The Downtown After 5 festival featuring a local band and thousands of visitors.

For 2023, Downtown After 5 will take place the 3rd Friday of the month from April through September. Events are free and open to the public!

2023 Downtown After 5 Lineup

June 16 – Victoria Victoria ft Charlie Hunter, Josh Phillips

Tori Elliott’s deep love of harmony is the driving force that shapes her soul-pop musical endeavor, Victoria Victoria. Her craft in songwriting is the seedbed for intricate vocal arrangements, creating a layered, ethereal experience; one that translates dynamically from her albums to her live shows. 2023 marked Victoria Victoria’s debut tour with Charlie Hunter on hybrid guitar, her brother, Noah Elliott on keys and vocals, her dear friend and collaborator, Maia Kamil on vocals, and renowned Memphis drummer, George Sluppik. The rhythm section makes for a sturdy foundation for transcendent vocal performances and inviting banter.

Josh Phillips and all the members of this virtuoso 9-piece band were amongst the original folks here building the local music scene into what it is today. With this particular project, you can expect to hear a wide variety of songs; from upbeat, horn heavy klezmer wailers; to heart wrenching, finger picked guitar ballads; atmospheric, dark tribal chants; and many styles in between. But the one thing you can always certainly count on in Josh Phillips music is an ability to connect sincerely with an audience through honest and relatable lyrics and infectious energy on stage.

July 21  – The Rumble ft Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr, Funk’n Around

Featuring six Grammy-nominated musicians, The Rumble is composed of Second Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. of the Golden Eagles, trumpeter Aurélien Barnes, trombonist José Maize Jr., bassist TJ Norris, guitarist Ari Teitel, keyboardist Andriu Yanovski, and drummer Trenton O’Neal. The group fuses iconic New Orleans funk in the vein of The Meters and The Neville Brothers—but updated, modern and vibrant befitting the next generation—with electrifying brass and the singular visual splendor of the Black Masking carnival tradition.

Funk’n Around is Asheville’s newest band featuring King Garfield on trombone, Lenny Pettinelli on keys, Datrian Johnson on vocals and a rotating cast of Asheville’s finest players. When Garfield Brogan, previously of the legendary Stooges Brass Band, moved to Asheville from New Orleans to take a job with LEAF Global, he immediately started searching for his new band. He found them pretty quickly and started putting together an all star lineup. Inspired by New Orleans funk, Funk’n Around is bringing a fresh sound to Asheville with an energy you can’t compete with.

August 18  – Asheville All Stars, Asheville Rock Academy

The All Stars show has quickly become a favorite of the season, featuring some of AVL’s best artists making music together. Curated by local musician and producer, Josh Blake, the All Stars offer a little something for everyone – from rock to hip hop, originals to covers.

The Asheville Rock Academy’s talented students have played some high profile gigs, including the Main stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Academy bands have also played with Cliff Williams of AC/DC, Victor Wooten and Roy Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones fame, guitar shredder Joe Stump and American Idol’s Caleb Johnson. The future of rock is in good hands with these committed teen musicians and their dedicated teachers.

September 15  – The Sensational Barnes Brothers, Alex Krug Combo

The Sensational Barnes Brothers are a melting pot of the old and the new. Family was and is a huge part of the creation of the band, the family carried on as musical collaborators for years and still play and sing together, even with their father gone. In 2015, the family released an album, Family Tree before Chris and Courtney began The Sensational Barnes Brothers as a duo. The brothers recorded their first album inspired by their shared past, fueled by harmonies that resonate with both their blood and their kindred souls. The Sensational Barnes Brothers see themselves singing, playing, and dancing for a long time to come.

Life is at its very core about exploring. We can remain stagnant and rooted in place, or we can take a page out of Alex Krug Combo’s playbook and dive headfirst. The thrill of adventure looms ahead of this band. Their Psychedelic Smoky Mountain Americana strikes a stunningly evocative chord about life, being an outsider and the kind of heartache and healing that transforms your soul.

Downtown After 5 Supports Local Nonprofits and Businesses

Each summer the Asheville Downtown Association partners with five local nonprofits to sell wristbands at the event. The ADA has given more than $225,000 to area nonprofits through this program.

Attendees will find local beers on tap including Pisgah Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Hi-Wire Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company, Catawba Brewing, French Broad Brewing, Green Man Brewery and Bold Rock Cider, as well as beers from Western North Carolina and regional and national brands. Wine, soda, water and locally crafted beverages are also available for purchase.

Please note that pets are not allowed at the event (this is a City of Asheville ordinance), and certified service dogs are the only exception.

More information on Downtown After 5 and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found at

Downtown After 5 is sponsored by Prestige Subaru, Budweiser of Asheville, Empire Distributors, Skyland Distributing Company, Go Mini’s Portable Storage, Ingles Markets, Gillespie Dental Associates, Explore Asheville (BCTDA), Crooked Tree Creative, Central United Methodist Church, Mellow Mushroom, The City of Asheville, I Heart Media, Hemingway’s Cuba, Isa’s Bistro, Cambria Suites, Bears BBQ, Asheville Color & Imaging, A Look At Asheville, and Strada Italiano. 

Prepared by Asheville Downtown Association.

Page last updated May. 30, 2023.