New outdoor concert venue attracts zombies

By Tina Langford – clangfor@unca.edu – Staff Writer | Sept. 24, 2014 |

For their grand opening and first community event, hundreds of people gathered at The Salvage Station, Asheville’s new Riverside Drive music venue, for the official after party of “Tube-ocalypse: Zombie Float and World Record Attempt” last Saturday.

From 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. visitors enjoyed the local food, brews and music as they anticipated the arrival and celebration of the zombie tubers reaching The Station’s shore.

Food trucks Melt Your Heart and Doc Brown’s BBQ fed the crowd, while Sierra Nevada and other local breweries quenched their zombie-like thirst.

In August, the Western North Carolina Alliance and French Broad Riverkeeper announced an effort to beat Portland’s 2013 record for having a 620-person chain of tubers float down the Willamette River, which quickly turned into a “zombie float.”

Now an official river let-off and pickup site, The Salvage Station provided a perfect match for the tubing event.

The river-centric setting makes The Station one of Asheville’s few outdoor music venues and is located in one of the city’s distinct neighborhoods, the River Arts District.

“I came out today for the Zombie Float and the opening of the stage,” said Leeda “Lyric” Jones, who performed second in the event’s concert lineup. 

Other performers included DJ Molly Parti and The Krektones.

“I’ve heard they’re actually going to build a larger stage,” Lyric said. “On the back of a tractor trailer, so it can be pulled in and out of the venue.”

Lyric, an Asheville local herself, began pursuing a music career in Asheville five years ago. She said the new outdoor venue provides a great addition to Asheville’s music scene and predicts it to be a major success.

“I think it’s going to give the Bywater a run for their money,” Lyric said.

Riverside Drive is already highly populated with bars, restaurants and outdoor-rental places, but this is the first music venue of its kind in the area.

“I love how the river is literally right behind the stage,” said Peter Wills, an Asheville local and attendee of the event.

“The water is an awesome backdrop and it was so entertaining to watch the performers while zombies were unloading left and right just behind them,” Wills said. “Only in Asheville.”

Zombie oriented festivals and events frequent the city every year.

“The Asheville Zombie Walk, which is also a free picnic, is scheduled just before Halloween this year,” said Sara Giavedoni, a local zombie enthusiast and staff for the event.

All ages are welcome to the Zombie Walk in Aston Park on Oct. 12 from 5-7 p.m., according to Giavedoni.

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