Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival

The Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of Appalachia Festival, which began in 1967, is named for cofounder musician and folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford, who dedicated his life to collecting and preserving the music of Southern Appalachia. The festival features old-time mountain music, bluegrass, local Madison County musicians, and a traditional mountain ballad swap. It is organized by the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill University.

This year’s festival will feature:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm - Music on Mars Hill’s Upper Quad 

11:30 am - Presentation of the Lunsford Award

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm -Workshops: Fiddle (Roger Howell), Guitar (Jerry Sutton), Banjo (Troy Harrison) workshops. Workshops fee $10.00/$5.00 ages 18 and younger. Preregistration required - click to register

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm - Ballad Swap 

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm - Open Jam with hosts Roger Howell, Troy Harrison, and Jerry Sutton

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm - Community Dance called by Phil Jamison. Music by Rhiannon and the Relics and dance demonstrations by the Bailey Mountain Cloggers and Cole Mountain Cloggers.

Visit the Down The Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails Podcast Library to hear more about Bascom Lamar Lunsford and explore many bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina.

Event Details

Location The Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill University
Mars Hill, NC
Cost Free
Festival is free!
Music Styles Ballad Singing
Shaped-Note Singing
Square Dancing
Event Type Festival
  • ✔ Can Accommodate Groups
  • ✔ Dancers Welcome
  • ✔ Family Friendly
  • ✔ Food Service
  • ✔ Handicapped Accessible
  • ✔ Picnic Space

Contact Info

Phone (828) 689-1115

Upcoming Dates: