Beaufort Music Festival

Beaufort Music Festival (BMF) is a community-supported, volunteer run, non-profit organization working with and for the community to bring music and tourism to Beaufort and Carteret County. The festival usually takes place on the 2nd weekend in May. The town is packed on Friday and Saturday with amazing bands, food trucks and a fun-filled kid area. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the beautiful weather and some pretty great music.

As laid back as the festival weekend is, it actually takes a whole year to plan. The volunteer-run festival committee works non-stop to get the final weekend ready to go. Donations, local business sponsorship and ticket and beer sales help ensure that the festival go on each year. In addition, some of the proceeds go to local elementary school music programs. The music festival serves to bring people together in a unique way and promote local food, activities and a community feeling.As much as we are into our community, we are equally into its music. We live it. We breathe it. So keep your calendar open during the 2nd weekend of May each year. You don’t want to miss the most amazing music festival and the best weekend in Beaufort!

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Festival Information

General Information

  • Friday, May 20th in Downtown Beaufort, NC
  • Saturday, May 21st in Downtown Beaufort, NC

Ticket Information

The Friday, May 20th, and  Saturday, May 21st, event is FREE for all!

  • NO tailgating in parking lot.
  • NO dogs allowed.
  • NO outside alcohol (ABC rule).
  • Low chairs ARE allowed, though not directly in front of the stage.
  • Bikes ARE allowed (and encouraged!) – Bring your own lock.
  • Sunscreen and rain gear are a good idea. It’s Eastern North Carolina, you never know.

About the Beaufort Music Festival

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Beaufort Music Festival (BMF) is a volunteer-run organization working with and in the community to bring tourism and music to Beaufort and to the Crystal Coast.

The festival takes place on the 2nd weekend in May on Beaufort’s historical downtown waterfront. The town is packed on Friday and Saturday with amazing bands performing for free, food trucks and a fun-filled kid area.

Locals and tourists alike enjoy the beautiful weather and some pretty great music. As laid back as the festival weekend is, it actually takes a whole year to plan.

The volunteer-run festival committee works non-stop to get the final weekend ready to go. Fundraising events are organized throughout the year; these events serve to bring people together in a unique way and promote local art, activities and a community feeling.

The money raised from the events goes toward funding the May festival, but also goes back into the community, specifically the community’s children.

At the conclusion of most music festivals, the committee is able to give a large donation to the BMF College Scholarship, which goes to a local graduating high school senior. Each year, we hope to offer more to the scholarship; we are committed to our cause and as the economy rebounds, we are driven to see the numbers increase.

As much as we are into our community, we are equally into its music. We live it. We breathe it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a non-profit organization?

Yes, we are a not-for-profit organization; no one involved with the Music Festival will make a dime from this event. All of the money we make from the Festival (from fundraising events; sponsors; donations; and ticket, merchandise, and alcohol sales) is used to produce the Festival, either to pay for this year or to be put towards the next years event. In addition, as mentioned, we will be donating a significant portion of any profits over our total operating costs to the music programs of the Tiller School and Beaufort Elementary School. The BMF is proud to support Music in Schools!

Is this a family-friendly event?

Kids of all ages are encouraged to come out and celebrate this wonderful weekend. Kids are also encouraged to bring their parents to the family fun area! Thanks to the good folks at Oceanside Pediatrics for sponsoring the family area and to the teachers and volunteers of Beaufort Elementary and the Tiller School for their hard work!

This sounds great! How can I be a part of it?

The Beaufort Music Festival is a community-supported event; many of our past volunteers have said that the time they spend volunteering at the festival is the best part of their festival experience. If you are interested in volunteering on Saturday May 10, please go to our page on SignUp Genius.
This is a simple, convenient site which is free to use. You’ll need to provide your contact info, but this is ONLY for use by the BMF volunteer coordinator and will NOT be disseminated.

