The town is known for the Carrboro Music Festival, a free all-day event which celebrates local music with over 150 acts performing at dozens of locations in the downtown area. The music festival began in 1998 as the Fête de la Musique, and was held on the summer solstice. In 2002, the name of the event was changed to the Carrboro Music Festival and, in order to increase attendance by avoiding the summer heat, moved to the fall. In 2013, the festival expanded to two days. Carrboro is also home to the annual West End Poetry Festival, which draws in a great selection of local poets.
In November, Carrboro hosts its annual film festival. The Carrboro Film Festival was started in 2006 by Carrboro Arts Committee members Jackie Helvey and Nic Beery, with support from Board of Aldermen and the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department. The idea behind the Carrboro Film Festival is to promote local area shorts films that are twenty minutes or less. The first year, there were nearly 100 entires. From those, a day filled with fabulous films was created, and that tradition has continued over the years. In 2013, the festival expanded to two days, accepting submissions from across the entire state of North Carolina and beyond.