The Asheville Downtown Association today announced the lineup for the 29th season of Downtown After 5, presented by Prestige Subaru. Downtown After 5 takes place the 3rd Friday of the month May – September and is held on North Lexington Avenue. Events are free and open to the public.
Headliner: High & Mighty Brass Band
We’re kicking off with a bang! In its early years, Downtown After 5 featured a Mardi Gras theme for the first event and we’re sticking with tradition. Co-mingling band members from New Orleans, NYC, and a host of other cities across the globe, this dynamic krewe has the unique ability to combine classic New Orleans Funk and R&B with more modern Afro-Beat and Hip Hop influences. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Opener: Josh Phillips Big Band
After a long period of writing and a hiatus from playing live music, Josh Phillips is coming back with his latest and most ambitious project yet. Josh Phillips Big Band, just like the ever evolving and collaborative Asheville music scene, is a merging of musicians from all the bands Josh has performed with over the last 12 years.
Headliner: Sonny Knight & The Lakers
Soul man, Sonny Knight, and his seven-piece powerhouse band blend throwback soul, Gospel and country into their own unique sound. With their sophomore album released, plus a collaboration with James Brown alum Fred Wesley and a PBS special, the band is primed for the big time.
Opener: The Northside Gentlemen
Local funk/soul outfit, The Northside Gentlemen, are the perfect opener for the June event, playing old soul classics and great instrumental New Orleans funk.
Headliner: Asheville All-Stars
Bringing together some of Asheville’s best musicians, the All-Stars show has quickly become a favorite of the summer. Audiences will be treated to a mix of original songs and fun covers.
Opener: Rock Academy
Students from Asheville’s Rock Academy will open the July show. Rock Academy gives young musicians the opportunity to meet and play together while learning from professional musicians. They may be young, but these kids rock!
Headliner: Cedric Burnside
With the blues running through his blood, Cedric Burnside has been playing music all his life and is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. Grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside, Cedric grew up on tour and has shared the stage with Jimmy Buffet, Black Joe Lewis and Widespread Panic
Openers Lyric and The Stump Mutts:
We’ll have two local openers for the August show. First up, The Stump Mutts playing all original alternative rock. Following, Asheville native, Lyric, takes the stage with her blend of pop, soul and funk.
Headliner: Billy Strings and Special Guests TBA
Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets, Billy Strings’ songs, his articulation, his entire approach, sounds so authentic and steeped in tradition.
Opener: Whiskey Shivers
Hailing from Austin, Whiskey Shivers’ bluegrass-fueled Americana infused with punk rock energy, is infectious and joyful.
Each summer the Asheville Downtown Association partners with five local nonprofits to sell wristbands at the event. Each group received a grant of $2000. The ADA has given more than $100,000 to area nonprofits through this program. 2017 partners include: Riverlink (May), Hope Chest for Women (June), Asheville Music Professionals (July) and My Daddy Taught Me That (August) and Sleep Tight Kids (September).
Lots of local beers on tap including: Pisgah Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Hi-Wire Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company, Catawba Brewing, Green Man Brewery and Bold Rock Cider. Plus local-adjacent: Appalachian Mountain Brewing, Boojum Brewing, Lo-Fi Brewing, Nantahala Brewing Company and Natty Greene’s Brewing. You'll also find beer and cider from regional and national brands.
We're serving up plenty of local yumminess with food vendors: D.O.G.S., Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Kernel Mike's Kettle Corn, Moe's Original BBQ, The Grubbery Food Truck and others.
More information on Downtown After 5 and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found at ashevilledowntown.org.