Goombay 2016 Line-Up Announced

The YMI Cultural Center Announces the 2016 Goombay Festival Line-Up!

Western North Carolina’s YMI Cultural Center (YMI) is proud to invite the community to the 36th Goombay Festival, to be held September 9th – 11th, with a kick off event on Thursday, September 8th. The festival will be held in Asheville’s Pack Square Park with additional activities at the YMI and in Triangle Park on The Block.

The festival will be a celebration of music, dance, food, art, and community. Moreover, Goombay Festival represents an opportunity to highlight the African American experience and the YMI’s role in crafting that experience,” says YMI Board Chair Stephanie Swepson-Twitty. “It continues to promote the historical legacy of the YMI’s ‘founding fathers’ to promote the entrepreneurial spirit of African Americans in Asheville, NC.”


Goombay 2016 Headliner DJ Kool

Local musicians and performers will be featured on the main stage alongside headliner hip hop icon DJ Kool. Local artists will include Lyric, Free Flow, DJ Supaman, Santos, and members of the Inside/Out music workshop group. WorldTown SoundSystem from Philadelphia will close down the stage on Saturday night. Sunday will feature gospel music and more with Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ, DJ Besbleve, Leslie Council and a ceremony honoring local elders. The Zulu Connection stilt walkers from New Orleans will perform throughout the weekend.

There will be over 60 craft and food vendors, with local vendors being highlighted. Attendees will enjoy a variety of food from West Africa, West India and Western North Carolina, from palm butter chicken and rice to fried fish.

On Thursday night the YMI gallery will host the opening night of the Goombay Art Show, curated by Hood Huggers International, in conjunction with a block party with the Just Folks Organization in Triangle Park, which is located on S. Market Street in the area known as The Block. Tours highlighting the history of the YMI will be offered throughout the weekend. Groups of up to nine people will also have the opportunity to take Hood Tours of historically African American neighborhoods in the Hood Huggers van.

New this year are two contests with cash prizes. On Friday, Goombay will hold the Set it Off! Step Show Competition, followed by a dance party. On Saturday afternoon Goombay will be the first annual Goombay hair show competition, Hair-I-Tage, A Journey Through Hair.


Saturday will start at 10 am in Triangle Park, with a breakfast and presentation of the History of the Block hosted by Just Folks. The Goombay parade will leave from the park, with drummers and dancers from local groups Mosso-Kan and Project Negus and more.

There will be activities for kids as well, with a Kids Area hosted by Disco Babies Party Solutions and the LEAF in Schools and Streets Easel Rider. Young festival goers will enjoy bounce houses, hands on activities, and a hip hop/break dancing workshop with the Underdog Crew. The kids will be able to show off their skills after the workshop.

For a full schedule of events, please visit

About Asheville Goombay
Goombay was created to celebrate the richness and diversity of the African Diaspora, and Asheville’s African American community. The festival attracts over 10,000 people throughout the weekend and garners national media coverage. Goombay lives up to its West African name meaning of “rhythm or drum” with eclectic sounds, vibrant, multicolored sights and the tantalizing aroma of exotic foods reflecting a multiplicity of cultures and traditions.

About The YMI Cultural Center
The YMI opened its doors in 1893 as the Young Men’s Institute, and is is arguably one of the nation’s oldest African American institutions. The institute was erected as a location for black men to improve their moral fiber through self­ governance. The YMI prides itself in reflecting on its rich history. For more information, please visit The YMI Cultural Center website:


Related Post


Three-Time Grammy Award Winning Rap Artist...

Three-Time Grammy Award Winning Rap Artist T.I brings his Hustle Gang Tour to Asheville, NC In case you haven’t heard, three-time Grammy A...


BIG BOI FLY 11/25’s Joe Greene will present the BIG BOI FLY fashion show on Friday, November 25 at 7 pm at New Mountain Asheville, 38 N. Fr...


Goombay Festival This Weekend!

“Goombay, a three-day showcase of African-Caribbean culture from food to crafts to music, returns Sept 9-11 at Roger McGuire Green at ...