There’s no shortage of things to do in Asheville, but from May to September, you’ll definitely want to check out Downtown After 5. Presented on the third Friday of each month, between 5 and 9 pm, visitors will be treated to a night of great live music, local food and beer, and fun activities for the kids.
With bands ranging in style from bluegrass to soul to R&B, and big names like Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Now in its 26th season, Downtown After 5 is run by the Asheville Downtown Association and is always free and open to all members of the public.
Meghan Rogers of the Asheville Downtown Association says that when the festival began over 20 years ago, “Downtown Asheville wasn’t what it is today. We created Downtown After 5 to bring people into the area and show them that there are things to do here.”
Since its inception, the festival has grown, with over 6,000 people in attendance for each performance.
Rogers is also excited about the Nonprofit Wristband Partner program. Each month, a nonprofit organization is selected to sell wristbands for purchasing alcohol. In exchange, the organization receives a $2,000 grant. “It’s a great thing to be a nonprofit that can give back to other nonprofits,” Rogers says.
In addition to supporting the community, Downtown After 5 has made several strides to become more environmentally friendly over the past few years. The complimentary bike corral has been very successful, with several attendees choosing to ride bikes rather than driving to the event.
In an effort to promote recycling and composting, volunteers stand by the trash bins to help concertgoers sort their trash into compost, recycling, and landfill piles. They now only have a few bags of landfill trash after each event.
This year’s newest green improvement is a solar-powered water filtration unit, so people can stay hydrated with ultra-filtered water.
Interested in attending Downtown After 5? We don’t blame you! Check the schedule to see who’s playing this month.