As the weather cools down and the leaves begin to change, anticipation for the 43rd LEAF Festival is building. Come the weekend of October 20th, an expected 12,000 excited festival goers will flock to Black Mountain, North Carolina to experience the magic that is LEAF Festival, a time-old tradition that celebrates music, culture, food and the arts. The three day event is filled with musical discovery, creative art, joyful camaraderie and culinary genius.
At this year’s LEAF Festival, dubbed as The Carnival of Wonder, musical acts such as Balkan Beat Box, Beats Antique, The Hip Abduction, The Screaming J’s and Leah Song of Rising Apalachia will ‘wow’ the crowd on a diverse array of stages, from the intimate Barn performances to the beautiful Mainstage shows at the shores of Lake Eden.
The many seasoned LEAF goers know that there’s more than just music at the LEAF Festival. Renowned poets travel from across the region to compete in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Attendees can zipline into Lake Eden or promenade on over to the Brookside Hall to techno contra the night away. And let’s not forget the many vendors showcasing handmade creations such as sea glass jewelry, fragrant candles and soaps, bohemian clothing, wood work and henna tattoos. This festival truly stimulates all of the senses – even the food will take your tastebuds on a cultural adventure.
Because of the multi-arts, family focus of LEAF Festival, a very strong sense of loyalty has formed over the years. Many families and friends return time after time without skipping a beat. To shed light on the beauty of the LEAF community, our contributor Kate Friedheim has provided a personal account of her LEAF experience.
Growing up with LEAF
Now a 22 year-old, I have been going to the LEAF Festival ever since I was a baby, running around bare-bottomed on the lake shore. As I grew, the LEAF Festival grew with me, where I found myself trying out new things, learning from my mistakes and expanding my horizons. I also got some business experience at LEAF, selling handmade soaps and pillows in the kid’s section. When I was a teenager, first developing my own musical taste and awareness, LEAF exposed me to new bands and helped me realize the magic of seeing music live. The fun-loving LEAF community of friends that I’ve formed grows each year, and the experiences we share will last a lifetime.
The LEAF festival has something for all ages and interests. I personally look forward to camping with my friends surrounded by the breathtaking mountain view, discovering new bands at the six different stages, snapping my support at the poetry slam, do-si-do-ing at the contra dance, discovering a new artist’s latest masterpiece, enjoying the divine creation that is the Breakfast Thing from the Sugar Shack, or simply lying on a grassy hill, watching the clouds, surrounded by good people. The LEAF Festival reinvigorates my passion for life, and by Monday, I feel ready to take on the world.
These are just some of the amazing experiences that are waiting for you at the LEAF Festival, but I am most excited about the unknown, because there is always something new to discover at the majestic Lake Eden in the rolling valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Written by Kate Friedheim
Visit the event website for more info and tickets.