Lunsford Festival

Saturday October 3, 2020, 10:00-7:30


The Lunsford Festival is an all-day festival celebrating regional music and dance traditions. The event is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of cofounder Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Through his work he became known as the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” The festival, which is now in its 53rd year, brings out the region’s finest musicians and dancers.  It happens on the same day as the Madison Heritage Arts Festival, so downtown will be abuzz. Everything is free of charge except for the instrument workshops. Join us in honoring the rich cultural traditions of the Southern Appalachians!

10:00-5:00: Concert on the Upper Quad
Presentation of the Lunsford Award
Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Dulcimer, Shaped Note Workshops
Open jam (Sunken Garden)
1:30-3:30: Ballad Swap (Blackwell Hall)
5:30-7:30: Community Dance (Chambers Gym)

For more information, please contact Leila Weinstein at (828) 689-1115 or

Click here for downloadable Lunsford Festival Map

The Ramsey Center is a proud site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

Thank you to our generous 2019 Festival Sponsors and Partners

Sweet Monkey Cafe and Bakery: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorThe Library Coffee House: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorBaa'd Sheep Burritos: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor





Madison County TDA: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorsWNCW 88.7: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor

Recover Brands: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor










In 2020, the Lunsford Festival will take place at the same time as Mars Hill University Homecoming and the Madison Heritage Arts Festival. Because of this, on-campus parking will be limited. We encourage you to take the free shuttles provided by the Madison Heritage Arts Festival.

Shuttles will run from and to the old Shell Station parking lot (next to Summit Church) on JF Robinson Lane (take a right-hand turn onto JF Robinson Lane if you are traveling on 213 West), where you can park your car. They will drop off/pick up in front of Pittman Dining Hall on Hwy 213 on campus. The first shuttle will leave the old Shell Station at 7:30 am and the last shuttle will leave Pittman Dining Hall at 5:30 pm.