Ashland World Music Festival: Music to Your Ears

Mexican Dancers facing a crowd in Lithia Park with food trucks in the background.

You already know about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of Ashland’s most popular annual festivals. But there’s another festival you don’t want to miss: the Ashland World Music Festival! This yearly festival is full of fun performances, exciting music, and more!

What is the Ashland World Music Festival?

This festival is dedicated to building community. At the Ashland World Music Festival, you’ll be able to experience music from around the world! Celebrate cultural connection and music creation while you listen to music. Feel free to express your true self when you enjoy all the diverse music at the festival!

When is the festival?

This festival runs from Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19.

What will there be to do?

The Ashland World Music Festival has several different events over four days. Here’s what you can do:

Thursday, May 16

Heart Beat Stories

  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Rogue Valley Universalist Fellowship
    • Join storytellers and artists as they tell stories of all types from around the globe. Connect with these stories and their tellers as you learn more about the universal heart that connects all people with each other.

Friday, May 17

Arab Rhythm Ensemble

  • 1:30 – 3:00 pm at the Southern Oregon University Music Building
    • This ensemble is open for any student to participate in. Everyone is welcome to watch. If you’re a student, bring any type of drum (as long as it can make 2 different sounds) and learn some famous Arab rhythms. This class teaches rhythm and style as well as creating percussion songs together in a group.
    • Non-students can watch the performances of these compositions and feel the beat!

Turn It Up! Dance

  • 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm at the ScienceWords Hands-on Museum. 21+ event.
    • Get ready to dance the night away with the global house music performed by artist Leo Anifowose!
    • If you need a break from dancing, check out the Wild Music exhibit. This exhibit will expand your understanding of what music is. It will also explore the origins of musical expression throughout the world.

Saturday, May 18

The Parks Performance

  • 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Lithia Park Butler Bandshell
    • Come celebrate music at Litha Park! The 7 amazing acts performing throughout the day span a wide variety of global music traditions. Enjoy the music alongside fun activities, delicious world food, and more! This is musical fun for the whole family.

Pulse Session: Intercultural Percussion of all types

  • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the Thalden Pavilion
    • Percussion is an universal musical tradition! Join this celebration of percussion across all cultures as you clap your hands, drum, beatbox, or just enjoy this percussion jam.

Sunday, May 19

Making Beats Workshop

  • 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum.
    • At this workshop, you’ll learn how to make your own electronic music and beats! This workshop is included in museum admission, so you can check out the rest of ScienceWorks before and after you make music.

Are you planning on going to the Ashland World Music Festival? Share your pictures with us on Facebook and Instagram

When you stay at The Bard’s Inn, you’ll be close to the Ashland World Music Festival events and within walking distance of many Ashland activities!