Cold Mountain Music Festival returns June 8-9

MUSIC IN NATURE — The Second Annual Cold Mountain Music Festival will take place June 8-9 at Lake Logan in Haywood County. Enjoy the setting at Lake Logan, a 300-acre natural venue. Pictured is last year’s inaugural festival with Grammy and IBMA-winning Balsam Range on stage/ Carol Viau photo.

Outdoor music fans, get ready — the Second Annual Cold Mountain Music Festival returns June 8-9 to Haywood County’s picturesque Lake Logan.

Last year’s inaugural event was a great success, with well-known bands the Steep Canyon Rangers, Balsam Range, Love Canon, Town Mountain and Billy Strings.

The 2017 festival was such a hit that this year’s fest will be expanded to two days, with tent camping added.

This year’s lineup includes notable Americana and roots music bands Shovels and Rope, Mandolin Orange, River Whyless, Jon Stickley Trio, The Steel Wheels, Dangermuffin, The Broadcast, Tyler Ramsey and the Kenny George Band.

About the performers
• Shovels and Rope is an American folk duo from Charleston, South Carolina, comprised of husband and wife, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. The duo blends traditional folk, rock and roll and country rock.
• Mandolin Orange is an Americana/folk duo from Chapel Hill, with songwriter Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz. The duo mingles folk, country, bluegrass, and gospel in modern, American roots music.
• River Whyless, an American folk band from Asheville, combines bluegrass-harmonies with fiddle and guitar.
• Jon Stickley Trio, from Asheville, is a genre-defying instrumental trio, with ‘deep grooves, innovative flat picking, and sultry violin.’
• The Steel Wheels, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, is a group familiar with the traditions of folk music — and singing ‘carries them back’ to their Mennonite heritage.
• The Broadcast is a ‘soulful, blues roots rock band’ formed in New York City and developed in Asheville. Enjoy the band’s high energy performance, originally made famous by 1970s classic rock bands.
• Dangermuffin, a quartet from Charleston, South Carolina, weaves themes of ‘sea, sun and spiritual connection with Americana, island-influences, folk and jam.’
• Tyler Ramsey, a singer-songwriter from Asheville, is the former lead guitarist for the Band of Horses and plays guitar, piano, keyboards, bass and percussion.
• Kenny George Band, from Aiken, South Carolina, is an ‘explosive’ band that explores the gritty edges of rock, Americana and country rock.

Experience Lake Logan

“Although Lake Logan is just 25 minutes from Asheville, many area residents have never been there,” said Michelle Robinson, co-producer of the festival. “Lake Logan was once the home of the country’s first school of forestry, and was later an executive retreat visited by Richard Nixon, George Bush, Billy Graham and many others.”

The Lake Logan Conference Center, a 300-acre natural venue owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, is home to a retreat center, event venue, cabins, lakeside activities and Camp Henry.

“I think people are often surprised that the Diocese wanted to take on a project like a music festival,” said Robinson. “Simply put, the Episcopal community is full of people who love good music and having a great time in such a stunning landscape. Lake Logan is a special place, and we are thrilled to share it with the public through this festival.”

A new stage has been built this year, which will be used for the festival and a summer concert series.

“This year, Diamond Brand Outdoors is joining the festival, bringing kayaks, canoe and other water toys for folks to enjoy the lake,” Robinson said. “And, the kid’s area is expanding. We are just generally opening it up for families to come out and have a great weekend.”

On-site cabins for the festival are sold out, but some dorm-style bunkhouse lodging and a few camping sites are still available.

Local food and craft beer vendors will be on hand throughout the weekend, and a free children’s area will offer activities and games for children.

The performance schedule
Friday, June 8
1 p.m.       Gates open
4:30 p.m. Kenny George Band
5:45 p.m. The Broadcast
7 p.m.       Jon Stickley Trio
8:45 p.m. Mandolin Orange

Saturday, June 9
Noon        Gates open
1 p.m.       The Broadcast
2:15 p.m.  Dangermuffin
3:45 p.m. Tyler Ramsey
5 p.m.      The Steel Wheels
7 p.m.       River Whyless
9 p.m.      Shovels & Rope
(the schedule is subject to change)

Tickets and information
Tickets are on sale, with one and two-day tickets available. Tickets range from $10 for youth to $90 for a two-day adult pass. Visit The festival is a fundraiser benefitting Lake Logan and Camp Henry.
There is parking onsite, or shuttle service from Asheville, Canton and Waynesville is provided by Leap Frog Tours for the Saturday event. For times and pickup locations, visit

By Carol Viau