A Winged Migration: Asheville Faerie Arts Festival

“To dress as a faerie, donning wings, is to actively join in the dance, to be connected to creative spirit. Graceful or ecstatic dance; the radiant, rhythmic heartbeat; friendship; music; all these move easily across the boundaries, transcending language, race, and time.” — Internationally acclaimed faerie artist, Brian Froud

Ever wanted an excuse to wear fairy wings? Well, here it is: On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Renaissance Hotel becomes a a faerie safe zone with the inaugural Asheville Faerie Arts Festival. A magical winged migration is set to take place, where once-normal human beings are transformed into angelic creatures. So, wear your wings with pride, in an environment that demands this of you! Those who identify as elves are welcome, too. As Rock Eblen, the festival’s artistic director, says, “Think of this as more Lord of the Rings than anything.”

It’s important to note there are two segments to this event: daytime (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and nighttime (6-11 p.m.) The daytime segment is family-friendly. All mini-fairies are welcome to come and enjoy stories, magic shows and puppets. Other entertainment includes gypsy bands, Xtreme Dance Studio, urban art hip-hop and Whee Ahh Faerie Kin. As night dawns, the festival shifts to indulge in an adult-themed Steampunk fashion show accompanied by crafts, brews, food and more. Faeries can dance the night away to Pipapelli Celtic Rock and DJ CLEOFUS, and there will also be the chance to win prizes for the best costume.

Want a prize? Well, here are some tips: Having seen a few faeries in his time, Eblen says, “The best costumes are handmade or homemade, although they don’t have to be. The most important thing is that it be unique.” True faeries have magical powers. Decide what yours are and believe in them; you won’t get far if you don’t. A false faerie can be spotted a mile away. And pick a theme! If you like nature, be a faerie of nature. If you like rainbows, be a faerie of rainbows. The key is to incorporate yourself into this magical world. Also, choose your wings wisely: these are the essence of a faerie’s beauty and magic. And don’t forget to protect them on the dance floor. A faerie with a broken or ripped wing is a sad faerie indeed. Lastly, indulge in the environmental delights. True faeries are light on their feet, embrace the world around them and love to dance.

“The most important thing,” says Eblen, “is that participants realize the purpose of the festival is to not only reconnect with nature but to support sustainability and charity.” The festival will serve as a fundraiser for his family’s nonprofit, Eblen Charities.

Tickets are at Malaprop’s or online through Etix. Adult all-day advance price is $15 ($20 at the door) and student price is $8. Children under 10 will be admitted free. Performances, music, fashion shows and workshops will run throughout the day, so re-entry is permitted.


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