Three venues. Two nights (plus a pre-party). One giant purple bus puttering between locations. For $15. Welcome to POPAsheville: The town’s three-year-old music fest dedicated to indie rock and arguably furthering the evolution of Asheville’s music scene.
Here’s the formula: A combination of local and regional bands perform short sets at Stella Blue, the Grey Eagle and the Rocket Club. The LaZoom bus (with musical entertainment) loops between venues. Started as a local showcase surrounding indie darlings stephaniesid, POPAsheville has grown into a festival of networking and exposure. And a lot of fun for fans.
“Surely out of 30 bands you’re going to find one or two that you really like,” says stephaniesid frontwoman and POPAsheville curator Stephanie Morgan. “We want people to stay for the whole thing.”
POPAsheville also offers bands a chance to make friends and help each other get out-of-town gigs, Morgan says. Because of connections made at past POPAshevilles, “in the last two years we’ve seen lots and lots of gig swaps,” she says.
Morgan offers her tips: It’s a good idea to pick up your wristband in advance from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday or Saturday at the Rocket Club. If you do it early, “it’s a lot easier,” she says. The daytime workshops should be interesting for musicians and nonmusicians alike (see sidebar). And “the bands are hanging out,” Morgan says. “It’s a good time to chat with bands.”
To learn more about the music workshops that are scheduled, click here.