The 25th Anniversary Season of Downtown After 5, presented by Harmony Motors, returns Friday, July 19 from 5-9pm with the Asheville All-Stars taking the stage following opener, Pleasure Chest. Taking place the 3rd Friday of the month from May through September, Downtown After 5 is located at N. Lexington Avenue and I-240 and is always free.
“Celebrating 25 years is a major milestone for Downtown After 5. A hard-working group of community members had the vision that a street festival could be instrumental in helping people rediscover downtown. That festival has grown from 100 or so neighbors and curiosity-seekers into one of Downtown Asheville’s biggest — and funnest – events,” said Chris Bubenik, events committee chair for the Asheville Downtown Association.
Over 25 seasons, the Downtown After 5 stage has hosted many of the musicians that call Asheville home. The All-Stars show is a tribute to great talent found right here in western North Carolina. The lineup includes (subject to change):
• Josh Blake (guitar/vocals): Josh Blake’s Jukebox, Tuesday Night Funk Jam House Band, GFE
• Woody Wood (guitar/vocals): Blue Rags, Woody Wood and The Ends, Hollywood Red,
• Mike Rhodes (drums): Blue Rags, The Invisible 3
• Phillip L. Bronson (drums): Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
• Elijah Cramer (bass): STRUT, Strange, Josh Blake’s Jukebox
• Tony Black (bass): The Artimus Pyle Band and Camp David
• Jeff Knorr (keys/vocals): Secret B-Sides, Tuesday Night Funk Jam House Band, Nuevo Montuno
• Ryan Burns (keys): The Invisible 3
• Ben Hovey (Trumpet/Keys): The Asheville Horns
• Greg Hollowell (sax): The Asheville Horns, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (retired)
• JP Furnas (trombone): Common Foundation, Dub Kartel
• Jennifer Hockenberry (percussion): GFE
• Debrissa McKinney (sax/vocals): Empire Strikes Brass
• Kellin Watson (guitar/vocals): Kellin Watson
• Marisa Blake (vocals): GFE, Josh Blake’s Jukebox
• Stephanie Morgan (vocals): stephaniesid, Crybaby
• Jim Arrendell (vocals): Jim Arrendell and The Cheap Suits, The Business
• Austin Haynes (MC): Free Radio
• Johnnyboy (MC): Free Radio
• Adam Strange (MC): GFE, Strange
• Foul Mouth Jerk (MC): GFE
The local love extends to opener, Pleasure Chest, presenting a grand tour of rock, country and soul styles – from the glam universe of David Bowie, to the barroom cry of Ray Price, strutting through the lowdown funk of Bo Diddley, and pounding the garage rock wail of the Animals. Pleasure Chest’s lineup includes:
• Kip Veno (vocals, harmonica)
• Erich Hubner (guitar): formerly of Man or Astro-Man? fame
• Will Tocaben (bass)
• LukeDogg (drums): Shake it Like a Caveman, What it Is, Cary Fridley and Down South, Mimi Bell
• Garius Hill (keyboards): played with Bruce Saunders, Pat Petrillo, Troy Millard, Abbey Lincoln, Michael Brecker, opened for Miles Davis for the Cool Jazz Festival series)
• Debrissa McKinney (horns, backup vocals): also in Asheville All Stars, Empire Strikes Brass
• Henry Westmoreland (horns, backup vocals): Hank West and the Smokin’ Hots, Krektones, Roaring Lions and formerly in Firecracker Jazz Band
Thirsty concert-goers will find plenty to wet their whistle including local brews from Highland Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company and French Broad Brewing Company. Plus, regional favorites Sierra Nevada, SweetWater Brewing and Foothills Brewing as well as national brands from Budweiser and Empire Distributors will be on tap. Wine and water will also be available for purchase.
To purchase alcohol attendees will need to show a valid picture ID and buy a $2 wristband. Proceeds from wristband sales for July’s event support Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina, working towards pathways to permanent housing for the homeless.
From sandwiches to pizza and ice cream to tacos, food vendors offer a something for everyone’s taste.
Downtown After 5 is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and features a solar-powered stage, complimentary bike corral, compostable food and beverage containers, and staffed recycling and compost bins. Since implementing its greening initiative, the event has reduced the number of bags headed to the landfill to just a handful.
Downtown After 5 sponsors include: Budweiser of Asheville, Pisgah Brewing, Highland Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, SweetWater Brewing Company, 98.1 The River, Rock 104.9, 105.9 The Mountain, WNCW 88.7, 99.9 Kiss Country, Mix 96.5, Star 104.3, 880 The Revolution, Asheville Scene, Asheville Citizen-Times, WLOS ABC 13, Sundance Power Systems, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Orange Peel, Go Mini’s, ARC, Foothills Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Angry Orchard, French Broad Brewing Company, Trinity Oaks and Samuel Adams.
Downtown After 5 is a production of the Asheville Downtown Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation and improvement of the central business district.
More information about Downtown After 5 and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found online at www.ashevilledowntown.org. or by following through social media including Facebook (www.facebook.com/AshevilleDowntownAssociation) and Twitter (@AVLDowntown).