Every Friday night (except during the winter months), dozens of drummers congregate on the steps of Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville for an impromptu public jam session.
A free-flow rhythm of congas, dunduns, shekeres, djembes, and other percussion instruments fills the air for the next several hours, attracting a crowd of delighted dancers and bemused spectators.
The spontaneous drum circle is a beloved local tradition that does its part to “keep Asheville weird.” The custom started in 2001 with about 10 drummers, and has grown over the years into a community mainstay.
The city’s cultural diversity is on full display here, as people from all walks of life come to enjoy the music and take in the scene. Some bring hula hoops or chime in with tambourines and triangles. Drum classes have sprung up around town for folks who want to join in the percussive jam. Anything goes at this uniquely Ashevillian event. The drum circle has no leaders or rules; it just feels out the beat each night.
Know Before You Go
The drum circle starts around 6 p.m. in Pritchard Park, from April to October.