Asheville, North Carolina: if you haven’t heard of this little city in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you haven’t been paying attention. Asheville has the most brews per capita in the U.S. (over 100 local beers and 40 local breweries), earning it the nickname “beer city.” But AVLFest is all about the music in this artsy little town.
In its inaugural year, AVLFest is Asheville’s first large-scale music festival. Over 100 bands will perform in local venues, with three standalone headliners — Kurt Vile and the Violators and Watchhouse have been confirmed so far — taking the city’s bigger stages. A $100 GA weekend pass grants you access to four days of concerts; the headliners sell separately for $20 each if you’ve got a weekend pass. (Patrons aren’t thrilled about this; there’s some rancor in the Instagram comments.) Your AVLFest pass also includes some discounts on local bars and restaurants. Basically, if you want to spend four days exploring Asheville’s music, beer, and food scene, this is the festival for you.
The musicians taking the stages cover a range of contemporary soft pseudo-country: local Asheville soul group Roots and Dore; former Dr. Dog guitarist Scott McMicken with his mellow indie rock; Raleigh-born Americana group Chatham County Line; American roots orchestra Dustbowl Revival; many, many more. No matter which stages you pop into, expect twangy guitar and two-part harmonies. Besides venues like Asheville Music Hall, the Orange Peel and Salvage Station, performances also take place across more than 20 breweries, so you can enjoy a local beer and mellow out to tunes that match the rugged, artsy, mountainous setting. There are so many bands you won’t know where to put yourself: a third wave of artists is yet to be announced.
AVLFest is all about local pride. An exclusive presale went up just for Asheville residents, who sold out 75% of available passes. The festival is also partnering with four local organizations — RiverLink, Black Wall Street, Homeward Bound, and Campaign for Southern Equality — to raise awareness for their causes and donate an unspecified percentage of ticket sales. If you’re looking for a way to experience all that this city has to offer, this is a great chance to dive right in.
- GA tickets are selling for $100; VIP passes cost $250 and include access to catered VIP areas and afterparties
- The headliner concerts are sold separately for $20 each
- Check out this city guide for recs on what else to see on your trip to Asheville
What is the closest airport to AVLFest?
Asheville Airport (AVL) has some solid flights from bigger cities. Greenville/Spartanburg Airport (GSP) is about an hour away and is a bigger airport.
Are there age restrictions for AVLFest?
Each venue has its own age restrictions and the festival plans to abide by those. If you want to bring anyone under 18, check the restrictions for the specific music venues.
Is AVLFest accessible?
Depends on the venue––check in with the specific breweries and stages you hope to check out.
What artists are on the AVLFest lineup?
Aside from headliners Kurt Vile and the Violators and Watchhouse, musicians announced so far are Scott McMicken (of Dr Dog), Nikki Lane, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Chatham County Line, Dylan Leblanc, Caitlin Krisko & The Broadcast, Dustbowl Revival, Chatham Rabbits, Dangermuffin, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Kovacs and the Polar Bear (Reunion), The Bellrays, Firecracker Jazz Band, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Pierce Edens, Rebekah Todd, Dr. Bacon, The Pink Stones, River Whyless, Toubab Krewe, The Blue Rags (25th Year Reunion), Empire Strikes Brass, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, Tyler Ramsey, Floating Action, The Fritz, The Dead Tongues, Seth Walker, Alexa Rose, Tall Tall Trees, The Get Right Band, Pink Beds, Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats, Lyric, A. Lee Edwards, Ashes & Arrows, Beekeepers, Brushfire Stankgrass, Darren Jessee, Eaze Dogg, Eric Travers Band, The Explorers Club, Free Radio, Future Crib, Gold Rose, JBOT (Josh Blake’s Organ Trio), John Howie Jr & The Rosewood Bluff, Juan Holladay, Lady Couch, The Legendary Tuesday Night Funk Jam House Band, Lo Wolf, M.A.R. and the Marmeladies, Magenta Sunshine, Mama and the Ruckus, The Medium, Minorcan, The Nubeing Collective, The Paper Crowns, Po’Folk, Pocket Strange, Pyle Tribe featuring Artimus Pyle, Queen Bee & The Honeylovers, Rachel Angel, Red Clay Revival, Sounding Arrow, Supatight, The Snozzberries, Whitney Monge, 5J Barrow, Alex Krug Combo, Anya Hinkle Feat. Billy Cardine, Ashley Heath, The Brothers Gillespie, C Shreve the Professor, Carly Taich. The Cheeksters, Chris Jamison, Dave Desmelik, The Dirty French Broads, Doss Church & The Unholy Noise, Dust Fuss, Drunken Prayer, Dylan Walshe, Eleanor Underhill & Friends, The Feels, The Greenliners, Gummy, Hannah Kaminer, Hearts Gone South, Holler Choir, Hustle Souls, Jane Kramer, The Knotty G’s, Krave Amiko, Laura Blackley, Life Like Water, Malcolm Holcombe, Many A Ship, Michael Flynn, The Moon & You, Old Heavy Hands, Planefolk, Polly Panic, Rahm Squad, Resonant Rogues, Roots & Dore Band, Sanctum Sully, Santiago y Los Gatos, Sister Ivy, The Squealers, Tina & Her Pony, Tongues of Fire, and Velvet Truckstop. A third wave of artists will be announced soon.