Enjoy the Rhythm of Fall Music Festivals

Enjoy the Rhythm of Fall Music Festivals

The Wide Open Bluegrass festival takes place across two days this fall in Raleigh

Whether your taste in music is rock, rhythm and blues, bluegrass, hip-hop, metal, or somewhere in between, there’s a music festival that will have you dancing in the streets this fall.


Hopscotch Music Fest
Sept. 8 – 10, 2016, Raleigh
Considered one of North America’s most talked-about long weekends for music lovers, Hopscotch Music Festival presents 120 national and international bands at 12 walkable downtown Raleigh venues over three days. Almost every musical genre is represented, including rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental and more. And with three wristband options or single show tickets, you can jam as much or as little as you like.

National Folk Festival
Sept. 9 – 11, 2016, Greensboro
Celebrating its 76th anniversary, the National Folk Festival displays the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, crafts, storytelling and food. The three-day event features more than 300 of the nation’s finest traditional performers and craftspeople, seven stages of continuous music and dance, craft exhibits and demonstrations, a North Carolina Arts Marketplace, family activities, parades and delicious regional and ethnic foods. Read more about family fun at the National Folk Festival, including suggestions on things to do during your visit to Greensboro.

Mountain Song Festival
Sept. 9 – 11, 2016, Brevard
This family-friendly music event was inspired by the youth of Transylvania County and the proceeds benefit the local Boys and Girls Club. Held at Brevard Music Center’s Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, the scheduled artists for 2016 include Steep Canyon Rangers, The Earls of Leicester, The Kruger Brothers with The Kontras Quartet, Tim O'Brien, Dom Flemmons Trio, Steeldrivers, Darrel Scott, Shannon Whitworth and Front Country. In addition to the mountain music, there will be plenty of food, local artists, children’s activities and nature interests.

Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival
Sept. 20 – 24, 2016, Manteo
Five days of "good ole Southern pickin'" in the tradition of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park features today’s bluegrass stars including Soggy Bottom Boys, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Steep Canyon Rangers and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Festival food includes fresh local Outer Banks seafood, barbecue, burgers, sausages and more.

Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival
Sept. 23 – 24, 2016, Wilkesboro
On the old Courthouse Square in historic downtown Wilkesboro, The Kruger Brothers will host some of North Carolina’s leading folk and roots music bands. The line-up includes: The Kruger Brothers, Snyder Family Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Wayne Henderson & Presley Barker, The Steel Wheels, Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line and many others.

French Broad Brew Fest
Sept. 24, 2016, Hot Springs
The sixth annual French Broad Brew Fest in Hot Springs, just north of Asheville, offers up more than a dozen craft breweries, 12 hours of great music and beautiful scenery. With the festival grounds located on the banks of the French Broad River and its intersection with the Appalachian Trail, festivalgoers can enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. French Broad Brew Fest is all about the music, craft beers and food in one glorious afternoon.

Wide Open Bluegrass
Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2016, Raleigh
The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass annual convention, awards show and fan festival continues its run in Raleigh. The two-day Wide Open Bluegrass festival features traditional and acoustic music on three stages, showcasing acts like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Steep Canyon Rangers, Earls of Leicester and more. Ancillary activities include a business conference, a music expo, workshops, a film festival and a North Carolina whole hog barbecue competition.


Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival
Kure Beach | POSTPONED due to weather advisory.
Celebrating its 23rd year, this oceanside festival in Kure Beach presents nationally recognized blues and jazz performers on two stages, coastal cuisine, crafts, a wine tasting, and a children’s area with magicians, jugglers, clowns and more. On tap this year are Jonny Lang, Samantha Fish, Urban Hill, Benny Hill Trio, Max Levy and the Hawaiian Shirts, Nina Repeta and more.

Duck Jazz Festival
Duck | CANCELLED due to weather advisory.
Celebrating its tenth year in the town of Duck on the Outer Banks, this free festival offers two days of live jazz music by artists such as Frank Vignola, Davina & The Vagabonds, Marquis Hill Blacktet, Robert Jospé Express Trio and more. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from local restaurants, and you're welcome to bring your own food and coolers as well as chairs, blankets and pets.

Lost Hollow Music Fest
Oct. 15 - 16, 2016, Belmont
Spend a pleasant mid-October weekend at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and be entertained by live music by Jim Avett, Over the Rhine, David Childers, Forlorn Strangers, Stepside Deluxe and others. There will be fun for the whole family.

River City Rhythm & Brews
Oct. 22, 2016, Elizabeth City
Now in its third year, this festival is a celebration of North Carolina craft beer (and wine and cider) and music, taking place on the portico of the Museum of the Albemarle.

Lynn and Cele Seldon are Oak Island-based travel writers who love covering their home state.


There’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.

Raise a Pint to Fall Beer Festivals

Raise a Pint to Fall Beer Festivals

Tip a pint at Charlotte’s Mecktoberfest; pair beer and bluegrass in Asheville; toast the Lighthouse Beer and Wine Festival in Wilmington and more.

Oyster and Seafood Festivals

Oyster and Seafood Festivals

There's no time like fall to sample seafood at events like the Airlie Gardens Oyster Roast and the North Carolina Oyster and Seafood festivals.

Grape Stomps and Harvest Festivals

Grape Stomps and Harvest Festivals

Celebrate the fall grape harvest at Childress, Raffaldini and Shelton vineyards and wine-tasting events from Charlotte to Bald Head Island.

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