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Blue Ridge Music Trails

Blue Ridge Music Trail

On any given day or night, high in the mountains of Western North Carolina, you are sure to find dueling fiddles, cool jazz, twangy bluegrass, and western swing. There are so many genres of music in these parts, you need a guide to explore them all. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll get on the Blue Ridge Music Trails. The trails were born from an initiative between the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and the North Carolina Arts Council to celebrate and preserve the rich music traditions of the region. They also support our talented musicians, inspire our youth, and share our music with the world. Read on for some of our favorite stops on the Blue Ridge Music Trails.

Folkmoot Festival

If you’re lucky enough to be in the area in mid-April, you’ll want to plan the rest of your trip around the international Folkmoot Festival in Waynesville. This 2-week celebration features 200 musical groups from approximately 100 countries, bringing people from many different cultures together. Organizers especially focus on more rural communities, creating opportunities to broaden individual perspectives and sharing a deeper sense of connection. Get ready for the Appalachian Dance Hootenanny, Haywood Ramblers, and the Greengrass Cloggers!

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center

The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville is your year-round destination for all things mountain music. Open to the public, they offer dance workshops, concerts, performances, classes, and workshops. On summer Saturdays, you’re invited to An Appalachian Evening Summer Concert Series featuring Bluegrass, Early-Country, and Old-Time music. Bring your own instrument to join in the Community Jam session every 3rd Tuesday or sit back and enjoy their unpredictable and unique bluegrass Schoolhouse Sessions. They are also known for their Celebration of Fall in the Mountains every weekend in October with their good, old-fashioned Country Fair with music and dancing on the outdoor stage. Click herefor event schedules and more information.

John C. Campbell Folk School

The John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. The school itself invites you to participate in year-round weeklong or weekend classes in everything from dance to photography to gardening. But there are also concerts, dancing, and singing almost every evening of the week. Friday Night Concerts feature both regional and national acts performing roots music in the Festival Barn. Learn century-old dances at their Saturday Night Community Dance and clap along to live music and dancing on Community Tuesdays. On 1st Mondays, you can raise your voice together in song at Folk School Shape Note Singing. For event schedules, click here.

The Ugly Dog Pub

Raise a pint to your favorite bluegrass acts weekly with Wednesday Night Bluegrass at The Ugly Dog Pub in Highlands. Featured artists include Darren Nicholson, Colby Laney, and Nitro Grass with Charles Wood. Happy Music Trails to you!