Spring Festivals Within Driving Distance of Knoxville

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Road trip! Here are some of notable spring festivals in the region. For our guide to spring festivals in Knoxville and nearby, go here.

by Hannah Hunnicutt

Biltmore Blooms

Dates: Through May 26

Location: Biltmore Estate (1 Lodge St, Asheville, N.C.)

This spring festival introduces the season with a brand new exhibition called “Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Films.”

More info: biltmore.com 

4 Bridges Art Festival

Dates: April 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; April 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: First Tennessee Pavilion, Chattanooga

Celebrating its 16th year, 4 Bridges Art Festival unites artists with serious art buyers from across the world—with awards totaling $15,000.

More info: 4bridgesartsfestival.org 

SweetWater 420 Festival

Dates: April 22-April 24

Location: Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Ga.

The SweetWater 420 Festival combines music with positive awareness on sustainability. Performers include Kid Rock, Ludacris, Bastille, Awolnation, and the Roots.

More info: sweetwater420fest.com


(Merle Watson Memorial Festival)

Dates: April 28-May 1

Location: Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Created in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, this fundraiser for Wilkes Community College celebrates “traditional plus” music. 

More info: merlefest.org

Beale Street Music Festival

Dates: April 29-May 1

Location: Tom Lee Park, Memphis

Part of the Memphis in May International Festival, this music festival celebrates Beale Street’s history of blues and jazz with hefty headliners Beck, Neil Young, and Paul Simon. 

More info: memphisinmay.org

Lake Eden Arts Festival

Dates: May 12-May 15

Location: 377 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, N.C.

Over 10,000 people gather at the old Historic Black Mountain College’s site to enjoy music and the beautiful Lake Eden’s scenery.

More info: theleaf.org/the-festival   

Shaky Knees Music Fest

Dates: May 13-May 15

Location: Centennial Olympic Park and International Plaza, Atlanta, Ga.

The most popular indie-rock bands in the land, from My Morning Jacket to Jane’s Addiction to the Decemberists. Plus: Eagles of Death Metal.

More info: shakykneesfestival.com

Shakey Beats Music Festival

Dates: May 20-22

Location: Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Ga.

This beat-oriented offshoot of Shaky Knees includes headliners Major Lazer, Odesza, Big Gigantic, and lots more.

More info: shakybeatsfestival.com

Tennessee Medieval Faire

Dates: May 14-15, May 21-22, and May 28-30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Harriman, Tenn.

Now you can live the legend of King Arthur and his Knights—and meet Guinevere and Merlin, to boot.

More info: tmfaire.com or call 865-248-8414

Hangout Festival

Dates: May 20-May 22, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Location: Gulf Shores, Al.

This easygoing music festival is packed with performers, from the Weekend to Alabama Shakes to Lenny Kravitz.

More info: hangoutmusicfest.com

Atlanta Jazz Fest

Dates: May 27-May 29

Location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Ga.

One of the largest, free jazz festivals in the country.

More info: atlantafestivals.com 


Dates: June 9-12

Location: Manchester, Tenn.

This year’s lineup is eclectic as ever, from Pearl Jam to LCD Soundsystem to Judd Apatow.

More info: bonnaroo.com

Brevard Music Festival

Dates: June 24-26

Location: North Carolina

This is the 80th Anniversary Spectacular with special guest artist Amy Grant and Shostakovich 5.

More info: brevardmusic.org


Dates: July 15-17

Location: Waterfront Park, Louisville, Ky.

Alt rock heroes Alabama Shakes, Avett Brothers, Ben Harper, and plenty more.

More info: forecastlefest.com

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