September is approaching fast, and it is shaping up to be an awesome Autumn! Check out our favorite fall festivals below.
Party in the Holler
September 3 in New River Gorge, West Virginia
Headliners: Yonder Mountain String Band, The Larry Keel Experience, Town Mountain, The Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project
At Party in the Holler the music schedule may be stacked into one single night, but don’t be fooled; this outdoor fiesta is definitely worthy of a weekend excursion. Located at the premier ACE Adventure Resort situated in the heart of an American whitewater mecca, attendees are encouraged to buy the All Mountain Pass, granting access both Friday and Saturday nights to ensure there is no missed opportunity to take advantage of the 1,500 acres of West Virginia hills and water. The open air stage is positioned on top of the serene Wonderland Mountain, where attendees are sure to experience a true party in the holler.
Blue Bear Music Fest
September 8-10 in Todd, North Carolina
Headliners: Larry Keel Experience, Acoustic Syndicate, Sol Driven Train, Town Mountain, Jeff Little Trio, Carter Brothers, Josh Daniel / Mark Schimick, Handlebar Betty, The Get Right Band
The fourth annual Blue Bear Music Fest will be a must-do this fall with its beautiful mountain setting and diverse yet regionally sound lineup that will set the scene for a great sense of community. Located just outside of Boone, Blue Bear is a no-brainer for music lovers in the area, drawing students and families alike. Cool perk: attendees can take a hot air balloon ride on site!
Deep Roots Mountain Revival
September 15-18 at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, West Virginia
Headliners: Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, The David Grisman Sextet, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Melvin Seals and JGB, Rising Appalachia, The Hip Abduction, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Big Something, Cabinet
Many are very familiar with the legendary Marvin’s Mountaintop as the old home place of All Good Music Festival. With those days put to rest, Deep Roots Mountain Revival will give rise to the special spirit nestled in those West Virginia mountains once again. As if location didn’t have enough meaning in itself, this monster lineup is almost too good lookin’ to be true for bluegrass and jamband lovers. We’ll just have to see it to believe it!
Catskill Chill Music Festival
September 23-25 in Lakewood, Pennsylvania
Headliners: Mike Gordon, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Greensky Bluegrass, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Break Science, Dopapod, Turkuaz, Cabinet, Lettuce, Perpetual Groove
Once you’re part of the ChillFam, you’ve witnessed musical experiences nobody else will see anywhere else, and this year’s installment of acts will certainly stand that test. Located on a private campground dotted with cozy cabins aside a picturesque lake, Catskill Chill’s inaugural New Minglewood venue is – much like its previous venue – the quintessential childhood summer camp everyone knows and loves. This festival’s collaborations and artist projects is surely going to trigger one of the most memorable and diverse live music gatherings of the year. From the Thursday Pre-Party to Dopakuaz Does Yacht Rock (Dopapod and Turkuaz) to Pink Talking Fu: Prince Bowie (Pink Talking Fish and Kung Fu) to the debut of Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven, Catskill Chill is going to be a true memory-maker.
Carolina in the Fall
September 23-24 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Headliners: The Kruger Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Steel Wheels, Symphony of the Mountains
Hosted by The Kruger Brothers, this festival is on a mission to bring “New Carolina Music” to the foothills of western North Carolina, a true celebration of the region’s evolving culture. Not only is this festival about shedding light on North Carolina music, but also on the state’s artisan food and beverages, which will be present amongst the food trucks and beer and wine vendors. This year marks the second go-around for the fest located in Wilkesboro’s historic Courthouse Square, and organizers hope for the event to serve as a yearly family pilgrimage for years to come.
Wide Open Bluegrass Festival
September 30-October 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina
Headliners: Town Mountain, The Steel Wheels, Love Canon, Mipso, Sierra Hull, Billy Strings & Don Julin
Dubbed as the largest urban bluegrass festival in the world, Wide Open Bluegrass Festival takes place in the heart of North Carolina’s capital city and features a free Streetfest with five stages as well as a ticketed schedule at Raleigh’s outdoor Red Hat Amphitheater. At this festival, attendees are given the chance to witness some of the legends and rising stars of our traditional acoustic culture, and for a cause! The event is in part produced by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and up to half of the proceeds go to the Bluegrass Trust Fund.
The Festy Experience
October 7-9 in Arrington, Virginia
Headliners: The Infamous Stringdusters, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, Sam Bush Band, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
After the sixth installment maxed out its previous venue, The Festy is upsizing to Oak Ridge Estate, familiar to many as Lockn’ Festival’s stomping ground, located just down the road from The Festy’s original spot. Also new this year – there will be a New England Festy taking place September 17-18 in Canton, Massachusetts, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass as part of a full lineup. Aside from the propagating and slight change of scenery, the seventh Festy Experience will stick to its bluegrass, folk and family friendly roots. As always, local heroes The Infamous Stringdusters will host the event, hopefully to make several appearances on stage throughout the weekend, and last year’s beloved acts Lyle Lovett and Sam Bush Band will return as well.
October 20-23 in Asheville, North Carolina
Headliners: Balkan Beat Box, Beats Antique, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Third World, Solas, Leah Song of Rising Appalachia
For over two decades, LEAF Festival has taken place twice each year on the historic site of Black Mountain College, just outside of Asheville. LEAF embraces the power of the music festival energy and harvests a deeper meaning, driven by a message of positivity, well-being and community. Accompanied by various forms of art and activities, LEAF has achieved a feel good vibe inside and out, thus becoming a yearly tradition for many families around the region.
Hillberry – The Harvest Moon Festival
October 13-16 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Headliners: Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Travelin’ McCourys, Elephant Revival, Larry Keel (Larry does Jerry), Turkuaz, Fruition
Only in its second year, Hillberry is quickly emerging as one of the leading jamgrass events in the region. The event is hosted by Railroad Earth and Deadhead Productions, taking place in the heart of fall. The event’s location, “The Farm”, boasts 360-degree views of the Ozark Mountains, lending itself to the many colors of the changing leaves. The estimated 3,000 attendees are sure to experience some surreal campfire jams, both planned and spontaneous, throughout the weekend. If you go, don’t leave without making a short hike to the top of the venue, where you’ll find a shrine dedicated to Jerry Garcia.
October 28-30 at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida
Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, My Morning Jacket, Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce, Snarky Puppy
The 800-acre Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is a celebrated host to music festivals year round, but there’s a special kind of force in the air on Halloween weekend. If three nights and seven sets of The String Cheese Incident (including a special Halloween set) isn’t enough of a selling point, the rest of the diverse and cutting edge lineup will be. Improvements for this year’s fourth installment will be a new stage as well as a cut off in ticket sales at 20,000 attendees, ensuring enough wiggle room for all. If you haven’t been to Hulaween, this year would be a good time to pop that festival cherry.
Article by Meredith Warfield