Tourists and locals beating on the drums in downtown Asheville.

Visiting Asheville soon and looking for a fun way to fill your Friday night? The Asheville Drum Circle is a tradition unique to the area. While locals usually begin the beating of drums, tourists are welcome to join, dance, or simply take in the incredible atmosphere at any point.

If you’re looking for things to do in the area during your stay, this is a must! Here’s everything you should know about the Drum Circle.

What is it?

The Asheville Drum Circle is a free event that’s open to all.

During the warmer season it’s held on Friday nights in Pritchard Park, which is surrounded by tasty Asheville restaurants, unique galleries and museums, and plentiful shopping opportunities. Everyone is welcome to dance, drum, and celebrate with one another. It starts around 6:00 pm and ends at 9:45 pm. That said, if you’d like to join at any point, there are no policies on when you can join the fun; Feel free to go over to the event whenever it works with your schedule!

What should you know?

The Asheville Drum Circle started in 2001 with ten drummers and has since grown into a community-wide event. These Fridays are filled with the free-flowing beats on a variety of types of drums: congas, dunduns, shekeres, and djembes. Other percussion instruments like bells, tambourines, and triangles, also join the beat.

This event is one of the city’s best for demonstrating its cultural diversity. The drum circle has no leader or rules, which means everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or any other social identifier, is more than welcome to join in and feel the beat that night in this community.

Can’t play drums? No problem! Bring a hula hoop or dance instead! There are plenty of ways to participate without actually holding a drum in your hand. Although, if you’d like to play a drum in the drum circle, it might be a good idea to at least have an idea of how to play on beat. While there are no “rules,” there’s an unspoken one that everyone should at least generally stay on the same beat as those around them. With this being such a dedicated event each week, various locations in Asheville have started offering weekly drum classes for individuals who would like to participant.

Keeping Asheville Weird

If you want to see what helps to “keep Asheville weird,” then you’re on the right track with the Asheville Drum Circle. This local tradition is a lively, cultural event that showcases some of the best that Asheville has to offer.