Downtown After 5 announces 2016 lineup

Cracker, fronted by David Lowry, headlines Downtown After 5's September concert.


The Asheville Downtown Association today announced the lineup for the 28th season of Downtown After 5, presented by Prestige Subaru. Downtown After 5 takes place the 3rd Friday of the month, May through September, and is held on North Lexington Avenue.

2016 Lineup

May 20
Headliner: CHA WA
Traditional Mardi Gras Indians meets street-level funk, CHA WA combines merges Indian chants with front-porch blues. Their infectious and dazzling stage show is often described as “funk with feathers.” More info at

Opener: Jeff Thompson Band
Part singer/songwriter, part poet, Asheville musician Jeff Thompson’s New Orleans roots shine through in his music. With many songwriting awards to his name, Jeff’s lyrics mix with the band’s heavy grooves and unique arrangements. More at

June 17
Headliner: Futurebirds
Hailing from Athens, Ga., Futurebirds play a high-energy, country rock-infused live show. Four-part harmonies and pedal steel guitar blend with Americana melodies to create a stripped-down rock sound. More at

Opener: Raising Caine
Asheville’s own Raising Caine brings soulful music combined with heartfelt lyrics, backing vocals, pedal steel licks, guitar solos and organ flavors to the stage. More info at

July 15
Headliner: Anderson East
Classic soul mixed with youthful enthusiasm, Anderson’s authentic southern R&B charms audiences across the country. Anderson tours this spring with Grammy winner, Chris Stapleton. More info at

Opener: Sweet Claudette
These vintage country Asheville ladies will captivate audiences with their 4, 5, and 6-part harmonies. Those harmonies combined with brilliant songwriting and outstanding musicianship set Sweet Claudette apart from the crowd. More info at

August 19
Headliner: Asheville All-Stars
Bringing together some of Asheville’s best musicians, the All-Stars show has quickly become a favorite of the summer. Audiences will be treated to a mix of original songs and fun covers.

Opener: Asheville Music School and LEAF Delta Jazz Band
Fitting that the openers for the All-Stars are the future All-Stars. Youth bands from Asheville Music School and LEAF Southside Drummers. More info at and

September 16
Headliner: Cracker
Cracker has been at for nearly 25 years. Fans will remember old favorites like “Euro-Trash Girl” and “Low,” but the band has a new album out and reviews are calling it “rock solid” and “ambitious.” More info at

Opener: The Dirty Badgers
The Dirty Badgers call themselves “the sweet spot where hard mountain blues meets old school CBGBs punk.” The band’s style has amassed a loyal local following. More info at

Each summer the Asheville Downtown Association partners with five local nonprofits to sell wristbands at the event. Each group received a grant of $2000. The ADA has given more than $100,000 to area nonprofits through this program. 2016 partners include: Asheville GreenWorks, Asheville Music School, CarePartners, Homeward Bound and the YMI Cultural Center.

Downtown After 5 features local, regional and national beers on tap as well as wine by the glass. Local food vendors sell everything from BBQ to ice cream, kettle corn to vegetarian items. Downtown After 5 also partners with Asheville Plays to bring kids activities to the event.

More information on Downtown After 5 and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found at

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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2 thoughts on “Downtown After 5 announces 2016 lineup

  1. boatrocker

    Oh thank goodness Asheville is pulling up out of a tailspin for still keeping Downtown After 5. If I’m ever downtown unless for a parking ticket hearing, I will hear the hell out of it. I’ve always enjoyed the music.

    If anyone paid attention, in the past few years we’ve lost:

    -Bele Chere- permanantly for $ mismanagement- or maybe they couldn’t spell it right?

    -Goombay- not sure of the status- hope it’s back after a hiatus

    -LAAF- back in biz after asking staff to volunteer after a yearish hiatus

    -All Go West- back in the ring after a budget caused yearish hiatus from spending too much on mustache wax (c’mon, is West Asheville really that thin skinned it can’t take a joke?).

    -Moogfest- ohhhh I know that’s still a sore spot

    It’s almost as if the local reading public gnashes their teeth and craves more ‘what will we hear?’ articles instead of what the bands are wearing, their hat choices and whether they jump up and down onstage when they play. But that had nothing to do with lower attendance numbers . It was probably an increase in unattended human puppies and their free range believer parents avoiding downtown festivals
    (side note hire a babysitter! It’s how you keep marriages alive! That’s what my parents told me until mom had her tubes tied).

    Long and short, go hear (not see) some local live music. Otherwise we’ll be crying in our $6 craft beers when Darius Rucker plays the next Downtown After 5 (though he wears awesome hats).

    • Reader

      You will be happy to know that Goombay took a year off in 2013 but returned in 2014 & 2015.

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