Old-time, bluegrass, ballad singing, sacred music, and blues all have deep roots in the southern Appalachian mountains. In honor of this tradition, the Blue Ridge Parkway plays host to frequent concerts that showcase both traditional mountain music and its modern incarnations.
Blue Ridge Music Center – Milepost 213
Located at Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Blue Ridge Music Center celebrates the living musical heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The center hosts concerts every Saturday from May through early October, featuring Bluegrass, Old-Time, Folk, Gospel, Blues, World, Americana, Country, Youth, and Contemporary performers. There is also live music every day from noon to 4 p.m. on the breezeway of the visitor center.
Humpback Rocks Music Concert Series – Milepost 6
The Humpback Rocks Mountain Farm, located on the Parkway at Milepost 6, shares the stories and traditions of early Appalachian settlers. An outdoor stage, set under a grand Black Walnut tree, is located at the entrance to the farm. Concerts are the third Sunday of the month, 2-4 p.m., from May through September. Music is generously funded by FRIENDs of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is free of charge to the public.
Mabry Mill Concert Series – Milepost 176.2
Mabry Mill, Parkway Milepost 176.2, hosts old-time musicians every Sunday from 1-4 p.m., starting in late May and ending in late October. Performances are free of charge, and visitors should bring chairs and blankets. Visit Mabry Mill’s website for a complete schedule of performers.
Roanoke Mountain Concert Series – Milepost 120.4
The Blue Ridge Parkway hosts an hour of music every Sunday at the old Roanoke Mountain Campground, Milepost 120.4. Summer shows, May through August, are from 7-8 pm. Fall shows, September through October, are from 5-6 p.m. Performances are free of charge, and visitors should bring chairs and blankets. View the National Park Service flyer to see a full concert lineup.
Orchard at Altapass Music and Dance – Milepost 328.3
The Orchard at Altapass is an apple orchard supported by the Altapass Foundation as a part of their mission to preserve local culture. The orchard hosts live music programs Wednesday through Sunday in May through September, and weekends in October. These programs educated the public about traditional mountain music and dance. On Wednesdays, visitors are invited to bring along an instrument and join in with the resident musicians.
Traditions Concert Series
The Traditions Concert Series, presented by Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, uniquely showcases our region’s top traditional musicians. In addition to performing great music, the artists tell stories about their music and influences, providing a “behind the scenes” experience. The concerts take place at various locations along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visit the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s website for this year’s schedule of performances.