Music on the quad: Echofest returns to UNC Asheville

BRINGING THE FUNK: Raleigh-based band, Chit Nasty will be among the headlining acts at this year's Echofest.
BRINGING THE FUNK: Raleigh-based band, Chit Nasty will be among the headlining acts at this year's Echofest. Photo courtesy of Echofest

“I’m very proud to say we have a lot of variety,” says UNC Asheville sophomore and Echofest 2017 coordinator Nick Strauss. In its fourth year, the free music event will take place on Saturday, March 25, noon-11 p.m. The festival will feature 30 bands on four different stages across the UNCA campus.

Strauss points to Echofest’s four headliners as an example of its diverse sound. Nashville’s A Boy Named Banjo will provide the folk tunes. Raleigh’s Chit Nasty will bring the funk and soul. Asheville’s The Freeway Revival will combine classic rock, blues and country. And Greenville’s Psylo Joe will bring the psychedelic rock.

“We’re keeping the tradition of having as many bands as we can,” says Strauss. “We’ve also added a lot of other features, such as food trucks.” Melt Your Heart and Amazing Pizza Company will be the festival’s two food vendors.

Strauss notes that the biggest addition to this year’s event, however, is the art raffle that will benefit Helpmate, an independent nonprofit agency that provides free emergency shelter, counseling and support for victims of domestic violence. UNCA art students Rose Howley, Josh Coates and Siri Guadarrama will donate original works for the fundraiser. Raffle tickets will begin at $5. All proceeds will go to the nonprofit.

“It’s a worthy cause and it’s all something we’re pretty passionate about,” says fellow Echofest coordinator and UNCA sophomore Cassie Glase. Strauss adds, “While there are many social and political charities around, we wanted to do something that was immediately beneficial to our local area.”

Both coordinators hope members of the community will come out to this rain-or-shine event. They encourage all who attend to purchase raffle tickets. They view the fundraiser as part of Echofest’s evolution. “We’ve been able to make this year’s event a lot bigger than it has been in the past,” says Strauss. “It has a bigger scope and a bigger mission.”

WHAT: Echofest
WHERE: UNCA, 1 University Heights. avl.mx/3hi
WHEN: Saturday, March 25, noon-11 p.m. Free

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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