Feast to the Beat is a national tour celebrating — and raising funds for — National Parks and National Heritage Areas. It rolls into Asheville for a two-day event on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 4 and 5.
The two-part music and food event kicks off Thursday, at Highland Brewing Co., with a concert by bluegrass outfit Balsam Range. Americana band Tellico opens the 7 p.m. show. Advance tickets are $19.94 standing/$23.15 seated, and benefit the work of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.
Not ready to commit to the ticketed concert? There will be local food trucks, cooking demos and other activities at Highland from 4 to 6 p.m. It’s free to hang out. Jam in the Van’s mobile, solar-powered recording studio will be onsite. The “music discovery vehicle” has hosted the likes of Ziggy Marley, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, The Black Angels, Blitzen Trapper and many more. Watch previous sessions here (including performances from a 2012 Asheville stop). And tickets to the concert will be available at the venue.
On Friday, free events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. Jam in the Van will be set up, and regional and local bands Stop Light Observations (rock), Aaron Woody Wood (Appalachian soul), The Fritz (funk) and The Broadcast (Americana) will each record a three-song set. “The audience can watch the behind-the-scenes action on large screen monitors outside the van,” says press release. “In between recording sessions, local chefs Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen, and Arlene Cotler, known for her designer dinner parties, will demonstrate and compete using local foods to highlight the cuisine of the North Carolina mountains.”