Volunteers who sign up for one 90-minute shift will receive a FREE ticket to the festival. Volunteers who sign up for two shifts will receive a ticket and a Klean Kanteen steel pint; these are much sought-after and are perfect for holding your favorite cold beverage. If you want to volunteer for more than two shifts, talk to any committee member about joining the BMF organizing committee!

Is alcohol allowed?

You can support the festival for years to come by drinking in our “Beer Garden”; while coolers with food, water and soft drinks are allowed into the festival grounds, as per ABC rules, no outside alcohol is allowed.

How is this Festival supported?

The festival is supported through fundraising events held year-round, donations, merchandise and sponsorships. If you would like to donate, go here. If you or your business are interested in current or future sponsorship opportunities, please contact john@beaufortmusicfestival.com

How many years has the festival existed?

2015 will mark the 27th annual Beaufort Music Festival.

How many days does the festival last?

The Beaufort Music Festival is a two day event taking place this year on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st.

2016 Beaufort Music Festival Lineup

Friday Evening, May 20th, Downtown Beaufort, NC

All events to take place on Beaufort Historic Site grounds

Friday Evening Vendors:

Friday Evening Performances:

4:30 pm – 5:40 pm :: Kudubai
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm :: Rebekah Todd & the Odyssey
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm :: The Midatlantic
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm :: AJ Ghent Band

22016-BMF-BandsResize-Kudubai.jpgKudubai

Kudubai plays their original tunes, as well as nerdified covers of contemporary and classic rock. They blend the sounds made by voices, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, trumpet, sax, clarinet, recorder, and a variety of percussion and drums.

Kudubai was formed in the spring of 2010, when a heard of wild wildebai stampeded through eastern North Carolina. Four of the wildebai, confused or clever (eyewitness accounts are ambiguous), zigged left when they should have zagged right, and they were separated from the herd. After drifting the town for a very longtime, at least fifteen minutes, the four encountered an orphic kudu stag. Without warning and in a blaze of light, the kudu bypassed all known evolutionary and hybridization processes, and fused with the four wildebai, thus forming a novel beast never before part of any menagerie – a kudubai.

This legend has been passed down now for generations, which is puzzling since the fusion occurred only recently. A forecast of the future? Perhaps. A recycling wheel of time? Maybe. Or, it could be that the word “kudubai” takes on the meaning that each of us gives it. Kind of like art. Kind of like life.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-RebekahToddTheOdyssey.jpgRebekah Todd and The Odyssey

Rebekah Todd is a folk/blues artist from the small town of Benson, NC and has been singing since she learned to walk. After pursuing her art degree at East Carolina University, she toured hundreds of shows around the states as a solo artist. She currently works as Rebekah Todd & the Odyssey which consists of a 5 piece including: William Seymour – Bass, Daniel Fields – Electric Guitar, Joe Macphail – Keys, and Dru Cannady – Drums

In 2014, Rebekah released her first full length album, “Roots Bury Deep” and played over 130 shows up and down the east coast of the U.S. She recently moved to Wilmington where she has been focusing on writing, painting and conjuring up new lyrics for her next album to be released in late 2016. Rebekah’s influences range from Lauryn Hill to Susan Tedeschi allowing her to create smooth melodies dipped in a raspy energy that tends to swallow the crowd whole.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-The-Midatlantic.jpgThe Midatlantic

The Midatlantic is a crew of eclectic musicians hailing from the Cape Fear coast of North Carolina. Setting sail with a crew of five, The Midatlantic is an exciting and refreshing brand of folk rock that excites audiences, leaving them wanting more. With a unique blend of progressive folk, americana, and bluegrass, and a hint of rock and jazz The Midatlantic produces their unique brand of modern folk rock. Don’t be fooled by the montage of acoustic instruments. They always deliver a wide range of dynamics, energy, and melodic harmonies through songs that are sincere to love, emotions, and life experiences. The Midatlantic takes great pride in their professional image and providing tasteful performances suitable for all age groups.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-AJGhentBand.jpgAJ Ghent Band

AJ Ghent is carrying the instrument, and the soul, of those who came before him –but in a most modern way. It’s true that the lap steel guitar has been the electrified ghost of Mississippi’s Delta Blues, and the inspiration for the fiery ‘sacred steel’ tradition of Florida’s Pentecostal worship services, for over a century, but when that lap steel is turned on its side and strapped on like a futuristic-looking guitar-shaped rocket ship, the instrument takes on a whole new dimension.

