The weekend will feature 43 musical acts over four stages throughout the festival, many of which call Western North Carolina home. In recent years, a dedicated push has been made by festival organizers to increase the number of local and regional bands featured at Bele Chere. This year, 38 percent of musical acts are local. That benchmark continues to reflect a 2007 public input process and direction by Asheville City Council to bring a more local flavor to Asheville’s biggest festival.
“We’ve been beating those goals every year,” said Sandra Travis, Program Supervisor for Festivals for the City of Asheville. “We focused on trying to make sure we have a great mix of local bands.”
More than 750 acts submit applications to perform at Bele Chere every year. A selection committee is made up of community members active in the local music scene and industry.
An added local touch will be the performance of this year’s winner of the “Last Band Standing, Road to Bele Chere ’10” competition made possible through a partnership between the City of Asheville and WNC Magazine. After an online poll of participating local acts, four finalists have been announced. Those bands will play at a June 23 event at The Orange Peel, and the winner from that evening will perform the festival’s first show on the afternoon of Friday, July 23. Click here to see the finalists in the “Last Band Standing, Road to Bele Chere ’10”.
The Bele Chere Festival has also been working toward a larger presence of local vendors, Travis said. During the selection process for participating artists and craftspeople, local applicants have an extra point added to their score.
All stages are free. The entertainment schedule is subject to change without notice. The Schedule is tentative until all contracting processes have been completed.
For more information on the 2010 Bele Chere Festival, go to www.belecherefestival.com.