Carl Sandburg Music Festival

Music Festival 2022
Audience enjoys the Carl Sandburg Music Festival 2022.

Photo by Patrick Sullivan

The Carl Sandburg Music Festival is held annually.

2023 event will be held on Saturday, June 3.

  • 11 am - Jhon Akers presents Sandburg and the Guitar at the amphitheater
  • 1 pm - James "Bo" Taylor presents Cherokee traditional song and dance at the amphitheater
  • Noon to 2pm - Patrick Ballard plays guitar and banjo in the historic barnyard

There are three parking options available: the Main parking lot, located on Little River Road across from the Flat Rock Playhouse; the Flat Rock Playhouse lot; and the Hikers’ parking lot. Visitors with accessibility needs should pull into the Main parking lot and stop by the accessible parking spaces where a ranger will provide assistance. Other non-accessible parking lots are available in Flat Rock.
  • Find more information about parking options here.
  • Find more information about accessibility here.

A shuttle will be available throughout the day from the Main parking lot to transport visitors to the amphitheater.

Music Festival is supported by:
Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, Inc.
America's National Parks, the non-profit partner that operates the park store

The music festival began in 1987, to celebrate Carl Sandburg's efforts to document the history of American music in his American Songbag. Carl Sandburg published the American Songbag in 1927 after spending years documenting and researching early American songs. As Sandburg said, “The American Songbag is a ragbag of strips, stripes, and streaks of color from nearly all ends of the earth. The melodies and verses presented here are from diverse regions, from varied human characters and communities, and each is sung differently in different places.” His publication does not focus on one genre of music, but rather on the human experience. “It is an All-American affair, marshalling the genius of thousands of original singing Americans.”

Sandburg enjoyed all American musical genres. He spent years interviewing musicians and singers, documenting their songs, including folk, gospel, jazz and blues. Carl Sandburg said, “the American Songbag comes from the hearts and voices of thousands of men and women.”

Compiling and publishing the American Songbag was one of the most difficult writing projects Sandburg took on during his life. Today, the Carl Sandburg Music Festival celebrates his work and the work of modern singers and songwriters to share diverse and original American music.

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    Last updated: May 22, 2023

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    Mailing Address:

    81 Carl Sandburg Lane
    Flat Rock, NC 28731


    828 693-4178

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