Let's start with a virtual introduction to Bele Chere from the viewpoint of Jeffrey DeCristofaro, a UNC-Asheville grad student who is participating in the Life in a Day documentary project. Although a bit on the slow side, it's as accurate a depiction of the experience of heading into the festival as you could ask for.
It's always interesting how different sorts of people can see the same event in very different ways. For instance, SoundOffBuncombe presented their take on Bele Chere with this photo slideshow, and it seems to be a fairly positive depiction overall. But what about the video's accompanying text? Not so positive, I think it's fair to say. "If you are thinking of moving to Asheville dont plan of finding a good job, the current city council will tax you to death & restrict you as a home owner. Dont even think of starting a buss.thats another story - however, you can always find a spot in the circle of drums.
No soap allow - the smell of losers is all about."
One of the most controversial elements of the Bele Chere experience is the area devoted to the "street preachers," a group of fire-and-brimstone-spouting evangelicals who see the festival as a place to fight the battle for the souls of Asheville's citizens. Not everyone agrees with their views or politely ignores them, however, as demonstrated in this video. (Then again, he does turn the other cheek.)
Less controversial are the various busking acts that make up a huge part of the Bele Chere experience. In this video, members of Asheville-based juggling troupe Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth show off their skills for the enjoyment of the crowd.
Of course, to many people, Bele Chere means one thing: Live music. Here's headlining act Southern Culture on the Skids playing the song "Shotgun" from their set on Friday night.
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