Carolina Music Festivals is a comprehensive calendar and guide to multi-act, daylong or multiple-day music festivals in North Carolina.

** Mobile Users - turn your device sideways for better results. **

April 2017 - North Carolina Music Festivals

Dates and other details may be estimated based on last year's festival until confirmed by festival organizers.

March 31 - April 1    Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention - Dobson

Two days of activities celebrate the old-time music of Surry County with a Friday night square dance and Saturday competitions for adult and youth (younger than 16) instrumentalists, bands and songwriters, which include cash prizes. Competitions are followed by youth and adult dances, respectively. There will also be luthier displays, jamming, a cake walk and raffles. 2017 is the festival's eighth year.

Friday: Whitetop Mountain Band, New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters.
Saturday: Competing musicians and bands TBA for: band, fiddle, banjo, guitar, twin fiddle (adults), folk song, variety, dance, bass (adults).

Festival site: Surry Central High School

7 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Friday $5, younger than 13 free; Saturday $5, contestants and younger than 13 free.

April 1 - 2    Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - Raleigh

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is a series of marathon and half-marathon foot races in cities across the country accompanied by alternative, classic and punk rock, blues, jazz and soul bands along the race course, plus concerts each day. There's also a health and fitness expo at the Raleigh Convention Center Friday and Saturday. 2017 is its fourth year in Raleigh.

Cracker, Jason Adamo Band, Nick and the Babes, Michael Daughtry, August is Ours, Johnny White and The Elite, Restless Raleigh, Down by Five, Triple Wide, Your Mama's New Favorite Band, Will McBride Band, Platinum Sound (Shaw University pep band), and bands along the race course TBA.

Festival site: Red Hat Amphitheater / Raleigh Convention Center / Citywide race course

View Larger Map
8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Events are free, except for fees to enter the marathon.

April 6 - 8    Big Lick Bluegrass Festival - Oakboro

Like several other bluegrass festivals, most bands play afternoon and evening sets. Big Lick is in its 14th year in 2017.

Thursday: Open mic.
Friday: Steve Dilling and Sideline, Deeper Shade of Blue, The Spinney Brothers, Bethel University Bluegrass Band, Wood Family Tradition.
Saturday: Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, The Malpass Brothers, The Spinney Brothers, Bethel University Bluegrass Band, Flatt Lonesome.

Festival site: Big Lick Festival Park

View Larger Map
6 p.m.-until Thursday, 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $55 before April 1, $75 afterward.
Thursday: $10, ages 12 to 16 $5, younger free.
Friday: $30, ages 12 to 16 $10, younger free.
Saturday: $35, ages 12 to 16 $10, younger free.

Camping on-site with limited hookups.

April 8    Live & Local: Spring Fest - Raleigh

The City of Raleigh's Earth Day celebration has morphed into Spring Fest, featuring local musicians and performers on a main stage and a youth stage, an artist village curated by Artsplosure, a beer zone sponsored by Raleigh Brewing Company, and a kids' zone. Admission is free. Live & Local is a series of music and art events in the Hillsborough Street district of Raleigh, including Roots Fest in September.

Chatham County Line, The Beast, The Amateurs, Saludos Compay, The Affectionates, Tea Cup Gin, and Meredith College Suzuki Strings (youth stage).

Festival site: Compiegne Park and nearby

Noon to 8:30 p.m.

Free. Festival-goers are encouraged to use alternative transportation to get to the event.

April 8    Depot District Music Fest - Lexington

The City of Lexington marks the opening of a new amphitheater and continued revitalization of its historic train depot district with a day of music. The festival, which debuts in 2017 and is to become an annual event, is to feature music, beer and wine, food truck vendors and children’s games and activities.

The Gin Blossoms, Edwin McCain, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Steppin' Stones, The Lilly Brothers, On The Border-The Ultimate Eagles Tribute.

Festival site: Breeden Insurance Amphitheater

Gates open 11 a.m., music starts 11:30 a.m.

General admission: $35 in advance, $45 at gate.
VIP (100 available): $75 includes front-of-stage viewing area, VIP tent, access to private bar and restrooms.
Younger than 13 (with paying adult): $10 in advance, $15 at gate includes unlimited access to rides, games and activities.

April 8    Beach Fest - Selma

The Farm, a special events venue just off of I95, puts on a day of top-line beach music each spring. It is in its fourth year in 2017.

Jim Quick and Coastline, Band of Oz, The Embers, Hip Pocket.

Festival site: The Farm

Gates open 11 a.m., music starts at noon.

$20 in advance, $25 day of show; younger than 6 free.

Note: "NO glass allowed anywhere on the property, including parking lots."

April 15    North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival - Raleigh

The daylong show put on by The Pit restaurant in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District presents bluegrass and roots music, barbecue and craft beer, a silent auction of goods from downtown merchants, and a kids' zone. Proceeds benefit local child abuse prevention agency SAFEchild, and the Junior League of Raleigh's BackPack Buddies, which is a food program for school kids. Click on the photo for more information.

