Beaufort Music Festival (BMF) is a community-supported, volunteer-run, non-profit organization working with and for the community to bring music and tourism to Beaufort and Carteret County.
This free festival takes place each May in Beaufort’s historic downtown, and the town is packed on Friday May 17 and Saturday May 18 with locals and tourists alike enjoying the beautiful weather and some pretty great music.
Two of the main goals of the Festival are to present a diverse music line-up and to introduce attendees to fresh musical acts. In addition, the BMF strives to be a family-inclusive event and to provide an immersive experience for all ages over two days with food trucks, a family area with children’s activities, and a beer garden highlighting North Carolina craft brews.
Some recent past performers include the Avett Brothers, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Margo Price, Richie Havens, Southern Culture on the Skids, the Banditos, the Rosebuds, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Tift Merritt, Mandolin Orange, American Aquarium, Donna the Buffalo, Yarn, River Whyless, AJ Ghent Band, Chatham County Line, Old Man Markley, Bombadil, Justin Townes Earle, Wrinkle Neck Mules, and many, many more.
Each year, the Festival gives a portion of the festival’s proceeds to a deserving local charity, school, or individual in need. The BMF is funded by sponsorships from local businesses, donations, partnerships with other local organizations, and beer and wine sales during the Festival, all of which allow it to remain a free event.
You won’t want to miss the most amazing music festival and the best weekend in Beaufort!
2019 Beaufort Music Festival Lineup
Friday Evening, May 17th at Gallant’s Channel in Beaufort
Friday Evening Performances:
5 pm – 5:45 pm :: Chatham Rabbits
6 pm – 6:45 pm :: Driskill
7 pm – 8 pm :: The Tan & Sober Gentlemen
8:15 pm – 9:15 pm :: Stop Light Observations
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm :: No BS! Brass
5/17 :: 5-5:45pm
It’s been about music from the get go. Austin and I crossed paths in 2013 when he spotted me onstage at the Cat’s Cradle while opening for Mandolin Orange. He didn’t know much about old-time music and I didn’t know much about him, but we figured it out. Music is the reason we met. It’s our past time and our gift we give to others. Together we’ve played smokey bars, summer festivals, busked on the streets of Nashville ‘til our voices wore out, put a tune to the love at our best friends’ wedding, and led churches in old-time hymns way past it was time for Sunday lunch.
This past summer, we decided to leave our corporate careers to take Chatham Rabbits full-time. We knew we would regret it if we never gave our music a shot. We tour full-time in our van with our hound dog Ruby and we’re so thankful for the life we’re living. It’s not always easy, but so far it’s been worth it.
5/17 :: 6-6:45pm
In the age of americana, former folk musicians are bartering acoustic guitars for amplifiers. In the midst of the crowd, you will find DRISKILL with a banjo, guitar, and set of drums. The americana powerhouse, based out of Wilmington, NC, slowed their touring spurts in 2017 when they spent most of the year writing and recording their latest work, “Love, Dreams, & Foolish Things.” The double-EP sets it’s focus inward – questioning the things that drive and motivate us as people who chase love, dreams, and foolish things. The new album was released on February 23, 2019 with much critical acclaim. Their new sound has been described as a blending of the Avett Brothers’ non traditional banjo with Dawes’ smooth rock harmonies.
DRISKILL has shared the stage with artists such as Rayland Baxter, Christopher Paul Stelling, & Tyler Ramsey from Band of Horses. They have also been featured on WECT TV6, Country Fried Rock, 98.3 The Penguin, and Noisetrade.
5/17 :: 7-8pm
Born and raised in the North Carolina backcountry, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen began taking in the songs, stories, and tunes that make up their beloved state’s heritage before they could talk. Despite having played music together in some form or another for most of their lives, the current lineup was formed in the summer of 2016.
They aim to explore the Celtic roots of North Carolinian music, and to play it with a fire and intensity they feel is lacking in much of today’s folk music. The result is an avalanche of Scotch-Irish hillbilly insanity they dub “Celtic punk-grass.” As far as folk music goes, they’re about the best drinking and dancing band you’ll find.
5/17 :: 8:15-9:15pm
John Keith Culbreth (aka Cubby) was 16 years old—no longer the religious child he had been back in his childhood days spent in Anderson, SC—but was, unknowingly, poised for a divine intervention of life-altering proportions. While peacefully sleeping after a classmate’s musical performance, an entity presented itself to Cubby—the entity presented itself as God. “It was the most vivid dream I had ever had,” says Cubby. “It felt so bizarre.” “God” spoke to Cubby. It told him to contact his classmate, Will Blackburn, and come together to create music. Cubby obliged, Blackburn agreed, and the band proceeded to practice for over a year, never playing a show.
Stop Light Observations’ inaugural performance took place on Sullivan’s Island. Among the crowd was Cubby’s childhood pastor—a man with whom he had once had a close relationship. As it turns out, Cubby’s former pastor was Will Blackburn’s grandfather. Divinity had served up fate. Cubby and Blackburn had been childhood friends, but never knew it. SLO was born, and the sky was the limit.
But things didn’t truly take off until a few years later when SLO released their acclaimed 2013 debut, Radiation. Metronome hailed the record’s “emotive and elegant” songs, which landed perfectly in the sweet spot between arena and indie rock. The band went from relative unknowns to playing Bonnaroo and selling out Charleston’s largest club, The Music Farm, in just a year.
Stop Light Observations may be blazing their own trails, but they want everyone to join them on their journey—fans, friends and family, past and present. “The Volume releases will ultimately be defined as a series—a voice for the voiceless. A podium for those who have yearned for the opportunity to share their own stories of struggle, passion, and love,” vocalist Will Blackburn explains.
5/17 :: 9:30-11pm
Based in Richmond, Virginia, No BS! Brass Band has quickly earned a reputation as a premiere band to see for heart-pounding energy and uncontrollable dancing. They take their music into uncharted territory, embracing the spirit of New Orleans into its original East Coast modern funk and fearlessly combining elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin into their fiercely original sound.
Founders Reggie Pace and Lance Koehler have cast this 11-piece band in which nearly every member has had conservatory training, holding various degrees in music. In putting together the compositions and arrangements, the “b.s.” has been stripped to give the audience something solid, unique, organic, real, and powerful. They have the look of New Orleans with the raw sound all their own — music is a true definition of the “Richmond sound.”
Saturday, May 18th at Gallant’s Channel in Beaufort
12 pm – 12:45 pm :: Qualian
1 pm – 1:45 pm :: Strung Together
2 pm – 2:45 pm :: Hot Buttered Grits
3 pm – 3:45 pm :: Durty Dub’s Tribute to Charley Pride
4 pm – 4:45 pm :: Pie Face Girls
5 pm – 6 pm :: The Artisanals
6:15 pm – 7 pm :: Kamara Thomas
7:15 pm – 8:15 pm :: Aaron Lee Tasjan
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm :: Lilly Hiatt
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm :: Hiss Golden Messenger
5/18 :: 12-12:45pm
Formed in the first months of 2014, Qualian is a five-piece, indie/alternative band comprised of students from Raleigh, North Carolina. The five friends have played together since childhood and have managed to release two EP’s in the process. Qualian continues to play shows locally and across the state of North Carolina. (third EP coming soon) #JoinTheExperience
5/18 :: 1-1:45pm
Strung Together is a family band, born on the Olivers’ front porch in downtown New Bern, NC. With soaring harmonies and a stringband sound, Strung Together plays songs that they love, adapted to their own style. Playing their own unique blend of folk, Americana, old-time and bluegrass, Strung Together has enjoyed performing for audiences in North Carolina and South Carolina, making music and memories together as a family.
5/18 :: 2-2:45pm
Hot Buttered Grits is an improvisational acoustic/electric band from New Bern,North Carolina. Since 2005 The Grits have been serving up their original blend hot & fresh in clubs, at deck parties, festivals and backyards. Over the course of 14 years, they’ve developed a dedicated fan base and the reputation as one of the hottest live shows in Eastern North Carolina. Their EP “Play Something Somebody Knows” was released in 2015. Produced by Aaron Lee Tasjan, and recorded in Oriental NC, the EP sold out its first two pressings, and continues to receive airplay on regional radio. If there’s a line out the door, and a party going on inside on a Saturday night, there’s a very good chance that Hot Buttered Grits are there, working a crowd into a frenzy.
