Music and art festival comes to Pipestem State Park next week

The 11th annual Culturefest World Music and Arts Festival is coming next week to Appalachian South Folklife Center, near Pipestem State Park.

The festival will run Sept. 4-7 with 20 different music groups, including headlining bands Big Something and Songs of Water.

Culturefest also will feature several different performance artists like Wee Ah Faerie Kin, a troupe of stilt walkers from Asheville, N.C.; Inspiral, a fire dance group, and Dakota and Friends, an interactive performance featuring life-size dinosaur puppets.

“I’ve really focused on interactive performance art this year,” organizer Lori McKinney said. “You’re going to see a lot more strolling performers.”

She said last year’s Culturefest featured a music-heavy lineup. Attendee surveys, however, showed people really enjoyed the performance art.

“We’re looking forward to people having more of an opportunity to interact with the artists,” she said.

There also will be a variety of workshops on yoga, belly dancing, hand drumming as well as a brand-new series of “Conversations at Culturefest.”

“People always come and talk about how to make the world a better place. We wanted to kind of formalize that,” McKinney said.

The talks will not be lectures, she said, but rather participatory talks with hosts.

Topics include sustainable ecological design, “community resilience” and “superfoods.”

McKinney said Culturefest has becoming a gathering place for artists to get together and talk about their work. Local artists get the opportunity to meet with others from around the country and share ideas.

“It’s just a really good time for connecting,” she said.

Culturefest began in 2004 as a one-day event. It has continued to grow each year, however, and eventually became connected with the Appalachian South Folklife Center.

McKinney said the festival now has a regular group of volunteers who look forward to the event each year.

“Everybody loves coming together and making the festival happen,” she said. “I was talking to my dad, and he said it’s like stepping out of the world for a couple days.

“It’s just so different from normal life.”

Weekend passes for Culturefest are $30 until Sept. 3. Weekend passes are $40 at the gate, while day passes are $10 on Thursday, $15 on Friday, $20 on Saturday and $12 on Sunday.

Weekend passes for children 12 and under are $15, while children five and under get in free.

Children’s day passes are $5 for Thursday and Sunday and $8 on Friday and Saturday.

Visit for a full schedule of events and purchase tickets.

You can also call 304-425-6425 for more information.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-4830 or Follow him on Twitter at Harold.

More News