Mountain Dance and Folk Festival®
Watch Online at:
Are you ready to be part of the 93rd Mountain Dance and Folk Festival®? Because of state, county and city COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings, the Folk Heritage Committee encourages you to join us online for a unique celebration of this long-standing traditional event.
On August 6, 7 and 8 a different show will be streamed at no charge each evening allowing you to move your feet to high-energy, hand-clapping bluegrass; enjoy a waltz with your favorite partner; sing along with ballads handed down from early Appalachian settlers; learn a few clogging steps and dance figures; and enjoy master storytellers as they take you to another place and time all in the comfort and safety of your home.
While this cannot replace the joyful gatherings we have experienced for decades, we hope you will enjoy this virtual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival® composed of archived materials, submitted videos, and current performances filmed by us. This event has always been made possible by the generosity of our music community volunteering their time and talent to preserve and promote the Southern Appalachian music, dance and storytelling heritage.
A listing of performers who volunteer their time and talent to make our events possible can be found on Our Performers page. Please visit their websites and support their generosity by purchasing music, merchandise, making a contribution to virtual tip jars where available or just to tell them you enjoyed their performance. Our artists especially need our support during these difficult times.
The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. He saw the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival grow to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation and it continues in this way, a platform for the talented of the high country lying between the Great Smoky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals.
If you like Shindig on the Green, you’ll love the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival!