The 1st LEAF Virtual Festival Experience

LEAF celebrates some of its greatest traditions, highlights, and community artists, as the 25-year festival goes virtual for the first time. Friday, May 15th to Sunday, May 17th, 2020 - LEAF welcomes the global community to come together and digitally experience world music, culture, and community from the safety of their respective homes. Throughout its storied history, LEAF Festival has played host to over 100 Nations, 500,000 patrons, 25,000 performers, and countless transformative experiences bringing diversity, artistic excellence, and global identity into the lives of three generations of families. 


“We didn't know if we had the capacity to create our 1st Virtual experience with all staff furloughed/ reduced and no budget, yet we are missing our LEAF community, the 1st May in 25 years without a festival gathering,  and seeing our mission come to life in brilliant ways through festival connections and traditions. We've embraced that "V-LEAF" will be old school creative, authentic, and fun. It is our hope,  V-LEAF will revive spirits, inspire dreams, and provide connection. A silver lining is anyone across the world can join- no travel or ticket needed.” -Jennifer Pickering, LEAF Global Arts Executive Director

This Spring, the coronavirus caused the world to pause and canceled the possibility of a traditional LEAF Festival. The revenue from the signature bi-annual event is mission-critical and the cornerstone of LEAF’s work throughout the year. In addition, LEAF anticipates declines in annual fundraised contributions necessary for the organization’s work of empowering the next generation of global citizens, and supporting Culture Keepers and Teaching Artists as they bring global traditions into the future.

As the world seeks pathways to rekindle hope, ignite creativity, and connect with community, LEAF remains committed to being a conduit for inspiration and global perspective. While the world stopped, many of the LEAF Schools & Streets Teaching Artists and LEAF International Culture Keepers have transformed into virtual artists with new ways to activate and expand their work. “V-LEAF” is not only a fundraising weekend, but also a chance to showcase the work of LEAF artists and friends in WNC and around the world. It also serves as a reminder to the community of what they can discover at LEAF Global Arts in downtown Asheville when the experience re-opens in June (tbd with a priority for our staff & community safety). LEAF is also looking forward to working with the city and community to transform the LEAF Downtown August 7-8 into a format that matches the needs and safety of our community. 


LEAF believes in the world-changing power of connecting cultures and people to create a thriving community. Through this virtual V-LEAF festival and the continuation of free online classes, LEAF is creating pathways of understanding and connections in the world, which seems now more critical than ever! 

What to Expect at “V-LEAF"


  • Music! - A combination of limited live performances, at-home recordings, and restreams of some of LEAF’s most iconic shows. The festival will be anchored by its trademark musical curation and genre variety.

  • International Exploration! - Explore the world through the eyes of LEAF Culture Keepers and global artists. 

  • Family-friendly music & arts - LEAF is a family tradition! LEAF Schools & Streets Teaching Artists will be showcasing their arts and creating free classes for all ages.

  • Renew your spirits! Pathways to explore healing arts, shop with artists and recipes for favorite festival EATS.

  • Online Auction to support LEAF’s future beyond the global pandemic. Global artwork and much more!

#LEAFLove and Gratitude