Ashvegas weekend guide, Labor Day weekend edition: LAAFF!!

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Labor Day weekend, Asheville. Here’s our guide to the best of what’s happening.

LAAFF’s the pick of the litter. Note that this year’s event is a pub crawl on Saturday and a festival on Sunday. Your Ashvegas guide to LAAFF 2012 is here.

All Weekend

8/30 – 9/1

Naked Girls Reading 8
FR (8/31) & SA (9/1), 8pm – The Anam Cara Theatre Company, 203 Haywood Road, presents Naked Girls Reading 8, selections about “murder, magic and mayhem.” $10/$12. 18 and over.
Info: or 545-3861.


  • September 1, 2012 – September 4, 2012
  • Location: The Grove Park Inn
  • Address: 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804
  • Venue:  The Grove Park Inn
    • Times: Events All Weekend
    • Admission: See website – weekend packages and individual event tickets available
    • Phone: 800-438-5800
    • Visit Website | View Venue
Music meets the mountains at the hottest Labor Day Celebration in Asheville, North Carolina. Join The Grove Park Inn for the annual Labor Day Beach Music Weekend 2012. Our legendary resort presents a festive Labor Day party with live beach music, a coastal seafood buffet, dancing, and a variety of family activities to celebrate the end of summer. The Grove Park Inn’s Labor Day weekend celebration in Asheville, NC, features a coastal seafood buffet overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains


Ashvegas guide to LAAFF here

  • September 1, 2012 – September 2, 2012
  • Location: Downtown Asheville
  • Address: Downtown Asheville, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Downtown Asheville
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
 Once a year we shut down Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville for this all day, all local, all original street fair that has grown to be the largest independent street fest in the southeast! This jam-packed day is filled with wild street performers, unique artwork, a wide variety of music, and just about everyone who wants to have some fun and celebrate in the streets of Asheville. Arts2People has been presenting LAAFF for 10 years with the support of the Asheville Community.


A Growing Culture Benefit BashA Growing Culture Benefit Bash
Come join us at Pisgah Brewery on the evening of August 31st for a benefit in support of A Growing Culture. There will be hot local music, a silent auction, art show, and great Local Food. So come on out for a good cause and a good time! Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm, Suggested 10 dollar donation, but we wont turn anyone away.


9pm $10

Have you heard of them yet? Well, you are about to. You’ll hear from your neighbor, your brother, maybe even from a stranger at the grocery store. Asheville County Music Revue is a band that almost anyone in Western North Carolina and points beyond will fall in love with. With a natural, woodsy mix of rock n’ roll and sweet, country rolls, ACMR has a huge 70’s sound. The band is a combination of members from Town Mountain and the Shannon Whitworth band, but sounds like a combination of whiskey laden 70’s outlaw country and Southern hippie rock. You can certainly expect a bluegrass song or two as well. Asheville Country Music Revue will prove their deep country roots with the first note you hear. Bring your boots!

Check out the new pub in Swannanoa!
Native String Band

FR (8/31), 8-11pm – Bluegrass group Native String Band will perform at Native Kitchen and Social Pub, 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. Free. Info: 713-5464.

Over the Rainbow Drag Queen Bingo
Fri, August 31, 7pm – 10pm

WhereRenaissance Hotel 31 Woodfin St. (map)
It’s Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s “Over the Rainbow” Drag Queen Bingo! On Friday, August 31st at the Renaissance Hotel Ballroom in Asheville, join us for a raucous, rowdy night of drinks, snacks and fun. Enjoy cash bar, concessions, a fabulous raffle, cash prizes, exciting silent auctions, and unbelievable entertainment. Come dressed as Dorothy or any other ‘Wizard of Oz’ character for a chance to win a prize in the costume contest! The evening will be hosted by the fabulous Eureka O’Hara and featuring Asheville’s finest drag queens, with co-host Lester Oteen from LaZoom Tours adding to the hilarity.

Uncle Mountain Farewell show at the Grey Eagle
This is Uncle Mountain’s final concert. Holy Ghost Tent Revival will be opening.
Doors open at 8 pm at the Grey Eagle Music Hall in Asheville, NC.
Tickets: $8 in Advance
All Ages

Comedian Jeremy Peirce at Grove Park Inn

Fri., Aug 31, 8:15pm

One of Comedy’s Best Kept Secrets! Part of today’s funniest up and coming comedians, Jeremy Peirce has performed nationally, widely gaining the respect of audiences and his peers alike. A provocative writer, Jeremy has an eclectic collection of material dealing with race, religion, sex and drugs, yet somehow manages to keep them all separate.


