Experience the Vibe at the “Asheville Drum Circle”

By JP Chartier

Every Friday evening, hundreds of people gather together, forming a large circle in the delightfully eccentric mountain-town of Asheville, North Carolina. Many bring along some sort of percussive instrument – what happens next is referred to as “The Asheville Drum Circle,” and it’s damned exciting!


Bongo Banging Bliss

I found myself meandering, lost in thought one Friday evening traversing the maze of streets that make up downtown Asheville. It was early autumn and I could feel the change in the air, the cool mountain breeze energized me, and put me in a celebratory mood.

It was about this time I remember, that I felt the ground beneath me begin to shake! I could feel a rhythmic thump pulse deep inside me, vibrating my guts and rattling my bones. It sounded as if the earth had opened wide and let loose an army of combat-boot wearing soldiers stomping in step and set on destruction!

Imagine my relief when I turned a corner and realized that what I thought was an army of combat-boot wearing soldiers intent on annihilation, was in fact just a peaceful gathering of hundreds of very happy looking people dancing and beating away on various percussion instruments.

An eclectic crowd of individuals swayed to the beat, bobbing their heads and undulating their hips as if in a hypnotic trance.

There were street performers rolling crystal orbs with balanced perfection all over different parts of their bodies, something referred to as contact juggling. Mixed throughout the affable crowd were twirling hula-hoopers and hacky-sackers too.

contact juggler1

A contact juggler doing his thing

drum circle 2

The celebration kicks into full swing

A Little Taste of the Asheville Drum Circle

This peace-loving celebration called “The Asheville Drum Circle” brings together all that is great about this town I love so much. People of all nationalities and backgrounds come together to rejoice in the moment, and in the fact that we are all alive and in a beautiful place at this moment!

The event is free and takes place every Friday starting at 6 pm during the warm months of the year, and generally lasts until 10 pm.

You can find the celebration off of Patton Ave near Grove St in downtown Asheville – Just listen for it!

Bring some bongos, bells, cymbals, gongs or something to bang on so you can join in on the fun.

What are some strange or interesting celebrations that you have witnessed during your travels?

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8 Comments on Experience the Vibe at the “Asheville Drum Circle”

  1. Hi there, I read your blog. Your story-telling style is great, keepup the good work! And you can look our website http://refractory-brick.com/ about fire clay brick. Thank you very very much.

  2. Very cool event! Music is such a uniting tool between people. I’ve been to a couple Indian Drum Circles, which is what I assumed until I read this. The video is awesome. I will have to remember this for when I visit North Carolina! Thanks for sharing.
    Nancie Lee recently posted…Do You Love An Iced Coffee or a Macchiatto? Discover Your Photographic TastesMy Profile

    • If you find yourself in Asheville on a Friday evening, stop by the drum circle after nightfall for a more “inspired” drum circle.

  3. Traveling Ted // August 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm // Reply

    I spent some time in Asheville when I went to school in Knoxville, but it has been a long time. I need to return and check this interesting festivity out.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Alligator Lake Recreation Area hikeMy Profile

  4. sounds different and quite unique. thanks for sharing
    Andrew recently posted…The Kindness of StrangersMy Profile

    • It was different, but very fun! I know you’ve had to see some crazy gatherings/celebrations such as this one on your travels?

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