Another Asheville festival dead body: The Ashtoberfest zombie walk


Ashtoberfest, the organizers of the annual Asheville Zombie Walk, have announced that they won’t be sponsoring any official event this year.

Last year, the event was a glorified pub crawl. In previous years, the event took over the Biltmore Square Mall and the streets of downtown Asheville. Past events included costumes contests, bands and more.

The event started several years ago as a simple gathering of maybe a dozen or so people who just wanted to get together, paint their faces, act dead and scare some tourists. They rose from Riverside Cemetery and walked the sidewalks through downtown. At some point, sponsors found the event, pumped it up, got police to shut down city streets and literally thousands of zombie walkers shambled through downtown. It was an impressive site.

But that was a one-year deal that took place about three years ago. Perhaps it’s time that the event return to its humble roots. Why can’t loyal zombie walkers simply pick a time and a spot on Halloween to gather and shamble? Seems pretty simple to me.


doghaus28815 September 13, 2013 - 8:22 am

don, that was just plain harsh. i won’t get in a war of words with you, but, if you happen to ride the city bus-line, you will see mostly working people, veterans, elderly folks, students, etc. pretty much a cross-section of asheville culture.

Stu Helm September 11, 2013 - 7:00 am

At Asheville Flyer for Kids we’ve been talking about organizing a Zombie Walk this year, with the focus being on kids, as in: not a pub crawl. What do people think about that?

doghaus28815 September 10, 2013 - 9:51 am

i say we zombies should take over the city bus lines one night.

AlreadyDon September 11, 2013 - 8:17 pm

Wait… so who are the deadbeats on the city busses right now?

Maybe, Maybe Not September 10, 2013 - 7:58 am

That will probably happen. Probably not on Halloween.

Jennifer S. September 9, 2013 - 6:15 pm

Jason, this is why.

If an event is to be something more than a leaderless mob (like a flashmob), it needs to follow a city process. So I guess someone could tell people to just dress like zombies and be at the Brew Pump at dusk. And someone could make a more serious attempt.

Sometimes the former approach is successful. If the former approach isn’t one that will work, then the organizer goes through a process.

Organized events need a set time and place to happen. If someone chooses this, there is an organizer.

Anything that is advertised and marketed requires approval, and concerns include:
an application process
pedestrian access
impact on the neighborhood
cost or insurance/marketing/staff etc.

The application process for a walk is on page 15 of the PDF link.

Events usually require planning, money, marketing and publicity, volunteers/staff, time, effort, and commitment. Annual events are even more taxing, see LAAFF, TEDxAsheville, Laugh Your Asheville Off, etc.

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