Downtown had its share of festivals but West Asheville, growing as an important arts and cultural part of the city felt a little left out. So in 2010 the All Go West Festival was born.
“West Asheville is quickly becoming known for it’s individual flair, when 10 years ago businesses were struggling to thrive,” says Johanna Hagarty, one of the event’s organizers. “It is very important to highlight and show gratitude toward the community movement that has helped shape this monumental transition. Offering an outdoor music event just how Asheville likes it, All Go West Festival features the businesses, cuisine, and music of those who have grown West Asheville into the community we love.”
The All Go West Festival begins at noon on April 27 and will continue late into the night. It takes place in and around Isis Restaurant & Music Hall at 743 Haywood Road.
This year, part of the festival includes Savor the Westside, which will feature 18 dishes from six West Asheville Restaurants, beer from The Altamont Brewing Company, and wine samples from Hops and Vines. The participating restaurants include Isis, The Admiral, Sunny Point, The Lucky Otter, Short Street Cakes, and West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen, better known as WALK. Savor the Westside is a ticketed event from 12-2 p.m. on April 27. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 day of show.
“All Go West offered a Beer & Barbecue ticketed portion of the event in 2011—the second year of the festival—but the coordinators found it difficult to devote a lot of time to highlight this portion of All Go West in a deserving manner,” Johanna says about the birth of Savor the Westside. “When the team was discussing improvements to that aspect, we wanted to make sure we were focusing on West Asheville businesses and realized that a West Asheville food tasting was exactly what the festival was missing.”
While Savor the Westside will be a small portion of the festival, the music will be taking place on stages outside until about 10 p.m. and inside until about 2 a.m. Artists scheduled to appear at All Go West include Quantic, Roadkill Ghost Choir, RBTS WIN, Marley Carroll, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Ahleuchatistas, The Brand New Life, The Critters, Moses Atwood, Kovacs and the Polar Bear, Strange, Derobert & the Half-Truths, Asian Teacher Factory, Southbound Turnaround, Albert Adams, Comet West, Zombie Queen, Alex Krug Combo, Demon Waffle, Camp David, and Stevie Lee Combs.
Also part of the festival this year is a skateboarding competition produced by local skateboarding company Ashevillain. Two of the best skaters from five regional skate shops will converge for a three-heat showdown on a custom-made trick box. The final round is set to begin around 8 p.m. A charity raffle offering plenty of skate-related items will be held in the Ashevillain Skate Demo area.
Still in its infancy, the All Go West Festival organizers are hoping this year’s event establishes it as a West Asheville icon. The important thing, though, is that everyone has fun while celebrating the neighborhood. “A successful All Go West Festival for 2013 would be where everyone enjoys the West Asheville community including our beer, food, and music,” Johanna says.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at allgowest.com.