Friday Drum Fest in Asheville: The Hippie Capital of the South

Asheville: where else can you witness (and participate in) 4 straight hours of drumming?

Asheville Drum CircleA charming little town nestled in the mountains, Asheville is about 2 hours west of Charlotte, and it’s known by the Huffington Post as the Hippie Capital of the South.

If you like beautiful drives, hummus, outdoor pubs, coffee shops, pubcycles, mountains, art, pottery shops, boutique stores, and a laid back atmosphere, this should be top on your weekend getaway list.

If you’re walking downtown on a pleasant Friday night, you’ll hear it before you see it. A pulse sounds in the streets. As you get closer to downtown, the beat gets louder. You’re entranced by the thundering beat that echoes in your chest and you make your way to Pritchard Park.
Pubcycle, Asheville NC
You see dozens of drummers crowding together around a half-circle amphitheater, all with drums between their legs, beating with a somewhat chaotic but strangely pleasant cadence.

You’ve reached the Asheville Drum Circle.
Asheville Culture Drum Circle
This free cultural celebration of diversity and music happens every Friday night at around 6, when dozens of drummers from all stages of life show up at Pritchard Park (4 College Street, Downtown Asheville) to make the city pulse with a beat.

Nobody is left out. Nobody is ostracized. No matter your gender, social class, race, or age, you are welcome to participate.

Drum Circle in Asheville NCMen in suit coats bang on giant drums, getting armpit sweat tacos in their nicely pressed white shirts. Kids shake tambourines as loud as they can and no one stops them. A mom toots on a traffic whistle every few minutes, giving an oddly urban vibe to the music. An old man stops his drumming to give a wild coyote ai-ai-aiiii howl. The homeless tap a rhythm on homemade (but legit) 55-gallon drums.

Everyone is welcome. Even dogs.

If you’re not interested in drumming, feel free to participate with the rest of the onlookers swaying with the tempo in the center of the park. Or, get your face painted. Play hacky sack with some local teens or join the little ones drawing chalk flowers in the middle of the circle.

All of a sudden, you realize the rhythm has changed…even though there is no drum leader. The sound morphs over the minutes and hours that you listen, and you find yourself tapping your feet with the rhythm.
Free Drum Festival Every Friday Asheville

If you are entranced until the drums finally end at 10 p.m., I guarantee you’ll be contemplating the best place to purchase a drum for next week’s hippie revelry. Check the Asheville City calendar for the next Drum Circle!

Have you been to the Asheville Drum Circle? What was your favorite part?
Next Post »