AJ Ghent Band has one album under their belt, but thousands of touring miles from the land, sea and the air. AJ’s debut release, Live At Terminal West (Blue Corn Music), is a CD/DVD package released April 2015, which included a 6-piece unit.

Since the album, bandleader, AJ Ghent has transitioned back to the simplicity of the blues. He now tours as a 4-piece with him on slide guitar and vocals, his wife MarLa Ghent on bass synth, percussion and vocals, his sister Tiffany Ghent on percussion and vocals, and Javares “JD” Dunn on drums.

AJ Ghent Band constructs an indie rock sound howling from the church to the blues. Their style can be defined as fresh, yet reminiscent on music of times past, electrifying, and rootsy. The band promotes originality by incorporating a 3rd generation slide guitar sound stemming from the 1920’s, with vocal performances that tell stories with every note and harmony, influenced by the sounds the 30’s to present day.

The energy and passion that resonates from the stage is sure to be felt in the crowd. The frequencies of the guitar, vocals, and percussion combined with the rhythm of the drums promote an unforgettable experience that carries you into a musical paradise. Lyrically, stylistically, and musically, AJ Ghent Band works to stick the root of it all – from the depths of the dirt when songs of hardship were sung to help you overcome.

Saturday, May 21th, Downtown Beaufort, NC

ALL EVENTS TO TAKE PLACE ON BEAUFORT HISTORIC SITE GROUNDS AND MIDDLE LANE

Saturday Vendors:

  • Food for sale (on Middle Lane): Clawson’s/Aqua; Beaufort Grocery; Cru Wine Bar; Taqueria El Azteca – Taco Truck
  • Kid and Family Area – Beaufort Historic Site, 2-5 pm
  • FREE water – bring your own cup!
  • Ann-Marie Yoga – yoga classes and clinics, 2-5 pm
  • TWO Beer Gardens – one near each stage: Provided by R.A. Jeffreys – offering wine and beer for purchase (featuring Natty Greene’s and other NC beers)

Saturday Main Stage Performances:

11:00 am – 12:00 pm :: Beaufort Blues Project
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm ::  Brett Harris
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm :: Matt Phillips & the Philharmonic
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm :: The Low Counts
5:00 pm – 6:15 pm :: Mariachi Flor de Toloache
6:45 pm – 8:00 pm :: Smooth Hound Smith
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm :: Banditos

Saturday NC Spotlight Stage Performances:

11:45 am – 12:30 pm :: Qualian (Raleigh, NC)
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm :: Hank Barbee (Jacksonville, NC)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm :: The David Dixon Trio (Wilmington, NC)
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm :: *the paper stars*(Wilmington, NC)
5:30 pm – 6:45 pm :: The Tan & Sober Gentlemen (Chapel Hill, NC)
7:15 pm – 8:40 pm :: L Shape Lot (Wilmington, NC)

2016-BMF-BandsResize-BeaufortBluesProject.jpgBeaufort Blues Project

The Beaufort Blues Project is a Blues Band out of Beaufort, NC it has a core group of members, and a pool of talented musicans to call on.

Formed in 2012, the Beaufort Blues Project puts a fresh spin on Blues inspired songs from the classic masters such as BB King, Grateful Dead, Jeff Beck, to the more modern artists, like Imelda May and Grace Potter.

Throw a handful of original songs into the mix and you’ll soon be wondering what we’ll play next.

