Music, in its many forms and outlets, permeates the fabric of Asheville, making the city a mecca for performers and fans alike. From recording studios to world-class music venues to festivals featuring local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists, there’s never a shortage of ways to get your groove on; here are just a few.
The Moog Factory
Moog Music synthesizers are designed and handcrafted in the Moog Factory in downtown Asheville. Open to the public, the factory and store offer visitors the opportunity to try out all of the synthesizers, and to take a free factory tour to discover the engineering and artistry behind the famed Moog sound. https://www.moogmusic.com/visitmoog
Asheville Music Venues
Asheville boasts a range of music venues with an equally impressive range of lineups throughout the year. Intimate and midsized spaces provide for a sound experience that envelops the audience and amps up the atmosphere: Favorites include the Mothlight https://www.themothlight.com, Isis Music Hall https://isisasheville.com, Asheville Music Hall https://ashevillemusichall.com, the Grey Eagle http://www.thegreyeagle.com, Jack of the Wood https://www.jackofthewood.com, Ambrose West https://ambrosewest.com/music/, Asheville Guitar Bar https://www.facebook.com/ashevilleguitarbar/ and Odditorium https://www.ashevilleodditorium.com, to name a few. Larger spaces, both indoor and outdoor, promise a vibrant experience: The Orange Peel https://theorangepeel.net, Salvage Station https://www.salvagestation.com, and the U.S. Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium https://www.uscellularcenterasheville.com fit this bill.
With all of the area’s emerging and established artists comes the need for recording studios. There are many to choose from; among the offerings are the expansive Echo Mountain Recording (housed in a former church and Asheville’s original Salvation Army building, and offering clients myriad recording possibilities) https://www.echomountain.net; Sound Temple (boasting an intimate, “sacred” vibe within a full-service studio) http://soundtemplestudios.com; and Landslide Studios (known for its live room with 22-foot ceilings) https://www.landslidestudio.com.
Asheville’s festivals and concert series showcase a range of genres appealing to all manner of musical tastes. Some popular fests, many held annually in the spring and summer, include: Biltmore’s Summer Evening Concerts www.biltmore.com, Downtown After 5 https://www.ashevilledowntown.org, LEAF and LEAF Downtown Asheville https://www.theleaf.org, Shindig on the Green https://folkheritage.org, Asheville Amadeus Festival https://ashevillesymphony.org/asheville-amadeus/, and RiverFest https://riverlink.org/get-involved/special-events/riverfest/.
A stroll through the streets of downtown Asheville is an auditory feast like no other. Most temperate evenings and weekends will bring out musicians of all types, drawing crowds on street corners and in squares. While buskers are independent performers, city regulations over them are fairly light: Rules like allowing room for pedestrians and keeping 40 feet from one another are as stringent as it gets. The result is a rich environment of (free) entertainment. While street performers can’t technically sell CDs or merchandise, they can give them away in exchange for a donation.
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