5/18 :: 3-3:45pm
Part live improv experiment, part DJ, Durty Dub delivers “turnt-up” dance party grooves from America and the African Diaspora, combined with haunting ballads and old-school, distorted guitar abandon. With a repertoire that includes, Katy Perry, John Lennon, Snoop, WAR, Nirvana, and some original tunes, this band can go in myriad directions – sometimes at once, and often with a sardonic sense of humor. One may not know just what to expect when they hit the stage, but one thing’s for sure: It’s always party time when Durty Dub is on the guitar!
5/18 :: 4-4:45pm
Reared in the basements and houses of the Raleigh punk scene, Pie Face Girls are a self-taught, self-actualized trio who make a habit of disrupting convention. Some of their most noteworthy achievements have been playing the Moogfest main stage with Talib Kweli, opening for the Descendents on their 2018 reunion tour, and playing the 2017 Women’s March in Raleigh, NC.
5/18 :: 5-6pm
The Artisanals are a Charleston, SC based band that coalesced in late 2016. Fronted by the Charleston City Paper’s 2015 Singer-Songwriter of the Year, Johnny Delaware (formerly of SUSTO) and an all-star cast of local musicians, the Americana rock outfit has already shared the stage with global powerhouse Band of Horses on several U.S. dates. Having also played with Americana mainstays Nikki Lane, J. Roddy Walston, Daniel Romano, and Dylan LeBlanc, the band is set to break out in 2018 and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Paste Magazine, Daytrotter, PopMatters, & more.
Produced by The Artisanals with Wolfgang Zimmerman, the forthcoming LP Literally, Anywhere is the first ever record to come out of the Magic Barn–a studio-converted barn in Iowa that was built around the Neve console and gear from New York City’s now-defunct Magic Shop Studio. Open from 1988 until March of 2016, the Magic Shop was a sought-after studio beloved by countless legends like Lou Reed and Blondie, for its vintage gear. Arcade Fire tracked The Suburbs there, and David Bowie recorded his last two albums, including Blackstar, at the Soho spot.
With sonic influences ranging from the dream-pop work of George Harrison (“Angel 42”) to the stone-cold radio hits of bands like the Killers (“Roll With It”), the nine-track LP showcases Delaware and Houle’s knack for writing hooks as well as their ear for quality production. The album utilizes everything from a gong, organ, piano, sitar, French horn, trombone, and koto, to a string section sourced from the nearby University of Iowa. There’s no filler here; from start to finish, this record is a straight banger.
5/18 :: 6:15-7pm
Kamara Thomas is a songwriter, storyteller, and mythology fanatic based in Durham, NC. She is currently at work producing her debut solo album TULAROSA: AN AMERICAN DREAMTIME. Kamara has been a resident at Yaddo, and in 2015 performed the “Tularosa” song-cycle as a featured artist for Lincoln Center Education. She made her directorial debut in 2016 with the short film “Oh Gallows”, a conceptual preview of the Tularosa album and upcoming theatre work.
5/18 :: 7:15-8:15pm
Aaron Lee Tasjan is not your typical rock everyman. But then, in 2018, who is?
