Connect Beyond Festival announces initial round of 2020 artists

Press release from Connect Beyond Festival: 

Following a record-setting 2019 event, Connect Beyond Festival returns to downtown Asheville, NC for its third year on April 3-5, 2020 for another three-day weekend of engaging performances, panels, film screenings, and workshops. The lineup features an extensive array of programming showcasing how the intersection of music, art, film, and storytelling can inspire positive change. This year’s packed lineup features Megan Twohey, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and co-author of the bestselling book SHE SAID: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement; and critically acclaimed Americana/folk duo Mandolin Orange, performing an intimate Friday night performance that features an exclusive interview with Bob Boilen, host of NPR’s All Songs Considered and creator of Tiny Desk Concerts.

“Connect Beyond is curated with people with different viewpoints on the world,” Boilen said. “It’s a connecting place and a thoughtful festival.”

With Asheville recently named the new “Must-Visit Music City” by Rolling Stone Magazine, there’s no arguing the synergy between Connect Beyond and the city it calls home. The bustling arts, culture, and food scene that make up its cityscape, paired with bountiful outdoor adventure offerings, make Asheville the ideal destination for a festival weekend.

“I think we’re at a point in our society where people are craving more meaningful experiences and interactions. Technology has given us more access to content and people than ever before, yet we are at a point of maximum disconnection and dissonance,” Connect Beyond Festival Founder Jessica Tomasin said. “I created this festival as an opportunity for people to connect through shared experiences and storytelling. We work hard to curate the content that is entertaining and thought-provoking. Art has the incredible ability to be both, and create an impact.”

Lauded as “complete nourishment for the senses” by past attendees, Connect Beyond is perfect for anyone seeking a more dynamic festival experience. Think of it as TED Talks meets your favorite podcast meets NPR’s Music’s Tiny Desk concert series meets Sundance Film Festival.

Guests will create their own tailored itineraries, choosing from:

  • Impactful panels, presentations, and music-forward showcases and performances at The Orange Peel and Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, including “An Evening with Bob Boilen and Mandolin Orange,” and “Free Speech: Remix”—a critically-acclaimed presentation from Ken Paulson, Director of the Free Speech Center, and musician Johnny Irion that tells the story of free speech in America through pop, rock, country, soul, and hip-hop music with performances by some of the region’s finest musicians
  • A specially curated rotating collection of ground-breaking, culture-shifting films, curated by festival partner Social Construct Films at the Fine Arts Theatre

“My hope is that people walk away from the weekend with new connections, new perspectives, and new resources to help them create the world they want to live in,” Tomasin said. “I think of this as so much more than a festival; it’s really a tool that uses storytelling as a platform to build a community that supports one another.”

Festival passes are now on sale at, but only a limited quantity of advance $99 three-day GA passes that include access to the headlining Friday night performance. Attendees can also purchase advance $199 three-day VIP passes, which include accelerated VIP entry and seating at all regular programming and film screenings; daily access to VIP happy hour parties; a special Sunday morning brunch; networking opportunities with panelists and performers; and more to be announced.

New features to this year’s festival include Community passes, Student-Priced passes, and travel packages in conjunction with CAMBRiA Hotels. For guests that want to support the festival but are unable to attend, a $45 three-day Community GA pass can be purchased. For every pass sold, Connect Beyond will donate two tickets to a youth education program in Asheville for community youth to attend the festival. Our new Student-Priced passes offer a 20% discount to students with a valid .edu email to enjoy the three-day weekend’s festivities. Travel packages, beginning at $548 and $784 respectively, include a two-night stay at CAMBRiA Hotel Downtown Asheville, two GA or VIP passes, complimentary breakfast at Hemingway’s Cuba Restaurant & Bar, and more to be announced.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit For film inquiries, contact our Film Programmers at


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