LAAFF Bar Crawl
Rankin Ave outdoor shows are free.
Everything else is $10 per venue for $25 for a whole day of music.
Please note that all shows scheduled for the French Broad Chocolate Lounge have been moved to Scully’s.


Grandma and Harvest Records present Arborea and Mariee Sioux: FREE early show at Jack of the Wood
FREE (Donations Encouraged)
Arborea: There are plenty of ways to tie Arborea to the freak folk and new American guitar movements that emerged in the early 21st century. Though the Maine-based husband-and-wife duo of Buck and Shanti Curran presented a halfway point between otherworldly female vocals à la Joanna Newsom and deeply disciplined guitar playing à la Jack Rose, the sum total was something altogether removed. In large part, the Currans belonged more directly to the lineage of musicians who grew out of the late-’50s folk revival, seeking to connect current music to ancient traditions, as opposed to using it as a vehicle for strictly personal expression, without sounding the least bit like revivalists.
pm FREE (Donations Encouraged)

Mariee Sioux: Mariee Sioux is a Nevada City, CA-based singer songwriter. She recorded her debut album, Faces in the Rocks, in May of 2007 and released it via Grass Roots records in October of that same year. She is a folk singer in the vein of Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom. Her latest album, Gift for the End, was released in Europe March 2012 via Almost Musique and in the US April 2012 via Whale Watch Records. Sioux’s sound and infusing backvocals are a strong-soft and folky approach to Native American themes, and while in her late records she uses only fingerpicked guitar and piano, Faces in the Rocks features numerous Indian sounds (such as percussion and wind instruments) , aiding Mariee in the quest to illustrate the spirits and joys of the once Virgin Lands.


  • September 1, 2012
  • Location: Biltmore
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore
Foreigner will perform on the South Terrace of Biltmore House With a catalog of multi-platinum gems including “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero,” “I Want To Know What Love Is” and critically-acclaimed wonders from the 2009 “Can’t Slow Down” album-Foreigner is a band continually forging new musical peaks.

SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Last one of 2012

  • June 30, 2012 – September 1, 2012
  • Location: Pack Square Park
  • Address: 1 W Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Pack Square Park
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Saturday
 Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and join us for good times at the new Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage. In 2012 Shindig on the Green, which features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park, continues at its original location — formerly known as City County Plaza, now transformed into the new Pack Square Park. Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown,” or at 7:00pm for those who wear a watch, until 10:00p.m


  • June 2, 2012 – October 6, 2012
  • Location: Biltmore Park Town Square
  • Address: 2 Town Square Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore Park Town Square
  • Recurrence: Recurring monthly on the 1st Saturday

The square is summer nights with a soundtrack. Biltmore Park Town Square has the music. You bring some friends and a blanket. From the rhythms of the 60s to jazz numbers that will have you up on your feet, you’ll find the biggest names in Asheville’s music scene at Concerts in the Park. Find your melody just ten minutes from downtown – immediately off I-26 at Exit 37. Concerts take place from 7 pm to 9 pm on the first and third Saturday, June through October, in Cecil Park near Brixx Pizza … September 1st- Kat Williams Trio


9pm $5

Pierce Edens is a songwriter at odd angles. The only music he heard growing up was in the local folk and old-time music hub of his mountain home, and the occasional reception on the car radio. Then, following a deluge of punk and grunge that enveloped his teenage years, Edens’ songwriting became a seamless blend of two worlds colliding. He likes to bang on old wooden boxes. He likes to break strings. He likes to stomp and howl out songs that tell his own story, and the stories handed down through the mountains. He is a songwriter steeped in the craft he grew up on… yet, Edens is an undeniably distinct voice at home in modern american music.

Southern Raft Supply Grand Opening and Demo Day
10:00am until 6:00pm
Come Celebrate Southern Raft Supply’s Grand Opening with us. We’ll have raft and inflatable demos throughout the day, along with great friends, great music and more. Stay tuned for more info!
Southern Raft Supply
2000 Riverside Drive, Suite 3, Asheville, North Carolina 28804
View Map · Get Directions

Wild Things Weekend
10:00am until 5:00pm
This one-of-a- kind event, fun for the whole family, will feature live animal shows, award winning wildlife films, and exhibits from a wide range of outdoor businesses, environmental educators, and conservation groups from across the region.
This year’s presenters include:
Rob Gudger and his Wolves
Freeman Owle telling Cherokee Animal Stories
Wild for Life with Birds of Prey
Steve O’Neil with Reptiles and Amphibians
Special guests John Rucker and the “Turtle Dogs”

This year’s International Wildlife Film Festival films include:
Where Bears Belong
Wilderness North Carolina
Red Wolves at the Crossroads
The Hunt for Wood Turtles

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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