A bedrock for aesthetic and artistic beauty, living in western North Carolina is quite the blessing. And with spring greeting us with open arms, it’s time to commence festival season. These days, festivals come in all shapes and sizes. Some focus on the arts, on gathering and sharing experiences and on a vacation from the everyday routines of life. Others bring musicians together to play and grow and push the boundaries of musical progression, while others act as celebrations to the sun, the moon, and the gifts Mother Earth has offered us. With new festivals arising every year, there is literally something for everyone.
On April 15, Oskar Blues Brewery in Bervard, North Carolina will be hosting a unique festival experience for the second time, combining live music, local brews, and a unique culinary experience that only a fleet of nearly twenty of the area’s best food trucks can provide. The second annual Loaded Up and Truckin’ Food Truck-Off and Aural Pleasure Fest will be held at the brewery, stretching out into the picturesque REED Ranch and offering a lush, green valley surrounded by the beautiful Appalachian rolling mountains. It’s lined up to be a true symphony of the senses.
Musically, the festival will be graced with headliners Dr. Dog, who have gained a following in the area with their melodic harmonies and mellow guitar riffs that capture the vibe of small mountain towns like Brevard. Sharing the bill will be Nikki Lane, who reinvents the sound of 60s psychedelic country rock. Finally, local favorites, Floating Action will perform at the festival as well. This band, led by multi-instrumentalist mad scientist Seth Kauffman, hails from Brevard’s neighbor, Black Mountain, and has quickly created a cult following in the Asheville area and beyond. The remainder of the musical lineup will showcase some of North Carolina’s best including, folk rock from Sarah Siskind and Sunliner, electric funk from Soul Magnetic, and a unique twist on early nineteenth century jug band, blues and country with Fly By Night Rounders, a common showcase on the streets of Asheville. The festival will end in the way all gatherings should, with a dance party in a barn conducted by DJ Nex Millen.
The other half of the festival will be dedicated to food and beer. The “Truck-Off” side of the festival will be a competition of culinary arts judged by none other than the festival goers. For an additional fee you can become a professional foodie and judge at will. Each judge pass will come with a special complimentary plate from all 19 food trucks. There will then be a designated time for judging and a winner announced before the dance party begins. The winner will walk away with bragging rights, a sizable donation, and a consolation prize from the festival.
Lastly, we can’t forget the variety of beers that Oskar Blues will be providing, giving us some of our staple favorites as well as seasonal selections for spring time enjoyment. The festival gates will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 15, and the Truck Off will commence at noon. For more information on tickets, schedules and camping visit the festival’s website.
Grab your tickets and judge passes while they last and come share in all things Aural at one of North Carolina’s favorite new additions, the Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard.
Written by William Crowell.