Brett Harris

Brett Harris is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Durham, NC. In 2010 his debut LP Man of Few Words was featured by Paste Magazine’s “Best of What’s Next”, NPR’s “All Songs Considered: Second Stage”, and made several “Best of” lists, drawing comparisons to the work of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, and Emitt Rhodes. Additionally, Brett has participated as a core band member in live performances of Big Star’s Third, playing throughout the US in addition to the UK, Spain, and Australia. He has also served as a touring member of Jangle Pop progenitors The dB’s. Brett has recently completed work on a number of projects, including 2015’s critically revered Mr. Sunshine EP and a new album due out in 2016.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-TheLowCounts.jpgThe Low Counts

In the music world of pretenders and throw backs, including glossy whiny Rock bands who wear jeggings (denim tights for men), Americana – music by groups who look like they belong in the 1700’s, cliche white Blues acts consisting of lawyers and bankers who play “the real Blues”, yet another lame Rockabilly band (who sounds just like the other lame Rockabilly band) and retro and “roots music” repeats who also enjoy playing ’50’s dress up and glorified cover music all the while calling it original or Rock – comes a band who champions the notion that new, real music can still be created and rock with dignity and soul. Do you ever wonder, “what ever happened to original bands with no gimmicks, who came only to make great music and to rock as hard as possible”? Look no further. The Low Counts have no desire to fool you, be clowns, traditionalists or to replicate old music, only to make new music without forgetting their roots or the best parts of those roots (rural blues, rock, rockabilly, psychedelia and soul). But the mere fact that the band made up of Matt Walsh and Austin Hicks, are a guitar-drum duo happened pretty unexpectedly…

The Low Counts conception came as a fluke rather than an idea – Matt Walsh began writing and working on new material that furthered the originality of his music with the goal to combine all of his influences into a single rather than a separate sound.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-MariachiFlordeToloache.jpgMariachi Flor de Toloache

Mariachi Flor de Toloache is the first and only established all female mariachi band founded in New York city in 2008 by Mireya I. Ramos. Originally a trio, the band has grown to 13 members with all the essential and traditional instruments, violins, trumpets, guitarron (bass), vihuela (5 string guitar) and guitar. In addition, each members’ cultural background adds even more diversity to their already unique sound and appearance as an all women band spanning the globe from Puerto Rico, to Mexico, Germany, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and the United States.

Their goal of representing Mexican music and adding their own edgy and versatile sound comes together incredibly naturally and seamlessly. Although as individuals their talent has allowed them to grace stages world wide from stadiums to acclaimed theater venues, they perform together like a band of sisters, with grace and vibrant beauty casting a spell over their audiences like the legendary and magical Toloache flower that is still being used in Mexico as a love potion. Mariachi Flor de Toloache has performed for the Mexican Consulate, Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, high profile private events, the annual St Cecilia mariachi festival, annual Guadalupe festivities in dozens of churches, and recently a 5 week tour in Spain summer ’11 and continues to perform in many more exciting and perserving the richness of the Mexican culture.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-SmoothHoundSmith.jpgSmooth Hound Smith

Smooth Hound Smith is a foot stompin’ American roots duo comprised of “one-man-band” Zack Smith (guitars/vocals/foot drums/harmonicas/banjo) and Caitlin Doyle (vocals/percussion). Established in 2012, and currently based in East Nashville, TN, they record and perform a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues. Using primal foot percussion, complex, fuzzed-out, finger-picked guitar patterns, warbled harmonicas, tasty harmonies and A LOT of tambourine, they are able to create something rugged and visceral- a modern interpretation of early blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll music that harkens back to the traditions of hazy front porch folk songs as well as raucous back-alley juke joints.

Banditos

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Banditos is a group – more like a gang, actually – of six 20 somethings, nowadays operating out of Nashville, close to, and simultaneously very far away from, the gleaming towers and industry hustle of Lower Broad and Music Row.

With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos’s self-titled debut album bodaciously appropriates elements of ’60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, garage punk scuzz a la Burger Records, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCR, Slim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherf**king Satellites. From backwoods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos recall many, but sound like no one but themselves.

