2023 Festival FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Know Before You Go PDF Downloads

Is Highlands Food & Wine Festival 21 and up?

All Highlands Food & Wine events are 21+.  Valid ID is required at all events. If we cannot verify your age, you will not be allowed into the festival. Anyone under the age of 21 will be stopped at the gate and refused entry. Passes will not be refunded. Please don’t bring infants, small children in child carriers, or strollers, as they will not be permitted entry.

Can I purchase a ticket for a friend/as a gift?

Sure! Please include their email address to allow them to receive all important information!

Can I receive a refund if I bought a ticket and cannot attend the event?

Unfortunately, Highlands Food & Wine Festival has a no refund policy. We can only assist in resale for those events that are sold out.

Is Highlands Food & Wine a Non-Profit?

Yes!  Highlands Food & Wine is property of Highlands Festivals, Inc, a 501(c)3 organization that produces the annual Highlands Food & Wine and Bear Shadow festivals in Highlands, NC. The organization is dedicated to promoting Highlands, NC, as an inspiring place to live and visit by producing world-class events that showcase, enhance, and support the region’s vibrant culinary, visual, and performing arts organizations, while contributing funds and resources that directly benefit similar local initiatives and strengthen our community. A portion of all tickets from the 2023 festival will directly benefit the Louis Osteen Legacy Scholarship at Culinary Institute of America and the Friends of Founders Park.

What is the festival doing to help the environment?

Highlands Food & Wine is committed to preserving the pristine beauty of our community and promoting good environmental practices. We are proud to continue to implement a recycling and composting program to divert waste created by our weekend celebration from landfills, and work towards a plastic-free event. Since 2016, we have diverted over 18,000 lbs. of recycled and compostable waste.


Mountain Chic, Resort Casual. Only the Grand Tasting (Thursday night), Catch & Release and A Generous Pour (Saturday night) are indoors. Truckin’, Main Event and A Shot at Redemption are OUTDOORS and rain or shine.  Please be up to date on the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  We recommend comfortable, close-toed shoes.

Rules and Restrictions

  • No one under the age of 21 is permitted.
  • Please no pets (service animals are permitted).
  • No outside food or alcohol will be permitted in the events.
  • Chairs are not permitted at events unless stated otherwise.
  • Complimentary water will be provided.
  • No smoking or vaping of any kind
  • Please drink responsibly.  Anyone that festival crew deems as inebriated, will be asked to leave the event by security.  There will be law enforcement at each event.


Only the Grand Tasting (Thursday night), Catch & Release (Friday night) and A Generous Pour (Saturday night) are indoors. Truckin’, Main Event and A Shot at Redemption are OUTDOORS. All events are rain or shine.  Please be up to date on the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  We recommend comfortable, close-toed shoes.


There is limited parking throughout Highlands and at the events.  Please consider carpooling or walking to events, if possible.  Please respect businesses that have reserve parking for their patrons and do not park there during business hours. 

What to Bring

  • Government-issued Photo ID
  • Barcoded event tickets
  • Cash or Credit Card for Merchandise
  • Proper attire for forecasted weather (gloves, hats, rain gear)

What Not to Bring

  • Pets
  • Outside food or drink
  • Chairs
  • Illegal drugs
  • Children under the age of 21
  • No smoking or vaping products of any kind
  • Bad weather or bad vibes

Tickets & Wristbands

When can tickets be purchased?

Tickets can only be purchased via the festival website.  Official transfers for previously owned tickets to waitlist fans will be facilitated by festival staff.

Are there still tickets available?

Yes!  There are still amazing tickets available for fan favorite events, including Truckin’ and A Shot at Redemption.  Join us for incredible food, drink and live music.

What if I give or sell my tickets to someone else?

You are allowed to sell or purchase tickets from someone else.  Please note the festival can not verify any purchases made outside of our ticketing system.  You do not have to have the ticket in your name, only a copy or image of the ticket and barcode.

Where do I pick up my tickets/wristbands?

All fans will have the opportunity to pick up wristbands in advance of the events starting Wednesday, November 8th.  Help us cut down on the lines! All ticketholders can pick up wristbands at the Festival Box Office (time and location listed below). **Please note, only the purchaser of the tickets can pick up wristbands.  If you cannot pick up wristbands early, you can simply present you tickets at the event gate for entry.

Highlands Food & Wine Box Office

424 Pine Street
(former Bank of America building)

Operation Times:

  • Wednesday, Nov 8th 3pm-6pm
  • Thursday, Nov 9th 10am – 5pm
  • Friday, Nov 10th 10am – 5pm
  • Saturday, Nov 11th 10am – 11am
  • Sunday, Nov 12th 10am – 11am

What do I need to get into the event?

You need your ticket bar code or a wristband.  After receiving your event wristband, you must wear your wristband for the duration of the event. Weekender VIP and Weekender VIP+ ticketholders must wear Weekender wristbands for the duration of the festival.  

What if I lose or cut off my wristband?

Wristbands must be worn at all times. Individuals not wearing a wristband will not be allowed entry, no exceptions. Do not lose your wristband—these are not replaceable. The plastic security lock on the wristband is a one-way lock. Do not play with this lock to tighten the band too much.

How do I put on my wristband?

Treat your wristband like cash—lost, stolen, tampered with, and/or confiscated wristbands will not be replaced!  Box Office or gate staff will help you with your wristband.  They are not transferable.


Your wristband allows you to come and go as you please to the events. You must have the specific event wristband on to enter/re-enter. Beverages may not leave the boundaries of any event.  

What If I Still Need More Information?

For up-to-the-moment event updates and event details, please join the mailing list here. For specific questions, contact the festival at info@highlandsfoodandwine.com

Text HFW to (828) 202-8911

to be the first to know tickets on sale date
and our 2024 music lineup!