Music lovers will be hard-pressed to figure out which Asheville music venues to choose from, so it’s probably best to plan to visit again and again. From rock and indie to blues, classic and bluegrass, the Asheville music scene is certain to strike a chord. The Asheville music culture is one that’s been written about – coast to coast – because it really marches to the beat of its own drummer.
In 2019, “Rolling Stone Magazine” stated that “Asheville is “the new must-see music city.” It hails its musical spontaneity and close-knit camaraderie. Lonely Planet, a travel guide publisher, agrees and likens it to the early days of Nashville and Austin in the article – Why Asheville is America’s Next Major Music City. And, the city’s melodic allure only continues to shine.
Asheville Music Venues
Asheville has a mountain of music venues, but these are a few that locals love:
The Orange Peel – In the heart of downtown Asheville, many locals affectionately refer to this place as simply – “The Peel.” It’s a top southeast musical destination and features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Its musical roots run deep. Over the years it hosted musical greats such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, The Indigo Girls, The Smashing Pumpkins, Joan Jett, Ice Cube, Luke Combs and countless others.
Grey Eagle – A family-friendly music venue in Asheville’s River Arts District, the Grey Eagle spotlights local talent and puts together a schedule of diverse musical genres that appeal to local interests.
Rabbit Rabbit – In Asheville’s South Slope, this outdoor live music venue also hosts movies and other special events.
Asheville Music Hall – This is an intimate, yet mid-sized music venue that, like many other Asheville music venues, has played host to an impressive roster of musical legends such as Ghostface Killah, Del the Funkee Homosapien and Disclosure.
Salvage Station – This place is often rated Asheville’s best live music venue. Why? It has indoor and outdoor stages, river views and several bars. Oh – and it’s all located in a defunct salvage yard where you can even enjoy a beer inside its oversized PBR can. Pretty cool – huh?
Wortham Center for the Performing Arts – Located in the center of Asheville’s Pack Square, this cultural icon hosts national and international touring artists. Past headliners include Kathy Mattea, Black Violin, Bela Fleck, DIAVOLO and more.
Asheville Guitar Bar: Located in an old cotton mill in the River Arts District, this listening room just hums with local musicians. Most nights music lovers will find acoustic music ranging from classical guitar and swing, to rock ‘n’ roll blues and more in a laid-back atmosphere with chandeliers, brick walls and leather chairs.
Save the Date for these Asheville Concerts
While it’s nearly impossible to list them all, here are 15 live shows – of all different genres –
happening in Asheville this October, November and December that you may want to mark your calendar for:
- Gregory Allen Isakov: Oct. 10 – The Orange Peel
- Willie Nelson and Family: Oct 18 – Rabbit Rabbit
- Band of Horses: Oct 20 – The Orange Peel
- Nicotine Dolls: Oct. 24 – The Grey Eagle
- DropKick Murphys: Oct. 28 – Rabbit Rabbit
- Noah Reed: Oct. 27 – The Orange Peel
- Mia X Alley: Oct. 30 – The Grey Eagle
- Leftover Salmon’s Brew Ridge Jam, with Kitchen Dwellers, Fireside Collective, and Arkansauce: Oct. 21 – The Salvage Station
- Gilla Band: Nov. 6 – The Grey Eagle
- GZA and Fishbone, Truth and Swords Tour: Nov 9 – Salvage Station
- Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band: Nov. 11 – The Salvage Station
- Graham Nash: Nov 12 – Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
- The Snozberries Psychedelic Circus with Kendall Street Company – Asheville Music Hall
- Warren Haynes Christmas Jam: Dec. 9, 2023 – Venue TBA
- A Swannanoa Solstice: Wortham Center for the Performing Arts – Dec. 17
For a more comprehensive list of live shows in Asheville, visit: https://www.exploreasheville.com/iconic-asheville/music/live-music-events-calendar/
And for those looking to explore a bit, a quick venture a few miles north of Asheville leads to the mountain town of Weaverville. A free music series – Music on the Knoll – kicks off in October and runs through April. Held in the community center above Lake Louise, these concerts will feature local and regional musicians. Zack Page and Friends is on the calendar for Oct. 22.
Where to Stay While Enjoying Asheville Music Events
Visitors looking for a place to stay while checking out the local music in Asheville might want to consider the Downtown Asheville Modern Retreat in the trendy South Slope brewing district. This modern retreat is conveniently located near Rabbit Rabbit, the Orange Peel, Asheville Musical Hall, the Salvage Station and the Grey Eagle – all within walking distance.
So, are you ready to rock? Check your calendars, grab your tickets, and book your stay.