Smoky Mountain Beard & Stache Fest


What better way is there to spend a summer Saturday in the Smokies with a couple thousand bearded friends?! We will be having a ton of competitions, live music, and vendors at this all day event at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
A good beard is a thing of beauty. That’s why Gather Up Events is hosting the inaugural Smoky Mountain Beard and Stache Fest on June 12 from 12-7 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.


The Beard and Stache Fest was made to provide a welcoming environment where people with similar interests in facial hair can enjoy one another’s unique styles in one place. Throughout the event, several exciting competitions are taking place to determine the winners from a variety of fields such as Best Overall Beard, Best Natural Beard, Best European Mustache, Best Goatee, and countless others.

In addition to great local food, dozens of local crafters and artisans will be there selling beard care products, beard art and facial hair apparel. Local beer will also be available, because if there’s one thing bearded folk enjoy, it’s an ice cold beer. The decision to host the Smoky Mountain Beard and Stache Fest in Gatlinburg, the literal heart of the Smoky Mountains, was no accident. Tickets cost $10 for general admission. For any bearded or mustachioed attendant who’d like an even better deal, however, a $25 option is available while supplies last that provides a unique event T-shirt in addition to general admission.

Buy Tickets | Sign Up to Compete


You grow it, you show it! Get that beard and/or mustache of yours up on stage and compete.

VIP Packages

Want special treatment, an official T-shirt, some swag, and up-close seating for the contests? VIP is for you.

General Admission

Want a day filled with beards, beer, and belly laughing good times? You get all that and more for just $10.

Meet Our Amazing MC and Judges!

Lance Adams


I suppose the best place to start, is to tell you a little about myself. I am a husband & father of two from Morristown, TN. I have been doing stand up comedy since 2013 & competitive bearding since 2015. In my journey as a comedian, I have toured the southeast & been blessed to perform in the Scruffy City Comedy Festival & F.U.H.C. Fest  multiple times, open for Dulce Sloan of the Daily Show, & more. I spent several years working w/different burlesque groups as a host including Knox Fringe, Ooh Ooh Revue, The Hellcat Hotties, & The Gem Brule Academy’s Buxom Belles .

In 2015 I decided I wanted to compete in the World Beard & Mustache championship. I joined the Marble City Whisker Society & began traveling to beard comps. That new path in my life took me to many comps including the 2016 National Championship in Nashville, TN, 2017 World’s Championship in Austin, TX & many more in between. The connections made in this world lead to being a judge for the Smoky Mountain Bearded Villains 2019  Year Bash. It was soon after that the connection of having a comedian in the bearding world clicked and I was asked to host several beard comps, such as the 2019 Smokey Mountain Whisker Jam, 2019 Beard-a-nooga, &  2019 Knoxvillains.


Natali Johnston

Introducing our next judge Natali Johnston who happens to be the reigning Realistic Craft British National, Great American Realistic Beard, and Realistic National champion.

Natali started competing in 2015 and instantly caught the bearding bug. She has competed in over 60 competitions, received 7 Best in Shows, and has judged over 30 times. When she isn’t busy making beards, she is helping run the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society as the current Vice President, representing Honest Amish, or working hard producing the acclaimed hit podcast “Talking Beards.” Natali recently also became the Social Media Manager for The Craft Whisker Club which hosts the Monday night Craft Off.

In addition to bearding, Natali is a massive collector of all things. This includes Harry Potter, Star Wars, elephants, and any kind of trinket she comes across or is given.


“Taxi” Phil Allen Jones


We are beyond ecstatic to welcome our first judge!

Hailing from the Queen City, Cincinnati Ohio…. Mr Phil Allen Jones, better known as “Taxi Phil”! Once you meet Phil you will quickly realize that he is also one of the most genuine, kind hearted and generous people you will ever meet.

As a member of the Cincinnati Beard Barons, he has competed all over the country. Always putting philanthropy and fellowship above all. Make sure to stop by and see Phil at the event. Don’t try to bring him ice cream to buy your vote either. He’s taking his role seriously 😂 Thank you for taking part Phil, we are grateful to have you!


Eric Schmitt-Matzen


Have you been Naughty or Nice this year?

Well our last Official is known for checking his list twice and will be the judge of that!!! Our only local judge, who resides in Caryville, TN is Eric Schmitt-Matzen, also known as “Santa”. He originally started competing to examine new ways to groom his beard and has now established what has become his trademark look. He enjoys the brotherhood, comradely, and the philanthropic activities of the “Follically Endowed” community.

Even though he has competed just 2 years, he is no stranger to the winners circle! He is the only two time “Best in Show” winner of the prestigious Southeastern Beard and Moustache Championships in Charleston, SC (2016 & 2017). He is also the 2016 “Just For Men” National Beard Champion in the Full Beard Styled Moustache category. This is his 5th time judging a beard competition and takes this roll very seriously. He is a member of the Marble City Whisker Society and the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.


Carla Grigg Schieber


Joining us from Suffolk, VA is Carla, who discovered the world of bearding in 2013 and was immediately hooked, attending countless competitions over the past 8 years including the World Championships in Austin, TX in September 2017. Carla is also no stranger to the Judge’s table. This will be her 15th time judging facial follicles. Now a bearding nomad with no club affiliation, Carla was formerly a member of a Hampton Roads, VA based beard club and helped manage the planning and execution of the Whiskers of War beard competitions in Virginia Beach, VA for five years resulting in over $20,000 raised for a local Veterans charity.

Carla is also a supportive wife to her Virginia Bearded Villain husband and adores the beard community. She loves the emphasis on charity and community, and she continues to show her support of bearding and fellow beard clubs in any way she can.

Owen Hicks

Our fourth judge is the one and only Owen Hicks! Owen came into bearding by chance. He went to Showdown at The Southern Gates in Nashville to get a beard trim from renowned beard barber Kevin Hagewood. After getting his first-ever beard trim they encouraged him to compete. He had a great time, met some great people, and took first place. He attended many more over the next 4 years and took only first and or best in show in half a dozen categories including a national title.

That hot streak ended with his first defeat when he took second in his hometown at another national competition in Nashville while he was being filmed for a beard documentary that was translated into several languages. He took his first second in a triple tiebreaker and lost by a tenth of a point to Andrew Kloss. To ease the sting of that loss, he learned that his beard had gained a lot of press and the story of his concussion which led to two years of memory loss (and a bigger beard) inspired many people. That’s really why he kept it… that human connection. He’s proud to be part of such a wonderful community that knows how to have a good time and always gives back to those in need of help. That has always been his favorite trophy.


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