6/10/2011 - Isbell, Marc Broussard among acts booked for Asheville's Bele Chere this summer
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times
GEARING UP FOR BELE CHERE - the largest outdoor street festival in the Southeast! The list of entertainers will get everyone's feet on the street here in the mountains - there's something for everyone to enjoy!
ASHEVILLE -- Singer Marc Broussard, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and the bands Big Gigantic, Mambo Sauce and The London Souls are among the acts announced for this summer's annual Bele Chere festival, to be held July 29-31 in downtown Asheville.
The free festival will also feature Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Jessica Lee Mayfield, The Whigs, Apache Relay, Rebirth Brass Band, Hoots & Hellmouth and Railroad Earth.
More than half the performance slots at the three-day festival feature local groups, including Floating Action, Secret B-Sides, Kovacs and the Polar Bear, RBTS Win, Sirius B, Doc Aquatic, Sonmi Suite, The Billy Sea, Sanctum Sully, Paper Tiger, the Vertigo Jazz Project, Lyric, Stereofidelics, Do it to Julia, Papadosio and Balsam Range.
The festival's opening show on Haywood Street will go the winner of the Last Band Standing Contest.
Bele Chere usually pulls about 300,000 visitors through the weekend, though an exact attendance is difficult to gauge because the event is not gated.
It is said to be the largest free street event in the Southeast. Last year's Bele Chere featured headlining sets by The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The 2009 festival featured country star Travis Tritt and reggae group The Wailers.
This year's lineup intrigued Mark Capon, co-owner of Harvest Records in West Asheville.
He said he believes that sets by Isbell and Mayfield will be festival highlights.
"It seems that like instead of looking backwards to get headliners, someone involved is trying to get artists who are relevant now," he said. "There are some killer local bands in there."