Whether your taste in music is rock, rhythm and blues, bluegrass, hip-hop, metal or somewhere in between, there’s a music festival in North Carolina that will have you dancing in the streets this fall. Any of these events will make for the highlight of a great weekend getaway.
1 Hopscotch Music Fest
1 Hopscotch Music FestSept. 5-7, 2019, RaleighSee on map
This annual festival has been called “America’s (Secretly) Best Festival” and “the premier experimental and underground festival in America.” More than 130 bands will perform over three days, making it one of North Carolina’s largest annual music festivals. This year’s lineup includes CHVRCHES, James Blake, Little Brother, Jenny Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Sleater-Kinney and many more.
2 North Carolina Folk Festival
2 North Carolina Folk FestivalSept. 6-8, 2019, GreensboroSee on map
The National Folk Festival’s successful three-year run in Greensboro led to the creation of the North Carolina Folk Festival. You can expect traditional performers and craftspeople, several stages of continuous music and dance, a North Carolina Arts Marketplace, parades, and regional and ethnic foods.
3 Mountain Song Festival
3 Mountain Song FestivalSept. 6-8, 2019, BrevardSee on map
Held at Brevard Music Center’s Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, the scheduled artists for this family-friendly music event include Del & Dawg, Steep Canyon Rangers, Tommy Emmanuel, Chatham County Line, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more. In addition to the mountain music, there’ll be plenty of food, local artists, children’s activities and nature interests. Proceeds benefit the local Boys and Girls Club.
4 Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival
4 Carolina in the Fall Music & Food FestivalSept. 20-21, 2019, WilkesboroSee on map
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 lineup includes The Kruger Brothers, Balsam Range, The Black Lillies, EmiSunshine and many others.
5 Carolina Jubilee
5 Carolina JubileeSept. 27-28, 2019, HarmonySee on map
This two-day music and food festival at VanHoy Farms in Harmony (about an hour north of Charlotte) is dedicated to raising funds and support for Carolina Farm Trust. Darby Wilcox & The Peep Show, Bombadil, Fireside Collective and David Childers are just a few of the artists in the festival's lineup. You can even make a weekend of it: Purchase a camping pass to stay the night, and get your heart pumping by racing in the 5K, 10K or bicycle race Saturday.
6 Wide Open Bluegrass
6 Wide Open BluegrassSept. 27-28, 2019, RaleighSee on map
The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass annual convention, awards show and fan festival continues its run in Raleigh. The free two-day Wide Open Bluegrass festival features traditional and acoustic music on eight stages, showcasing acts such as Del McCoury Band, I'm With Her, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Molly Tuttle and many others. Ancillary activities include a business conference, a music expo, workshops, a film festival and a North Carolina whole hog barbecue competition.
7 Duck Jazz Festival
7 Duck Jazz FestivalOct. 12-13, 2019, DuckSee on map
Celebrating its 13th year in the town of Duck on the Outer Banks, this free festival offers two days of live jazz music including Leroy Jones Quintet, Benny Green Trio, Caroline Davis 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.
8 The Shindig
8 The ShindigNov. 2, 2019, ClaytonSee on map
This eighth annual music festival celebrates Americana bands along with local craft beer. Taking over downtown Clayton (just outside of Raleigh), the lineup will feature nine bands on two stages. There will also be several craft breweries and food trucks.