousands of pages of trial transcripts and exhibits such as LPs by The Beatles and Lennon.

“I was trying to think of what I was going do with these things,” Bergen says.  “Should I donate them to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? And I started reading John’s testimony. The trial and us working together suddenly came rushing back to me. I thought to myself, ‘There’s a story here, and I’ve got to tell this story.’”

The result is Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer: The Untold Story, recently published by DeVault Graves Books.

Bergen will sign copies of the book at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville on Saturday, Oct. 1, 1-3 p.m. And on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7-8:30 p.m., he will discuss the book with music journalist and Xpress contributor Bill Kopp as part of the Music to Your Ears series at Asheville Guitar Bar.

The 1976 trial pitting Lennon against Levy was the culmination of a series of events that started when Lennon wrote “Come Together” in 1969. Levy, who owned the rights to Chuck Berry‘s music publishing, sued Lennon, saying he had plagiarized Berry’s 1956 song “You Can’t Catch Me.” To settle, Lennon agreed to record at least three songs from Levy’s catalog on an album that ultimately was released as Rock ‘n’ Roll in 1975.

But before that album came out, Levy marketed a television mail-order version of its rough mix called Roots: John Lennon Sings the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits. A series of lawsuits and countersuits resulted, pitting Levy against Lennon and Capitol Records/EMI. Bergen, who was a New York trial attorney, represented Lennon in the litigation after meeting him and Yoko Ono in February 1975.

Others have tried to untangle the complicated story, Bergen says, but none of them knew all the details.

“And I knew that I could get it right,” he explains. “And I knew that I could humanize John because we got along very well. It was time to tell a story about a different John Lennon. Not the rock icon, but just John Lennon the person.”

Blue Ridge Books is at 428 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville. Asheville Guitar Bar is at 122 Riverside Drive, Suite D. For more information about the book, go to

Color commentary

At the beginning of October each year, as the leaves start changing colors, the tiny Jackson County town of Dillsboro welcomes thousands of visitors to ColorFest, its fine arts and crafts fair.

“At first, it was just art, then it grew to be other artisans: chair caning, baskets, soap making, storytelling, books,” says Brenda Anders, co-director of the fair.

The 14th annual ColorFest will be Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., along Front Street in Dillsboro. The event will feature over 40 vendors, fine artists and craftspeople, many of whom will demonstrate their work and compete for prizes handed out by the Dillsboro Merchants Association.

Among those on hand will be potter Cory Plott, chair caner David Ammons, photographer Jason Rizzo and jewelry and wind chime maker Jennifer Strall.

The fair also will feature performances by the J. Creek Cloggers at 11 a.m., acoustic duo Twelfth Fret at noon, and singer Suzie Copeland at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

For more information, go to

Sunny days ahead

Tyger Tyger Gallery will present The Sun Touches Everything, an exhibition curated by artist Danielle Winger and featuring more than 60 works from 15 different national and international artists. Following an opening reception Thursday, Sept. 30, 5-8 p.m., the exhibition will be run through Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The show will include work from emerging to midcareer artists representing a range of styles bridging abstraction and representation.

“In David Utiger‘s paintings, the sun works with quiet determination to give light to untouched and wild parts of Appalachia,” Winger says in a press release. “Krista Dedrick-Lai‘s neon palette both reveals and obscures the path forward as a mother cradles her child, illuminated from within as she wades through a swirling vortex of painterly darkness. While deceptively simple, what ties these and other works together is a collective approach that is frontally and unapologetically delightful.”

Tyger Tyger Gallery is at 191 Lyman St., No. 144. The gallery is open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m-6 p.m., and Sundays,  11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, go to

Ghost stories

Ready to be scared?

Head out to Hendersonville’s Haunted Farm, which gets underway at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at 642 Townsend Road. The attraction will be open each subsequent Friday and Saturday in October and on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31.

“The Haunted Farm sits on a mysterious, blood-soaked stretch of land where the locals claim an age-old blood feud between the Lively and Tate families has devastated the local farming community,” organizers says in a press release. Sounds pretty scary to us.

Tickets for the Haunted Farm run from $35-$60. For more information or to buy tickets, go to

Ukrainian music

Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha will perform at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Hall at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

The group merges cabaret, jazz, rock and hip-hop with Ukrainian folk styles accompanied by traditional instruments from Russia, Australia, India and more. The band has performed in concerts and international festivals worldwide, including the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

DakhaBrakha, which translates to “give and take” in Ukrainian, was formed at an experimental theater in Kyiv, Ukraine. The group’s shows are often punctuated with political messages, which have grown more impassioned during the current U.S. tour, which kicked off just weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Lipinsky Hall is at 300 Library Lane on the UNCA campus. Admission is free to UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff on a first come, first served basis. A limited number of general admission tickets will be available to community members for $15. To buy tickets, go to

Future of craft

In October 2021, the Center for Craft brought together a group of multidisciplinary thought leaders for the Craft Think Tank. The three-day visioning process examined questions of craft’s relevance and future impact, not only for artists but for a range of disciplines and professions.

The discussions that emerged from those discussions will shape the center’s goals, from developing large projects to framing strategic thinking.

Results of that process have been compiled into a 48-page report that is available at




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About Justin McGuire
Justin McGuire is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, the (Rock Hill, SC) Herald and various other publications. Follow me @jmcguireMLB

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