While walking around downtown Asheville this past Friday night, Ask Asheville made a quick stop at the Drum Circle. We immediately started taking video on one of our GoPro video cameras, but then we were stopped because the memory card was full. So we pulled out the old Samsung Galaxy 6, went to Facebook, and started recording Live! Turns out the video has reached over 100,000 folks in less than 48 hours, has 1000+ likes, 250 comments, and 900 shares. WOW, kinda great for a quick video we did on the fly, without any major production, and no boost at all.
Asheville videos tell a lot. There is just something about watching a screen that is moving and communicating to you, with little effort on the watcher’s part. YouTube was the undisputed champion when it came to video social media years ago, Vimeo was trailing after, and then there were many other videos sites that have come and gone. Now, Facebook seems to be joining the online video battle with a focus on this form of media. And why not? They already have the audiences in place (including you and me) so all that is left is to offer us something good to see. With that said, here are some Asheville videos that you could watch and experience a little bit of our sweet city!
Photo: Jaron Lane celebrates after UNCA Men’s Basketball’s big win over Coastal Carolina that put them into the Big South Conference regular season lead.
If you follow #Asheville on any form of social media, you’ve probably read about this “NCAA 6th Fan” competition. So what is this competition that has clogged your news feeds since January? “6th Fan” – a play on the “6th Man” title given either to the best reserve player off the bench or a team’s fans – is a contest between all Division I member institutions in which both schools and individual fans can win cash and prizes. Set up like a typical bracket, all member schools competed for a month for the top 16 spots because all Sweet Sixteen entrees receive sweet, sweet $10,000 scholarships each.
Last week, after feverish Facebook, Twitter, and online voting, UNC Asheville succeeded in landing a spot amid the top 16, garnering a $10,000 scholarship to be dispersed to random students (in the university’s own reward competition.)
But, just as Sweet Sixteen competitors still have 4 more games to win it all, UNCA has to make it through 4 more voting rounds to win the ultimate prize – $100,000 in scholarships. That’s where you, Asheville’s loving community, can help! With only 25 hours to go, Asheville is tied with round adversary Bryant University. Every single vote counts, so for UNCA to move on, we need to take to the Twitter-verse, the Facebook-osphere, and the world wide web (sorry, I ran out of creativity for that one.) Simply use the hashtags #UNCA #6thFan together for every Facebook or Twitter post, or vote for UNCA at 6thfan.ncaa.com. There is no limit on the number of votes per day, so vote your fingerprints off!
But wait, “what’s in it for me?” On top of awarding scholarships, the 6th Fan contest also gives away an iPad Air for each round, and all entrees are submitted to the final drawing for an all expenses paid trip to the 2015 Final Four in Indianapolis. So, let’s bring the “madness” to February and push UNCA in the Elite Eight!
-Adrian Etheridge, UNCA Cross Country and Track runner, photographer
I was irritated Friday night. I hadn’t been feeling the best, had just blown a detox I vowed to finish, and didn’t feel like going out. However, I’d promised a good musician friend of mine I’d come see his band play at Wild Wing. Really, I’d been wanting to go hear him again so I could sing his praises from the rooftops. He’s quite talented, and Asheville will never stop seeing him celebrated in writing as far as I’m concerned. However, this is not about him, but about the band that was setting up when I got there.
I’d called ahead to make sure I’d get a table nice and close to the stage. I brought my husband and a couple friends along, ordered my rum and diet coke (as if the diet would somehow off-set the amount of damage I was about to do). I started scanning the room for my friend, but didn’t see him. Instead I spotted a guitar player I didn’t recognize suiting up on a stage I felt didn’t belong to him. I had a bad feeling, and decided to inquire.
I marched all 5 feet of myself up to the stage, knowing full well what an obnoxiously sassy mood I was in and asked, “Umm– where’s Justin Burrell?”
“Who?” He countered in a tone so nice I was forced to reexamine mine.
“I’m a writer and I’m supposed to see my friend’s band tonight.”
“Oh, well, we’re the band Contagious. I know Justin, and this is normally his spot, but the schedule got changed. It’s my birthday. I’m sorry. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”
I smiled and exchanged some sort of pleasantries, secretly livid my plan was suddenly changed. I’m a bit “type A” and I could feel the anger sharks swimming…I started praying it wouldn’t be a screamer band who thought they were legitimate rock ‘n roll. I didn’t realize until later how judgmental I was quickly becoming.
I went back to my table, deciding to give them the benefit of the doubt. The lead singer walked out. I liked the way he was dressed, noticing immediately his resemblance to Chris Daughtry. However this guy was sporting a snap hat, and a little less stockiness than the Daughtry. He looked the part, but I needed to check the pipes.
The man I had first accosted and learned is Chad Robinson started to run his hands across the strings while I’m secretly begging from the inside for him to make that guitar speak to me. I noticed immediately how his face changed when he began to play, and he wasn’t gonna just smack at it. This instrument was about to become his wife, and he knew how to play her. I recognized the tune, and he was doing it justice.
Contagious began their rendition of The Black Crows, Hard to Handle. The music was good, and it was time for the vocalist to make his mark. He came in powerfully, and I noticed my head start to move a little bit. I couldn’t wait for the chorus. It would be the tell-all. If he could bring the grit, maybe even growl a little bit in true Chris Robinson (not to be confused with Chad) fashion I’d be sold. Then here it came…
“hey little thing let me light your candle, ’cause mama I’m sure hard to handle now, yes I am.”
I literally had to wipe the dirt off of me. Marc Stump had made a believer out of me, and left me scoffing at myself for being so put off earlier. Like he sang in the first line of the song, he’d proven to be “the man on the scene.”
Contagious went on to play covers from the last few decades, enticing everyone from baby boozers to baby boomers to hit the dance floor. I may have even obliged myself at one point…
I learned a couple things this past Friday night. First of all, I shouldn’t make snap judgments no matter how inconvenienced I feel, and second of all, it’s Wild Wing in Asheville. They know what they’re doing. There will always be a great band, playing great covers and originals alike, ready to get people off their seats. That’s probably why when I look around I see different ages, different backgrounds, and different styles mingling together. They are dancing on the same floor to the same beat, blonde hair or blue hair, and it’s what Asheville is all about.
I got my feel of rock n’ roll, dancing, and good time with good friends. Thank you, Contagious. It turns out, you made my night, and a whole lot of others too. You represent our fine city the way it’s meant to be: a little old, a little new, and of course, with a little bit of dirt on it.
Just 10 days ago, Ask Asheville posted this photo we took to Facebook and it quickly went viral. So much that as of right now, it has reached more that 778,000 people which out of these were only 937 organic and a huge 777,673 viral, 2,536 likes, 217 comments, 62,444 stories created from it, at this moment 51,921 people are talking about it, and 9883 people, businesses and organizations have shared it. AMAZING!!! I believe this holds the public “Going Viral on Facebook” record for the Asheville area easy. Thank you to everyone who read, laughed, liked, commented, and shared it.