Skip to main content

National Storytelling Festival is Oct. 4 – 6 in Jonesborough, TN

The National Storytelling Festival is Oct. 4 – 6 in Jonesborough, TN, the state’s oldest town. A tradition since 1973, the three-day festival is expected to draw more than 11,000 people.

The festival’s core programming includes storytelling shows held beneath big-top tents scattered across downtown Jonesborough. Those performances will run from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The diverse lineup includes Japanese-American duo Eth-Noh-Tec, Brazilian born artist Antonio Rocha, Oklahoma Choctaw Storyteller Tim Tingle and Scottish/Kenyan storyteller Mara Menzies. 

This year’s featured tellers also include perennial southern favorites such as Donald Davis, Minton Sparks and Bil Lepp. By showcasing oral traditions from the South and all over the world, the Festival inspires unexpected connections and promotes cultural understanding.

To complement the Festival’s signature storytelling concerts, many of the special events scheduled throughout the weekend are included in the price of the ticket, including Exchange Place, a concert focusing on new talent, the Swappin’ Ground, where anyone can tell a story, and a Story Slam competition that offers cash prizes. Nighttime performances include outdoor ghost stories. 

The festival also includes separately ticketed events as well as workshops presented by nationally known artists. 

Ticket information and complete festival details are online at