Big names head to Black Mountain to Jam in the Trees

Hayley Benton

Save the date: An all-new music festival is coming to town Aug. 26-27.

Held at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, Jam in the Trees’ inaugural festival will kick off to a stellar start in 2016, with a lineup featuring well-loved national acts including The Wood Brothers, The Del McCoury Band, Junior Brown, Willie Watson, The Burrito Brothers and Leyla McCalla — along with some local musicians-on-the-rise, like Mipso, Chatham County Line, Tellico, Mark Bumgarner and Unspoken Tradition.

Set into motion last summer, Jam in the Trees originated out of “a love of music, a love of beer, a love of the outdoors and a desire to give back,” said Laurel York, lifelong Asheville resident and president of Jam in the Trees. “Really, the idea is to create an opportunity for people to come together for music and philanthropy and enjoy it — and food and beer — in an outdoor environment.”

While the festival’s title partly refers to its setting — Pisgah Brewing’s picturesque outdoor stage, it’s not just a coincidence that nature is in its name: A portion of proceeds from the event will go to benefit Wild Forests and Fauna, a nonprofit that aims to protect, preserve and restore wild forests through community-based projects, and to the Big Tree Project, which focuses on protecting “the biggest, baddest trees in Western North Carolina and beyond,” York explained.

Though the festival itself is “truly about the music,” York said, “this is an opportunity for us to give back to the community in some way. We really felt like (this) really ties into the message of Jam in the Trees.”

The two-day festival promises local food, beer and live performances across two stages, with Saturday being the main event. Art and other merchandise vendors will be on-site, and Root Cause, a local nonprofit supporting forest-based business, will be raffling off a number of handmade forestry goods at the festival.

On Friday night, Willie Watson and Tellico will perform at the brewery’s indoor stage from 8-11 p.m., and on Saturday the fun begins at 10 a.m., with local singer-songwriter Mark Bumgarner stepping up on the indoor stage at 11 a.m. and Leyla McCalla taking the mic on the outdoor stage at 11:30 a.m. The outdoor jam ends at 11 p.m. with The Wood Brothers, but keeps on going inside, after hours, with Unspoken Truth “and special guests.”

“We’re hoping to do (Jam in the Trees) for many years to come,” York said. “Pisgah is a strong outdoor music venue with some of the same goals that we’ve set forward for our organization — that desire to give back to the community.”

The performers range in style from Americana to bluegrass, alt-country to old school folk to blues and soul — and having them all in one place is 100 percent not-to-miss entertainment.

For those coming in from out of town, those hoping to have a few pints or those in the mood to camp out, the festival has made some lodging suggestions, which will provide discounts for festivalgoers and a shuttle service to Pisgah during Jam in the Trees: Super 8, Quality Inn and Holiday Inn will offer a shuttle and discounts if the festival is mentioned, and, for campers, the Asheville East KOA and Mama Gertie’s Hideaway will provide guests with transportation to and from the festival.

Tickets cost $25 for Friday, $50 for Saturday and $60 for a weekend pass covering both days. A limited number of $100 VIP tickets are available for those who’d like to enjoy a guided brewery tour and tasting, a meet-and-greet with the artists, preferred parking, a private viewing area, private bar and a commemorative souvenir poster. For more information, tickets or to view the full lineup in order of on-stage appearance, visit facebook.com/jaminthetrees or pisgahbrewing.com.

Want to go?

Friday, Aug. 26

Indoor Stage:

8-11 p.m. Willie Watson and Tellico

Saturday, Aug. 27

Indoor Stage:

11-11:45 a.m. Mark Bumgarner

12:15-1 p.m. Patrick Sweany

1:30-2:15 p.m. The Secret Sisters

3-3:45 p.m. Jim Lauderdale

4:30-5:15 p.m. Savannah Smith

5:45-6:15 p.m. Mark Bumgarner

11 p.m.-until After Hours Jam with Unspoken Truth & guests

Outdoor Stage:

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Leyla McCalla

12:45-1:30 p.m. Unspoken Tradition

2:15-3 p.m. The Burrito Brothers

3:45-4:30 p.m. Chatham County Line

5-5:45 p.m. Mipso

6:15-7:15 p.m. Junior Brown

7:45-9 p.m. The Del McCoury Band

9:40-10:55 p.m. The Wood Brothers