Photo courtesy of David Simchock Photography
The 40th LEAF Festival is this weekend and we are just too excited. To get even more pumped, we decided to ask some friends to share the first thing that comes to mind when asked what it is they love most about LEAF – one of the biggest and longest running music and arts festivals in our region.
They told us how they feel, so why don't you? Whether you've gone a bunch or have never been, comment below and you could win a pair of Sunday LEAF passes for May 10.
LEAF takes place in Black Mountain May 7-10.
"What I love: The focus on World, New Orleans, and folk-roots talent that comes, and the creative community that it attracts, and the beautiful setting of mountains meeting Lake Eden."
- Martin Anderson, Music Director and Host, WNCW
"LEAF is more than a festival, it's a place to: discover some of the world's best international acts; make new friends and spend time with old ones; dance; laugh; connect with nature; be free spirited; take a break from the daily grind; be happy!"
- Crissa Requate Sinkovic, President, Mason Jar Media
"Number one thing- no doubt: Poetry Slam finals. One year, I was SO entranced and lost in the poet, I didn't even notice my friend Jay Leutze standing right near me - now I love talking up Poetry Slam with Jay every time we see each other! Number two - Morning yoga. I didn't think I'd be in to the group yoga, but my highly intelligent wife urged me to come along one time, and I was lost in the moment - completely forgetting anything worrying me or stressing me, and being at peace with other peaceful souls on the lawn at LEAF. It's worth it - no doubt."
- Benjamin Colvin, Development Director, Wild South
"I go to LEAF every time for the discovery. Whether it be a band in the barn, a new culture or new friends, I always come home recharged. Plus, it's our family time to unplug and be kids together. We've had some great memories there and I expect many more to come!"
- Adrian Vassallo, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP and the Asheville Downtown Association
"That energy you feel, excitement of community, seeing old friends, and being on a magical and historic piece of land, all this when you first arrive. You aren't leaving your worries behind for a weekend, your heading somewhere that is powerful and healing."
- Micah Wheat, Asheville Music Hall
"I think what I like most about LEAF is the complete sense of community. Everyone arrives ready to relax and catch up with friends, and everything about the festival works to reinforce a sense of togetherness: the funky world music vibe; the sharing of dance, art and food; the surrounding embrace of the beautiful mountains. To attend LEAF is to step out of your singular life and experience real togetherness."
- Jason Sandford, Ashvegas
"My first trip to LEAF was when one of my boys performed with the Schools and Streets program and I haven't missed a LEAF since! LEAF is magical: family, friends, music, & fun all set in the stunning WNC mountains. I love LEAF!"
- Monica Koerschner, LEAF aficionado
"I love that LEAF brings so many incredible artists from around the world to Black Mountain. Favorites include Seun Kuti, Zap Mama, March Fourth, Red Baraat, and Rubblebucket. LEAF is also a great place to discover new music".
- Melissa Reardon, Editor-in-Chief, WNC magazine
"The People, Art, Stories, and the Water are why I go to LEAF! It all inspires me!"
- Micah Mackenzie, M2 photography
"LEAF is an amazing festival that brings together many styles of music and art, as well as lots of different types of people from all over the world. It is also a mainstay event for folks in the Ashevile-area, many of which grew up attending. Its a great eclectic mix that many people, including myself, hold dear to their hearts."
- Erin Scholze, Owner of Dreamspider Publicity
"LEAF for me is homecoming, that twice yearly time when you know you'll be with your family and your friends, even people you may only see at LEAF. We all just create this wonderful world, sharing the work and the fun! All while supporting an amazing non-profit that changes lives, locally and globally!"
- James Fisher, Asheville Citizen-Times multimedia advertising manager and LEAF Community Arts Board of Directors President