Music festivals to put on your calendar in 2024

Entertainment

February 23, 2024

by Sharon Smith

Tuckfest, U.S. National Whitewater Center

Plan ahead and pick your musical pleasure. While we’re excited about the launch of the Lovin’ Life Music Fest this spring in Charlotte, experienced festivalgoers know this is a whole season of opportunity. Here are some of the best music fests to put on your calendar, from the QC to across the Carolinas (plus one in Virginia).

Moo, Brew & ’Que Music Fest
April 12-14, AvidXchange Music Factory

Billed as a harmony of flavors and sounds, this year’s headliners include The Revivalists, Hippo Campus and Lee Brice. Take in the tunes as you dive into BBQ, burgers and all the fixin’s, plus 50-plus brews.

Tuck Fest
April 19-21, U.S. National Whitewater Center
There’s the music and so much more at this annual three-day event. Festivalgoers can sign up for competitions (trails, bouldering, rapids) plus yoga clinics, or browse the 60+ outdoorsy vendors lining the channel. Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway headline this year’s festival, along with Margo Price and Courtney Barnett.

A nighttime photo of the audience during a concert, courtesy of Lovin' Life Music Fest.

Lovin’ Life Music Fest
May 3-5
Get ready, Charlotte — we’re finally making a big play on the festival scene and hometown favorites, The Avett Brothers will be there to help us sing along. This inaugural fest comes to uptown’s First Ward with several major headliners: Post Malone, Stevie Nicks, Noah Kahan, DaBaby, Maggie Rogers, Dashboard Confessional, The Chainsmokers and The Fray. Your ticket buys access to three stages and 40+ artists. Note: general admission to the Georgia version of Lovin’ Life sold out early. Organizers hope this will be an annual event that pulls in a crowd of 90,000.

FabFest
Oct. 4-5
This celebration of all things Beatles features two evening concerts and a full day of music, speakers and activities. Lineup and venue details coming soon.

MAKE IT A ROAD TRIP

Dreamville Festival
April 6-7, Raleigh
This music celebration draws locals and travelers alike to Dorothea Dix Park — Raleigh’s largest city park. Rapper J. Cole curates the lineup (largely hip hop and R&B) and invites his favorite musical artists and collaborators to perform in his home state. Nicki Minaj headlines this year’s tour along with SZA and Chris Brown, plus more than 20 other artists.

The Avett Brothers performing on stage at MerleFest in the N.C. mountains.

Photograph courtesy MerleFest

MerleFest
April 25–28, Wilkesboro
Founded by the late, great Doc Watson, MerleFest is a 36-year tradition at Wilkes Community College. The four-day, 12-stage festival showcases traditional roots, Americana, country, rock and bluegrass. Headliners include Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, The Teskey Brothers, Nickel Creek and Steep Canyon Rangers.

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance
May 2–5, Pittsboro
This is where you can dance to the music and pitch your tent. Shakori Hills, which started in 2003 as a nonprofit music and dance festival in rural Chatham County, draws dozens of musical acts from the Carolinas to New York that lean into Americana, world and jam-band music. Donna the Buffalo headlines this year’s festival.

Shakori Hills Music Festival in Pittsboro, N.C.
Courtesy Shakori Hills Music Festival

Bear Shadow
May 11-12, The Highlands Plateau
Dreamed up during the pandemic, this weekend of music in the western corner of North Carolina turns 3 this year. A sister festival to fall’s Highlands Food & Wine, Bear Shadow holds its own. This year’s lineup features Black Pumas and J.J. Grey & Mofro.

Beaufort Music Festival
May 17-18, Beaufort, N.C.
It’s a 5-hour drive from Charlotte, but hey, you’ll be listening to music a couple of miles from the historic Beaufort waterfront and the sandy beaches of the Crystal Coast. This family-friendly festival is running 34 years strong. On the schedule for 2024: Future Birds, Big Something and American Aquarium. 

Carolina Beach Music Festival
June 1, Carolina Beach
For 37 years, folks have been shagging to beach music with their toes in the sand. It’s billed as the only beach music festival in North Carolina that’s actually on the beach.

FloydFest
July 24-28, Check, Va.
This one is a 2.5-hour drive from Charlotte, but it’s a big draw with its setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains and a massive lineup. Past headliners include The Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile. This year it’s Black Pumas. There’s on-site camping, outdoor activities and plenty of food and drink options over the course of this five-day festival. 

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
Aug. 1-3, Swannanoa
America’s longest-running folk festival (and some say, the first), turns 97 this year. Traditional folk dancing is just as much a part of the show.

AVLFest
Aug. 1-4, Asheville
Still a newcomer to the festival scene, this wide-ranging celebration of music takes place throughout downtown Asheville, from breweries to outdoor venues. Papadosio and Beachwood Sparks lead the 2024 lineup.

Earl Scruggs Music Festival
Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, Mill Spring
Now in its second year, this Foothills festival at Tryon International leans into bluegrass and Americana, as you might expect for an event named after Scruggs. The festival has emerging acts as well as celebrated veterans. This year, Emmylou Harris and Greensky Bluegrass lead the lineup. 

John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival
Aug. 31 – Sept.1, High Point
Top jazz musicians take the stage here, as a tribute to the 20th century jazz legend who was born and raised in Hamlet. The last two years featured a slew of Grammy-Award winners, including trumpeter Chris Botti, Patti LaBelle, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, Keb’ Mo’ and Samara Joy. 

Hopscotch Music Festival
Sept. 5-7, Raleigh
This festival prides itself on a diverse range of performers from the alternative, indie rock, indie pop and rap worlds. It consistently delivers a solid lineup with nationally-known acts. Last year’s performers included Denzel Curry, Japanese Breakfast and Pavement. The 2024 lineup will be announced soon.

North Carolina Folk Festival
Sept. 6-8, Greensboro
An eclectic lineup attracts a crowd to downtown Greensboro each year. Expect a mix of global, American roots and bluegrass music styles. There’s a 5K and food and craft vendors, too. 

World of Bluegrass Music Festival
Sierra Hull and Béla Fleck perform a duet during the IBMA Bluegrass Live in Raleigh, 2021.

World of Bluegrass
Sept. 24 – 28, Raleigh
This is downtown Raleigh’s biggest music festival, with a conference, awards show and the festival taking place over five days. Past performers include Steve Martin, Alison Krauss and Béla Fleck. This year’s Grammy Award-winning Molly Tuttle was last year’s best female vocalist award recipient and will be headlining in 2024.

Riverfront Revival
Oct. 11-12, North Charleston, S.C.
Darius Rucker curates a full weekend of music and good times. The festival is said to be a love letter to country music and the Lowcountry, with dozens of musicians performing at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park. This year, Rucker leads the lineup with Hootie and the Blowfish, plus Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Revivalists, Collective Soul and Arrested Development.

A crowd gathers at the Wicked Weed stage for the Bank of America Fall for Greenville music festival.
Photo courtesy Bank of America Fall for Greenville

Bank of America Fall for Greenville
Oct. 11-13, Greenville, S.C.
Sip, eat and dance your way down Main Street as 80-plus acts (national, regional and local) perform across six stages during this Upstate food and music celebration. The lineup ranges from country to rock and everything in between. This Greenville highlight attracts more than 150,000 people a year for good reason.  SP

Want more ideas on things to do? Browse our events calendar.

Featured Image: Tuck Fest, U.S. National Whitewater Center. Photograph courtesy Tuck Fest

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