Festivals in the summertime may seem plentiful, but one happening in a few weeks has a unique inspiration. Xpand Fest, an outdoor street festival that will take place on Saturday, June 10th, will bring the arts, music, and nonprofits together to connect local community members to create new bridges. The festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Asheville's South Slope.
This locally-focused festival will feature headliners The Broadcast and The Fritz, as well as LYRIC, the Secret B-Sides, and a host of other area musical favorites. Bhramari Brewing has also crafted a special beverage—the Xpand FestivALE—that will be served exclusively at the event. There's also a non-profit arcade, which features local non-profits that will offer crafts, games, and activities to educate festival-goers on their missions. In total, over 100 entrepreneurs and businesses are participating in this one-of-a-kind festival.
The organizers' decision to highlight local and regional businesses offers a new take on sustainability and the festival economy that is rooted in the belief that a community event should give back to the community. It's a relationship that, for Johanna Hagerty of Xpand Your Vision, will continue long after the festival ends. According to Hagerty,
The main logic behind our approach is that when you support the artful community in securing their needs they are intrinsically inspired to give back and create art that brings communities together, discusses tough issues and inspires change. We believe the astronomical challenges we are currently facing across sectors will only be solved through the power of a galvanized community, which art has historically spearheaded.
Beyond providing a family-friendly day full of music, food, and local movers and shakers sharing their perspectives, Xpand Fest will also be soliciting feedback on a community-enrichment project for the South Slope. "Since our festival is occurring in one of the most up-and-coming areas of Asheville, we not only want to highlight those businesses, we want to give back," says Hagerty. "At our information booth, we will provide opportunities for individuals to let us know what they would like to see and to sign up to stay involved as the project is identified and moves forward."
Want to get more involved? Xpand Fest is looking for volunteers for four-hour shifts throughout the day (with some sweet perks). Fill out the form here, or email Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Xpand Fest on Facebook here.