Lunsford Festival Canceled

Organizers of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Mountain Music Festival say they have canceled this year’s event because of health concerns. The decision comes as COVID-19 numbers remain high and the local healthcare infrastructure is strained. The festival was scheduled for October 2 on the Mars Hill University campus.

Festival director Leila Weinstein says organizers did not want to exacerbate the situation: “Our festival attracts people from all over the country, and welcomes many in vulnerable populations (performers and audience members), including young children and older adults. Additionally, our students help to staff the festival. We want to make sure we keep everyone safe.”

Weinstein says the university and its Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies remain committed to the celebration of arts and culture. The Ramsey Center is planning smaller outdoor events during the fall to more safely celebrate local traditions.

For more information, visit the festival website at or contact festival director Leila Weinstein at (828) 689-1115 or