Qualian

Formed in the first months of 2014, Qualian is a five-piece indie/alternative band comprised of high school students from Raleigh, North Carolina. The five friends have been playing together for nearly two years and have managed to release two EP’s in the process. Qualian continues to play shows locally and across the state of North Carolina. Their third EP is planned for release this Winter. #JoinTheExperience

Hank Barbee

Guitar player, balladeer, and self-reflective life-mender all rolled up in a lanky package of boyish charm, meet Hank Barbee. The once-upon-a-time hard living multi-instrumentalist sideman has come back to his roots. With a desire to live sober and with something to say, Hank is currently performing and creating his finest soundscape yet.

His personal brand of guitar playing melds influences from rock-n-roll, surf, thumbstyle, fingerstyle, rockabilly, lap steel, slide, and blues. His story speaks from experience and is musically crafted with the skill and style of a veteran songsmith.

Anyone with a fondness for great songs and interesting guitar playing shall deem themselves lucky to have come across this unique artist.

The David Dixon Trio

David Dixon is a guitarist/singer-songwriter out of Wilmington, NC. He studied guitar performance and songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and at East Carolina University. His rock band, “The David Dixon Trio” is a member of “Home Grown Music Network” and is currently touring the Southeast. Dixon regularly performs solo acoustic in addition to the DDTrio shows. He recently released a self-titled album that was Mastered by multi-Grammy award-winner, Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Ray Lamontagne) in Los Angeles. Dixon performed with the well-known beach music band, “The Embers” from 2008-2011.

2016-BMF-BandsResize-ThePaperStars.jpg*the paper stars*

The Paper Stars embody an image of the opening of the eyes and the taking-in of light. Illustrated otherwise, they are a catalog of human emotion punctuated by visions of a man taking responsibility for what is his.

Altman’s songs are vast – in sonic dimension and lyrical aptitude. Without a doubt, Altman has a grasp on that mysterious place where the words and music intersect. At once earnest in that ultra-human pursuit of making things right – and making an attempt at anything honest, The Paper Stars is a collection of sounds and stories; perfunctory calls to everything elevated. Both transcendent and secular. Altman’s lyrics wind through western canyons of love lost and every dawn of solace washed in bright lights

Tan and Sober Gentleman

Rebellious, raucous, energetic, and riddled with fiddle, banjo, guitar, and big ol’ harmonies, nothing will blow up your kilt like a run-in with the Tan and Sober Gentlemen. Hailing from central North Carolina, this acoustic six-piece serves up Celtic and American roots music with a punk edge and infectious enthusiasm.

Known not only for top-notch musicianship, the boys have also been known to deliver bold banter, and pleasing on-stage shenanigans ranging from the new “planking on a standup bass” to the old classic “falling into a whiskey barrel mid fiddle solo.

L Shape Lot

Mixing a healthy amount of musical chops, honest, and creative songwriting, powerful stage presence and well sung four-part harmonies, L Shape Lot creates an original and dynamic Americana sound based in country, rock, bluegrass, and roots/folk music. Their lively sound explores new ground, while still paying homage to their predecessors. L Shape Lot is from Wilmington, NC and consists of four members: Eric Miller (Acoustic guitar, vocals), Alex Lanier (electric, acoustic guitar, vocals) Rick Williams ( 6 string electric bass, upright bass, vocals) and John Kovalski (drums, vocals).

So what can you expect at a live L Shape Lot performance? Expect to hear music ranging from solid originals to classic country, to traditional bluegrass, to unique blends of all genres. Expect to dance even if you aren’t good at it. Expect knowledge of and respect for multiple musical genres and a passion for weaving them together. Expect to see four gentlemen with the utmost dedication to professionalism and showmanship having the time of their lives and doing their best to make sure that their audience does the same.

Locations

Friday Evening & Saturday, May 20th & 21st, Downtown Beaufort, NC

Free Music brought to you by the Beaufort Historic Site and Beaufort Music Festival

Contact

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