Old Habits, Time Sawyer, The Malpass Brothers, Moore Brothers Band, Christiane and the Strays.

Festival site: W. Davie Street

View Larger Map
Noon to 6 p.m.

$5, younger than 11 free.

April 22    RockyFest - Hiddenite

RockyFest is mostly a day of climbing, rappelling and trail runs, but among the other festivities is a slate of live music performances and a picking tent. There will also be children's activities and food and arts and craft vendors. RockyFest is in its fifth year in 2017.

Slate Mountain Ramblers, Strictly Strings, The Trailblazers, ShadowGrass, Madison Elmore, Danny Wicker, Carolina Express, Alexander Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM).

Festival site: Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area

Music 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; event starts at 8 a.m.

Free admission.

April 23    Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival - Kure Beach


The October 2016 Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival (a two-day festival) was postponed until April 23 because of Hurricane Matthew.
The upside is a second festival this year in October.

The oceanside festival presents national, regional and local blues and jazz performers on two stages, plus coastal cuisine; craft vendors; wine, beer and liquor; and a children's area with magicians, jugglers, clowns and more. The festival is sponsored by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, which serves Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Click on the photo for more information.

Blues Stage: Jonny Lang, Samantha Fish, Kara Grainger, David Gerald, Luxuriant Sedans, Snake Malone and the Black Cat Bone.
Jazz Stage: Benny Hill Trio, Nina Repeta, Max Levy and the Hawaiian Shirts, Nita B and Her Soiree, Nelson and the Rock-a-fellas, Lynne and the Waves.

Festival site: Fort Fisher Air Force Recreational Area

View Larger Map
Begins 11:30 a.m.

$50 in advance, $60 at gate.
Younger than 13 free.

Tickets are limited; when held in October this event tends to sell out.

April 27 - 30    MerleFest - Wilkesboro

MerleFest, one of the country's best music festivals, features Americana, bluegrass, country, rock and more by top acts, and old and new favorites on more than a dozen stages. Some bands play a single show but many artists play several shows throughout the weekend and sit in with other bands and performers. The festival honors the late Merle Watson and the Doc Watson family, and is a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College. Click on the photo for more information.

Latest additions: The Transatlantic Sessions Tour with Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain, featuring: James Taylor, Sarah Jarosz, Maura O’Connell, Declan O'Rourke, Karen Matheson, Joe Newberry Music, and The Transatlantic Orchestra: Russ Barenberg, Phil Cunningham, John Doyle, Donald Shaw, James MacIntosh, John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick, and Danny Thompson.

Avett Brothers, Zac Brown Band, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Bela Fleck, The Earls of Leicester featuring Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush Band, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Leftover Salmon, Tift Merritt, Jorma Kaukonen, Donna the Buffalo, Scythian, Sarah Jarosz, The Steel Wheels, The Kruger Brothers, Mipso, I Draw Slow, Jim Lauderdale, Mandolin Orange, Sierra Hull, Chatham County Line Electric Holiday, John Driskell Hopkins, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Mountain Heart, Bryan Sutton Band, Mitch Greenhill, The Waybacks, John Doyle, Jim Avett, David Holt, Pete and Joan Wernick, T. Michael Coleman, Banknotes, Roy Bookbinder, Andy May, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Claire Lynch, Wayne Henderson, The Contenders, Happy Traum, The Stray Birds, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Carol Rifkin and Jeanette Queen, 10 String Symphony, Laura Boosinger and the Midnight Plowboys, Locust Honey String Band, The Bluegrass Experience, Pat Donohue, Steve James, Tony Williamson, Ed Snodderly, Mark Bumgarner, String Madness with Mitch Greenhill, The Local Boys, The WBT Briarhoppers, Todd Albright, Megan Nash, Ken Tizzard, Joe Smothers, Charles Welch, Bob Hill, Andy Buckner, Bill Mathis, Mark “Brink” Brinkman, The Gravy Boys, Steve and Ruth Smith, Bethel University Renaissance Bluegrass Band, Eric Ellis, Scott Freeman, The BattleAxe Band, Uncle Ted White, Lydia Luce, Counterclockwise String Band, Dear Brother, The Hook and Bullet, Nate Harris and Spice Creek Ramblers, Shadow Grass, Surry Line, The Trailblazers, Uncle Je and the Shady Rest, Virgil Harden and the Appalachian Countdown, Swift Creek, Roanoke, J.P. Cormier, Flando Clarissian, Front Country, Pat McInerney, The Greengrass Cloggers and Strictly Strings, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, Alberti Flea Circus, more.

Festival site: Wilkes Community College

View Larger Map
Gates open 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. Friday-Sunday.

14 stages; some in tents, three indoors.

Four-Day Watson Stage reserved seat: row 1-35 $235 through February 15, $245 after, $260 at gate; row 36-51 $210 through February 15, $220 after, $230 at gate.
Four-day general admission: $150 through February 15, $165 after, $180 at gate.
Friday-Sunday general admission: $135 through February 15, $145 after, $155 at gate.
Daily: $40, $45, $50 Thursday; $55, $60, $65 Friday; $60, $65, $70 Saturday; $50, $55, $60 Sunday.
Midnight Jam (Saturday in Walker Auditorium) (2015 price): $40.
Gold Patron Packages ($2,200) and Platinum Patron Packages ($2,600) for groups of four are also available.

Several campgrounds are located nearby and are served by continuous bus shuttles.
On-campus RVs, four days: $450. On-campus tents, four days: $75.

April 28 - 29    White Oak Shores Bluegrass Festival - Stella

The campground-based show is on the coast at the edge of the Croatan National Forest. Camping is not required to attend. The campground has a small water park and playgrounds, and food and beverage vendors will be on hand during the festival. A portion of proceeds will go to the Carteret Community College Foundation. White Oak Shores added a September festival in 2015.

Friday: Telluride, Ted Jones and the Tarheel Boys, Highway 58, Three Rivers Band, The Boys from Carolina.
Saturday: Ted Jones and the Tarheel Boys, Constant Change, Sideline, Steady Drive, Damascus Ridge.

Festival site: White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort

View Larger Map
Noon to 4:25 p.m. and 6:15 to 10:40 p.m. each day; each band plays afternoon and evening sets.

Two-day pass: $35.
Daily: $20.

Camping package: $170 for two nights and two tickets for each day; additional people $35 each for two days; extra nights $50.
"Dry" camping is free.

April 28 - 29    Little Creek Vineyard Music Festival - Snow Camp

Little Creek Vineyard and Music hosts several festivals, including this spring event to further the mission of the vineyard and farm.

Katie Martin, Duk Tan, Dr. Bacon, Psylo Joe, Yesterday's Gravy, MurDub, The Nitrogen Tone, The Ends, Ben Sutton Music, She's Heard Worse, Sky Rider, Skyler Drew Foust, Lactose Quervo, J9 Acoustic, Gator, The New Hillbillies.

Festival site: Little Creek Vineyard and Music

6 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Two-day pass: $20.
Daily: $10.

Camping: $10 per tent or vehicle.

April 28 - 30    Art of Cool Festival - Durham

The nonprofit Art of Cool Project works to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music. The Art of Cool Festival, its biggest program of the year, focuses on expanding the audience for jazz-influenced music through more than 20 performances on six indoor music venues.

Common, George Clinton, Revive Big Band, Rakim, Alex Isley, Braxton Cook, Butcher Brown, Christian Scott, Danny Blaze, De'Sean Jones, DJ Complex, DJ Double J, DJ Mic Check, DJ RNB, DJ Skillz, Empire Strikes Brass, Goldlink, JMSN, Joshua Gunn, Jus Once Band, Just Blaze, Kendra Foster, Kenneth Whalum, Kindred the Family Soul, Kooley High, Lauren Talese, Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill, Matthew Stevens, Michael Ode, N'Kognito, Nance, Nao, Niya Wells, OC from NC and BSquared, Phil Cook, R.Lum.R, RC and the Gritz, Rkhty, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Shame, Shaun Martin, SkyBlew, Soul Understated, Sputnik, St. Beauty, stArt of Cool Students, Stella Santana, Terrace Martin and the Polly Seeds, The Baylor Project feat. Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor, The Beast, Theo Crocker, Wade Banner, Will Darity, Will Wildfire, Zoocru.

Festival site: Carolina Theatre (map), DPAC, Motorco Music Hall, Pinhook, PSI Theatre

Club shows begin between 6 and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; main stage shows 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Daily: $65.
Two-day club pass: $115.
All Access VIP (includes concert seats, club pass, hospitality lounge and Sunday brunch - but not Common show): $265.
Durm Flex pass until December 5 (includes Moogfest May 18-21): $249.
Common show at DPAC: $59 to $229.

April 29    Triangle Beach Music Festival - Greenville

After 17 years in Garner (just southeast of Raleigh), the Triangle Beach Music Festival relocated to Greenville in 2016. The daylong show, which presents top beach music bands along with several food and drink vendors, is in its 19th year in 2017.

Band of Oz, Jim Quick and Coastline, Blackwater Rhythm and Blues, Backyard Groove.

Festival site: Pitt County Fairgrounds

Gates open 11 a.m., show starts 11:15.

$20 in advance online, $25 at gate.

The festival allows popup tents for $10 charged at the gate as long as space is available.

Return to the Carolina Music Festivals full-year calendar - home page.

Go to March Music Festivals     //     Go to May Music Festivals

Visit Our Sister Sites

Carolina Outdoors Guide     //     This Land, Your Land

PC Nelson Communications