Agents Answer: What’s the Best Performance Venue in WNC?

What’s the Best Performance Venue in WNC?
The Infamous Stringdusters at Pisgah Brewing Co. | Photo by Nichole Davis

There’s always something exciting to see in Western North Carolina!

In the many arts-focused communities around the region, an active lifestyle includes plenty of opportunities for live performances. From street buskers to independent plays to the biggest names in entertainment, it’s easy to fill your calendar with things to do and shows to see. But if you’re new to the area—or just trying to get out more—where do you start?

Luckily, our agents work BIG and play BIG. We asked them: Where are the best places to see a live concert, theatrical production, or impromptu performance?

You can’t beat an outdoor concert at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain! They win my vote for the best venue in the area, hands down! Not only do they have great bands that play here, but they also brew amazing beers and have a variety of awesome food truck vendors for their outdoor events. Rain or shine, I always have a blast!

Nichole Davis

One of my favorite places to see a show in Asheville is at The Orange Peel. So many great acts have performed at The Orange Peel over the years, including Bob Dylan, Jack White, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Wood Brothers …the list goes on and on. If you are in town, be sure to check the bill and catch a show at this iconic Asheville music venue.

Wes Hight

I love the Salvage Station for live music! I’ve been to shows there in the summer, and it has a little mini “Woodstock” festival feel. And in the colder months, it’s perfect indoors, too. There is room to roam, dance, and parking is easy, too.

Evelyn Zebro

The Tryon Fine Arts Center produces amazing plays and concerts, bringing musicians from all over. They also host Appalachian music classes for kids and adults alike, offering quality, culture, and good prices for the whole family.

Ana Lilburn

If I were to describe the things that would make an ideal music venue for me personally, I would be describing Isis Music Hall in every detail. This classic 1930s-era theater venue is the perfect intimate concert location. It’s large enough to still draw serious artists, yet small enough to feel like you are part of the performance. Insider tip: Get there early and have dinner at their amazing restaurant. Let your waitstaff know you will be attending the concert after, and for most shows they will give you a reserved seat card, which you can place on a seat upstairs in the balcony overlooking the venue.

Jim Davis

My husband, Larry Blunt, and I both have theatrical backgrounds and adore local theatre. Fortunately, there are MANY venues around Western North Carolina to indulge our passion! We are big fans of Asheville Community Theatre and have never laughed as hard as we did during their performance of “Avenue Q” last fall. Another favorite is the NC Stage Company, which offers excellent professional performances that explore the human condition in an intimate setting. There can be no doubt: live theatre is indeed alive and well in WNC!

Jan Blunt

Hands down, I recommend the Flat Rock Playhouse, the official state theatre of North Carolina. The ambiance and vibe of this quaint theatre is like no other. Plan on spending time before or after the play in Flat Rock. The Village of Flat Rock offers delicious, locally owned restaurants and cute shops within walking distance of the Playhouse. Make sure to walk across the street and check out Carl Sandburg Home—you will not be disappointed! 

Kina Kilpatrick

HART Theater is a semi-professional community theatre showcasing the talents of the people of the region and beyond. It has grown into one of the most successful theatres in the Southeast, producing a year-round schedule of plays and musicals. Start your evening off with a chef created dish at Harmon’s Den, prepared to the theme of the show you are about to see, then stroll to your seat. 

Michelle McElroy

I love live music, and there are so many great venues to choose from. The Orange Peel is ranked nationally as a great place to hear live music. The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is a great seated venue, as is Diana Wortham Theatre. For outdoor concerts, I love the City County Plaza and the Salvage Station and, of course, the Biltmore House summer concert series.

Cheryl MacPhail

Montford Park Players are quite a local treat, running May–October each year. Enjoy live performances of several Shakespeare classics every Fri/Sat/Sun. Grab your blanket, bring along a picnic basket, and enjoy!

Wendy Wilson

Though there are many wonderful outdoor venues in our area, Tryon hosts a great summer run of FREE concerts at Roger’s Park! Just one block off Trade Street, nestled below the trees, an amphitheater follows the natural lay of the land. Folks gather with their picnic baskets and favorite beverages, meeting up with friends to enjoy a fabulous show! If a summer rain appears, the Tryon Fire Department (located across the street) hosts and shelters the musicians and crowd. What a small-town treat, where good music invites good living!

Dori Ray

Where’s your favorite local venue? Share it with us in the comments:


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