Tasjan, who’s from Ohio and spent his early 20s as part of Brooklyn’s dirty glam revival – which makes him Lady Gaga’s kissing cousin – is a lifelong student of cool rock moves, and could fit the every-rocker part if he weren’t such an oddball; or, maybe, being an oddball is what makes him so relatable. His two previous solo albums have been hazy meditations on the Bohemian lifestyle, shot through with humor and morning-after existentialism. Those qualities still surface on Karma for Cheap, but Tasjan displays a new vigor you could call a sense of mission, forming a connection with classic rock that’s both more personal and more expansive than what he’s achieved before.- Ann Powers, NPR Music
5/18 :: 8:30-9:30pm
Lilly Hiatt returned with Trinity Lane on August 25th, 2017. The 12-song set was produced by Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope and engineered by Andy Dixon at Trent’s Studio Bees in Johns Island, SC. It is the follow up to her acclaimed sophomore album Royal Blue, which Paste Magazine described as “a glorious tumble of influences – surf rock, Smiths vibes, Laurel Canyon twang and jangle, Sonic Youth flatline, Britpop flourishes, Seattle grunge and Joy Division meets Human League synthery.” In addition to her backing band, Trent is featured as a musician throughout, and is joined by his wife and Shovels & Rope partner Cary Ann Hearst for backing vocals on “Everything I Had.” Lilly’s love of the ‘90s alt-rock she was raised on continues to shine through on Trinity Lane in the distressed guitars and urgent backbeats. She cites the Pixies, Breeders, Dinosaur Jr., and her favorite, Pearl Jam as influences, but there is also something distinctly Americana lurking in the songs. Rolling Stone Country premiered the Michael Carter-directed video for the album’s title track HERE, stating, “The daughter of John Hiatt, she keeps the family tradition alive, mixing Southern influences – Americana, folk and left-of-center country – with a raw approach that’s better suited to the garage than the saloon. The album’s title track is no exception…the song finds Hiatt making peace with her old demons, while guitars crash and pianos chime in the background.” They continued, “‘Trinity Lane’ is an empowerment anthem stocked with details from Hiatt’s everyday life, from the name of her street to the smell of her neighbor’s cooking.”
After moving out of an ex’s house, Hiatt settled into a new apartment off of Trinity Lane in her East Nashville neighborhood and went on tour with friend John Moreland to the West Coast and back. The intensely personal, autobiographical album was written largely upon her return, in isolation, facing the issues she escaped while on the road. Every time she wanted a man, she picked up her guitar. Every time she wanted a drink, she picked up her guitar. Hiatt says, “Love will take you to the darkest places but also the most honest places if you let it. Learning how to love myself is something I’ve always been lousy with, and I spent some time on that. I thought about my sobriety, what that means to me, the struggles I’d had throughout the years, since I was a 27-year-old and hung up my toxic drinking habit. I thought about my mother, who took her own life when I was a baby, not far from my age at 30 years old, and I related to her more than ever. As you can see, there was plenty of time spent on my own. I didn’t talk to that many folks, albeit a few close friends, and leaned into my family. I stayed away from men, and danced alone in the evenings, looking out my window observing my humble and lively neighborhood. I found power in being by myself. I found peace in the people I was surrounded with – we didn’t really know one another, but we smiled when passed on the street. One time I almost rear-ended an older woman in her car backing out of my driveway and I said, ‘Oh man, I’m just not used to any cars coming around this bend. She replied, ‘This is our little hideout, baby,’ And it really was.” She continues, “After a while, I had all these songs to play, and wanted to share them. I wanted to get out of town to get some distance from everything, so after an ongoing conversation with Michael Trent, I took my band to Johns Island, SC and we holed up for a few weeks. I poured my heart out, and trusted them with it, and these guys gave it right back. I think we all understood what it’s like to question home, intention, demons, love…I think most people understand that.”
5/18 :: 9:30-11pm
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, out September 22 worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Tift Merritt, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.
I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own device. Hallelujah anyhow.
Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow.
I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.
Whatcha gonna do when the wall comes down? When the wall comes down? What you ought to do is let it lie—let it lie And in the gathering darkness vow to never go back It was built by man and you can tear it down Tear it down, tear it down Step back, Jack, from the darkness
I’ve seen darker things than night. Hallelujah anyhow.
- NO tailgating in parking lot.
- NO dogs allowed.
- NO outside alcohol (ABC rule).
- Low chairs ARE allowed, though not directly in front of the stage.
- Bikes ARE allowed (and encouraged!) – Bring your own lock.
- Sunscreen and rain gear are a good idea. It’s Eastern North Carolina, you never know.
|The Beaufort Music Festival
Downtown Beaufort NCVisit Beaufort Music Festival website