Asheville’s new Xpand Fest hits South Slope Saturday with a caution: Please move your car

Asheville band The Broadcast will be an Xpand Fest headliner.

Asheville band The Broadcast will be an Xpand Fest headliner.


Finding a parking place on Asheville’s popular South Slope is almost as coveted as that first sip of the latest local brew. Once you’ve landed, however, folks can browse from microbrewery to barbecue joint — even chancing on the occasional speakeasy-type dive.

The cachet of the South Slope attracts locals and visitors alike. And this Saturday, June 10, it will play host to a new daylong festival: Xpand Fest.

But before we tell you about this fun new event, the City of Asheville’s Special Events Permitting guru Jon Fillman wants to spread the word on how to NOT get your car towed the day of the festival.

“The City will be blocking off Buxton and Banks avenues, starting at 5 a.m. June 10,” Fillman said. (See festival map below.)

If there are cars on the streets or in the gravel lots off those streets they will have to be towed. This includes the gravel lot across from Catawba Brewing and another lot near Dirty Jack’s.

Really, we don’t want to have to tow anyone! Starting Thursday, signage in the area will alert folks as to the Saturday street closings and the need to remove cars, said festival director Morgan Markowitz.


A new festival

With that business out of the way, now comes the fun part. Xpand Fest promises to serve up a day of music, local brews, local food tents — and social consciousness.

“Xpand Fest is a local music and arts festival,” explained Markowitz. “We’ll have three stages with 30-plus bands. There will be roaming performers for an all-around fun experience.”

The festival will feature crafters from within 100 miles of Asheville. Locally sourced food and beer tents will dot the scene. And there will be a “nonprofit arts arcade” to highlight local nonprofits and healing arts organizations.

Local Americana-soul band The Broadcast will serve as headliner. Look for other local musicians, such as Lyric and Laura Blackley.


Back to business

Please be aware that ABC laws do not permit anyone who has purchased a local alcoholic beverage at a microbrew or bar to take it from the establishment into the street or festival area. And vice versa; don’t take a brew purchased in a festival beer tent into a bricks and mortar business.

Oh, and a final word about the parking: There will be less of it than usual on the South Slope Saturday. Festival-goers are encouraged to use alternate means of transportation. You might even want to hike or bike your way in. Asheville’s downtown ART bus station is within an easy walk, so that’s another option.

Regardless of how you get there, please make sure when you leave the South Slope area Friday night your car leaves with you. Then come on down Saturday for this first-year festival and have some fun.