Lake Norman Magazine

Brews and bluegrass

The Steep Canyon Rangers will be headlining the N.C. Brewers and Music Festival on May 12.
The Steep Canyon Rangers will be headlining the N.C. Brewers and Music Festival on May 12. MCT

Local music and beer are joining forces this month for the second annual North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival (NCBMF) at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville. Music fans can look forward to ten solid hours of live performances, which will fill the wide-open spaces of Rural Hill with bluegrass and Americana. Headliners The Steep Canyon Rangers, who last year released a record with comedian and actor Steve Martin, will bring their chart-topping bluegrass act to the stage. Other performers include Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Ryan Montbleau Band, The Black Lillies and Sol Driven Train. The stage at NCBMF is closer to the audience than at most venues, a change that Rural Hill education director Zac Vinson appreciates. "For me, it's one of the few festivals in the area that you can actually get up close and personal with the bands," he says. The other star of the show, of course, will be the beer. NCBMF will feature dozens of North Carolina breweries, all of which will offer free samples for a limited time. While North Carolina features a few other beer festivals, Rural Hill has a unique focus on regional choices. "There's nothing else that focuses exclusively on North Carolina craft microbrews,” Vinson says. And putting safety first, Rural Hill strongly encourages all participants to arrange for transportation. Tickets are available at a discount for those who will be enjoying the music without partaking of the alcohol. And for a small fee revelers can also camp out at Rural Hill the night of the event. And feel free to bring the kids: there will also be games, rides and other family-family-friendly activities. Want to go?What: North Carolina Brewers and Music FestivalWhen: Sat., May 12, from noon to 10 p.m.