Festival season is in full swing in North Carolina, which means there is no shortage of great musical experiences across our state. The coming weeks include concerts, workshops, and festivals from the coast to the mountains. Be sure to keep an eye on our Music Festivals page throughout the year for information on all the great music North Carolina has to offer!

NCMA Summer Concerts

Summer Series, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C.

Summer concerts and movies have been an NCMA tradition for two decades, and they’re excited to launch another season of great music and entertainment. The venue—the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park—is situated in the heart of the museum campus amid gardens, meadows, woodlands, and sculpture.

Kicking off on Friday, May 17, with the California folk-rock outfit, Dawes, the series will run through September. Picnics are welcome at summer events, with some restrictions. The Museum’s Iris restaurant also provides food and beverage options. Parking is free.

Atlantic Beach Music Festival

Saturday, May 18, Atlantic Beach, N.C.

You don’t want to miss the 6th Annual Atlantic Beach Music Festival at the boardwalk at the Circle, Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach. The festival features The Embers, Jim Quick and Coastline, Mighty Saints of Soul, Blackwater Rhythm & Blues, and Steve Owens & Summertime Band. Admission is free, but pets and glass containers are prohibited.

Durham Blues & Brews Festival

May 18, 2019, Durham Central Park

What started as a rockin’ good time has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food, and outstanding craft beer. Entering it's5th year the Durham Blues & Brews Festival isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with beer. It’s a new type of event, designed to be a unique experience by offering great Blues music and only North Carolina craft beers. Proceeds from the festival benefit local Durham charities and programs, including the Exchange Family Center, a Durham-based non-profit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse. 

Carolina Blues Festival

Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, May 19, Greensboro, N.C.

The longest-running blues festival in the Southeastern United States returns Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 to Greensboro’s newest venue, LeBauer Park. The Carolina Blues Festival will have international, national, regional, and local blues acts on the docket for a weekend of blues, rain or shine! The festival is partnering again this year with Second Harvest Food Bank to shed light on hunger in our communities.

Freight Train Blues Music Series

Concert Series, Carrboro, N.C.

Music Maker Relief Foundation partners with the Carrboro Recreation & Parks Department and WUNC to present the Freight Train Blues Music Series at Carrboro Town Commons (Farmer’s Market). Beginning on May 24th, the four-part series will feature performances from blues, gospel, and folk musicians on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and is free.

May 24 - AJ Ghent

May 31 - Chatham Rabbits | Alexa Rose

June 7 - Eastern NC Gospel Jubilee feat. the Glorifying Vines Sisters, Bishop Albert Harrison & the Gospel Tones, James Barrett & the Golden Jubilees, the Dedicated Men of Zion, plus special guests

June 14 - Cool John Ferguson | Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen | Cookie McGee

Carolina Beach Music Festival

Saturday, June 1, Carolina Beach, N.C.

Here is your chance to dance barefoot on the sand or just sway to the beach music beat while standing in the surf. Held the first Saturday in June, the Beach Music Festival hosted by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce is billed as "the biggest and only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the North Carolina coast," and one of the longest running beach music festivals in the United States. Come out and enjoy a full day of live entertainment with the hottest beach music bands in the south!

2019 Brevard Music Center Summer Festival

Concert Series, Brevard, N.C. 

Led by Artistic Director Keith Lockhart, the 2019 BMC summer music festival provides audiences with an exceptional array of performances by gifted young musicians and some of the most celebrated names in music — from classical superstars to pops, classical guitar and jazz legends, to acclaimed R&B and bluegrass artists — at our lakeside home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

This concert series kicks off June 6 and runs to August. View the official calendar here.

Ocrafolk Festival

Friday June 7 to Sunday June 8, Ocracoke Island, N.C.

Welcome to the Ocrafolk Festival 2019, June 7-9. This celebration features musicians, storytellers, artisans, and characters of Ocracoke Island and beyond who come together for one incredible weekend of performances and fun. Now in its 20th year, Ocrafolk Festival is recognized throughout our region as an extraordinary event in a one-of-a kind setting. In 2019, Ocrafolk Festival admission ticket doesn’t just assist Ocracoke Alive in creating a weekend packed with incredible performances it also supports hundreds of hours of student and community programming that would vanish without this funding. 

Mount Airy Old-Time Retreat

Wednesday June 5 to Sunday June 8, Mount Airy, N.C.

The Mount Airy Old-Time Retreat is an opportunity for budding and experienced bluegrass and old-time music lovers to learn from the best. The retreat begins on June 5 and concludes on June 8 in time for the annual Mt. Airy Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. Fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and mandolin classes will be taught by Andy Edmonds, Kevin Fore, John Herrmann, Chester McMillian, Emily Spencer, Martha Spencer, and Kirk Sutphin.