Below you will find Indie on the Move's compiled listing of annual music festivals and conferences in the state of North Carolina, helping bands and musicians increase their industry knowledge, broaden their networking reach, and better promote and showcase their music, shows, and tours.
From Moogfest to Hopscotch Music Festival, we did our best to include a thorough and comprehensive index, but if for some reason we've overlooked a specific event, please let us know through the contact page located HERE so that we can add it to the site ASAP.
With regards to any larger festivals, be sure to think outside of the box. While many of them do not regularly book independent acts as part of their official showcases, the national and international bands that do perform often draw some of the biggest built-in crowds imaginable, and provide a huge influx of music lovers and enthusiasts to each respective event location.
So try booking a show at one or several of that city's smaller local venues/bars/restaurants during the festival itself and take advantage of the vast number of music fans located in one place at one time. Even playing an ad-lib acoustic set in the event parking lot can go a long way in gaining you new fans and selling some merch.
-LEAF Festival - Dates: Mid May and Mid October
"LEAF Festival musicians provide the soundtrack to a memorable experience filled with cultural treasures and fun around every corner. Combining a great diversity of names and faces with a myriad of community dances including Salsa, Swing, Cajun, the Waltz and traditional, contemporary and techno forms of Contra; poetry and puppetry slams; healing arts workshops; folk art and handcraft exhibitions, installations and interactive demonstrations; camping, water sports and outdoor adventure; and kids' activities throughout the festival."
-GroverFest Music Festival - Dates: Early June
"In addition to live music, we have vending, arts & crafts and various art related exhibitions. Our focus is good music & fun in a family atmosphere."
-Carolina Rebellion - Dates: Early May
-Moogfest - Dates: Mid May
"Moogfest is the annual event that honors the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing musical inventions that changed the course of music. Moogfest is a multi-venue event held in Asheville, NC – the place Bob Moog called home for the last 30 years of his life. While the wide range of Moog instruments – the Minimoog Voyager, the Little Phatty, the Etherwave Theremin, Moogerfoogers, and the Moog Guitar – will play prominent roles throughout the festival’s events, the artists performing will certainly not be limited to those who create their work on Moog instruments. Instead, artists will be chosen for their role in creating unique and groundbreaking musical experiences that embody the essence of Bob Moog’s visionary and creative spirit."
-SERFA Conference - Dates: Mid May
"The Southeast Regional Folk Alliance exists to preserve, promote, develop and celebrate the diverse heritage, of roots and indigenous music, dance, storytelling and related arts of the Southeastern United States." - Register - Submit to Perform
-Hopscotch Music Festival - Dates: Early September
"Hopscotch Music Festival brings remarkable bands in most every genre imaginable to the creative community of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Through thoughtful programming and a belief that art should be experienced in an environment that suits the artist, Hopscotch is one of North America's most talked-about long weekends for music lovers."
-Merlefest - Dates: Late April
"MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, serves as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson who passed away May 29, 2012. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 90 artists, performing on 14 stages during the course of the four-day event."
-Sonorous Music Festival - Early November