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 in WNC to see a live concert, theatrical production, or impromptu performance?
Live Music in WNC
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!
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.
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.
The Brevard Music Center is one of the most beautiful outdoor concert halls in Western North Carolina. You can go early and have a picnic, and enjoy a great night out with friends and family. A lot of the events are free and open to the public.
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.
I moved to WNC for art and music. I have lived all over the world, and no place has it all in one place except the Asheville metro area. Tuesdays (or on the weekends depending on the performer), I often go to One World Brewing West. Thursdays, I head over to French Broad Brewery for live music paramount to anywhere else on a Thursday. On Fridays, I go to the One Stop on College Street in downtown Asheville, then take a hop, skip, and a jump to the drum circle right in Pritchard Park. Saturdays, I am usually at the AMH, aka Asheville Music Hall, or Pisgah Brewing, Sierra Nevada, or for a larger staged venue, I walk over to Harrah’s Cherokee Center on Haywood.
Though there are many wonderful outdoor venues in our area, Tryon hosts a great summer run of FREE concerts at Rogers 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!
I love Rabbit Rabbit! WNC’s newest and most fun outdoor venue is in the middle of downtown Asheville. Locally owned and operated by music fans, they will be welcoming Jack White, Bon Iver, and many more amazing artists to upcoming shows. With pop-up markets, movies, and a Silent Disco dance party every Friday and Saturday, the weekends belong to Rabbit Rabbit. They also have the AVL Taco food truck onsite.
A favorite concert venue of mine is outside the famous Asheville music scene. The Barn at Paint Fork is located in Barnardsville and has a great outdoor setup, live bands (Jesse James plays here frequently), and GREAT food trucks—all tucked into a fun country setting.
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 the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts. For outdoor concerts, I love the City-County Plaza and the Salvage Station and, of course, the Biltmore House summer concert series.
Live Theater in WNC
My husband, Larry Blunt, and I both have theatrical backgrounds and adore local theater. 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 theater is indeed alive and well in WNC!
Hands down, I recommend the Flat Rock Playhouse, the official state theatre of North Carolina. The ambiance and vibe of this quaint theater 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!
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.
HART Theater is a semi-professional community theater showcasing the talents of the people of the region and beyond. It has grown into one of the most successful theaters 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.
As the former PR director of The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and a current parent of a theater kid in Asheville, we are thrilled to see live performance return. Whether it’s comedy at the Asheville Community Theatre or a musical from the Asheville Performing Arts Academy, a trip to the Flat Rock Playhouse or even a band at the Salvage Station, you will always have something fabulous to see on stage.
Live Near the Best Performance Venues in WNC!
Among the many ways we Live Abundantly in WNC is through proximity to some of the best performance spaces around! Find a home near one of the great local venues mentioned in this post!
- Asheville Community Theatre, Asheville Music Hall, Asheville Performing Arts Academy, Biltmore House, City-County Plaza, French Broad Brewery, Harrah’s Cherokee Center Arena, Isis Music Hall, NC Stage Company, The One Stop, One World Brewing West, The Orange Peel, Pritchard Park drum circle, Rabbit Rabbit, Salvage Station, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts – Search for homes in Asheville.
- The Barn at Paint Fork – Search for homes in Barnardsville.
- Brevard Music Center – Search for homes in Brevard.
- Flat Rock Playhouse – Search for homes in Flat Rock.
- HART Theatre – Search for homes in Waynesville.
- Pisgah Brewing Company – Search for homes in Black Mountain.
- Rogers Park, Tryon Fine Arts Center – Search for homes in Tryon.
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Search for homes in Mills River.
One Response to “Agents Answer: What’s the Best Performance Venue in WNC?”
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