Live music is a vital component of Asheville's tourism-driven economy and its surrounding region. The area offers a rich array of live entertainment opportunities, with seasonal festivals and a multitude of nightclubs and performance venues, catering to both visitors and locals alike.
Asheville boasts a vibrant tradition of street performances and outdoor music events, including notable festivals like Bele Chere and the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival (LAAFF). "Shindig on the Green," a Saturday night event during July and August at City/County Plaza, is a cherished tradition that kicks off around sundown. It showcases local bluegrass bands, dance troupes, and informal jam sessions beneath the trees near the County Courthouse. Dating back to 1928, the "Mountain Dance & Folk Festival" is considered the first-ever "folk festival."
Another beloved outdoor music happening is "Downtown After 5," a monthly concert series held from 5 pm to 9 pm. It features popular touring musicians and local talents. Additionally, a regular drum circle in Pritchard Park, organized by residents, welcomes everyone and has become a Friday evening favorite.
Asheville is known as the home of the Moog Music Headquarters and the Bob Moog Foundation museum. The city is also famous for hosting The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, an annual charity event that raises funds for Habitat For Humanity and showcases renowned musicians. DJ music and a thriving dance community are integral parts of the downtown musical scene. Asheville is home to several notable musical ensembles, including the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, the Asheville Lyric Opera, the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band, the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, the Smoky Mountain Brass Band, and the Asheville Community Band. The region also boasts a vibrant community of bluegrass, country, and traditional mountain musicians.