Eight Incredible Virginia Summer Music Festivals

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 | Updated: Feb 19, 2016

Comments: 11 Comments

The words summer and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re matches made in heaven and very enjoyable when experienced together.

Galax Fiddlers' Convention

The Galax Fiddlers’ Convention is a competition/concert/jam session rolled into one.

If you haven’t yet done so, dust the cobwebs from your folding chairs and throw them in the trunk. You’re going to need them for these eight amazing summer music festivals in Virginia.

1. The world’s largest and oldest fiddler’s convention is found in Galax, and you can count on it being around for years to come. Held every summer during the second week of August, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention welcome musicians and fans from around the world. In fact, Galax is called the World’s Capital of Oldtime Mountain Music. Go see and hear what you’ve been missing out on August 5-10 when the 78th annual convention convenes.

Listen to the FloyFest playlist on Spotify

2. Seven stages and more than 50 artists are scheduled for this year’s FloydFest, a four-day celebration of art and music spread over 80 acres on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 170.5. Visit the Global Village for arts workshops and demonstrations from 100 vendors and artisans. Plenty of food, a Children’s Universe and so much more! Scheduled artists include Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers (ho hey!), John Butler Trio and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

Listen to the Red Wing Roots Festival playlist on Spotify3. Red Wing Roots Festival is a brand new music festival, but it’s big and has huge potential. Don’t miss this inaugural event at Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon July 12-14. The biggest draw of this event is the volume of entertainment. Expect four stages with 40 bands, including big names like The Del McCoury Band, The Sam Bush Band, Tim O’Brien, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Steel Wheels. A kid’s stage will include special performances and workshops.

The Richmond Jazz Festival showcases top artists in an intimate, casual atmosphere.

The Richmond Jazz Festival showcases top artists in an intimate, casual atmosphere.

4. The Richmond Jazz Festival has quickly become the premier event of its kind. This year the festival welcomes giants of jazz like Jill Scott, Michael McDonald, Chick Corea & The Vigil, Terrence Blanchard, and Dr. John & The Nite Trippers. Don’t miss this one. It’s August 9-11 in Richmond.

5. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs is celebrating its 50th season this summer and promises to pack a punch. The kicker to this festival is that it’s not consecutive days, but spread throughout the summer season, giving you more chances to enjoy the tunes. Of note are Kris Kristofferson on August 3, Marty Stuart on August 9 and Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul on August 31.

6. The Verizon Wireless American Music Festival at Virginia Beach brings in bands representing multiple American genres from all over – local, regional and national. Five stages will welcome more than 30 bands this Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 1). The major headliners are Third Eye Blind, Barenaked Ladies and Daughtry, but other well-known groups like Fuel, Smash Mouth, Carbon Leaf and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are also on the bill.

7. Chamber music lovers will adore Staunton Music Festival, a nine-day celebration occurring August 16-24. Nearly 30 concerts by more than 60 of the world’s finest chamber musicians will perform at historic venues throughout downtown Staunton. Expect to hear pieces from the Renaissance through today with world premiers by composers-in-residence. Who wouldn’t love to be present for a world premier?!

Listen to the Interlocken Festival playlist on Spotify8. Extend your summer into the second weekend of September (September 5-8). It will be so worth it because that’s when Lockn’ Music Festival takes over Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington. It’s a four-day music festival with artists like Gov’t Mule, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Crowes, John Fogerty, The String Cheese Incident, Punch Brothers, Widespread Panic and Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band.

Find more fantastic festivals and events.

*Note: These aren’t ranked, simply numbered. Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite or tell us if we missed one that’s on your list.

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11 Comments on "Eight Incredible Virginia Summer Music Festivals"

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Select Recording Studios

I personally enjoyed the FloydFest when I visited it the other year.

John Rymarz

Is Floyd fest 2016 sold out even if I buy ticket at the gate ? All I see are Sunday one day tickets left for sale online. Can someone less call me at 804-292-9853 Jay

Virginia R. Francisco

Nineteen fabulous concerts in ten days, by world-renowned players, in true chambers in gorgeous historic locales surrounded by beautiful mountains–that’s chamber music as it was created,


Very excited about Floyd Fest next week 🙂 This will be our 5th time since it began in 2002, and it just keeps getting bigger and better.

Anthony The Travel Tart

Cool, looks like a great excuse to go to all of them!

Raymond Firehock
The Staunton Music Festival has now stood the test of time, and gets bigger and better every year, as attested by rising attendance from across the state, the region, the country, and even the world. With loads of free concerts at noon there is no excuse not to hear some music (and rehearsals are often open to the public). Shucks, the concerts you pay to see are generally under $20 a ticket — yes, as in two ohh dollars. And there are dozens more things to see and do around here as long as you are in the area —… Read more »
donnie beadles

The annual AT&T Bayou Boogaloo Cajun Foo and music festival in Norfolk,Va is awesome. It’s like they move New Orleans into Norfolk,Va for 3 days every June…you get New Orleans face painting, mask making,Abita Brewing Company providing drinks. What else? Oh yeah crawdads and chicken on a stick and other great Cajun food,and music acts like,Trombone Shorty,Robert Randolph,Buckwheat Zydeco,Mike Zito and Blues Traveller have al been there in the past few years. It’s a big time fest feel in a small intimate setting on the wasterside of Norfolk

Dominick Burke

Dominion Riverrock has released the final full schedule of events for the May 17-19 festival centered around Brown’s Island in downtown Richmond — considered the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival.

If you attend FloydFest and value your auditory perception, best to have good EAR PLUGS. The decibel level is overwhelming. You hear all stages at once. There is no quiet time between performances as they play recorded music at high volume between acts. If you have a VIP ticket and are in the beer garden behind the main stage, you don’t hear the main stage, but more recorded music. Prices are going UP and you get less. The experience tends to be more exhausting than relaxing. I have seen some terrific artists there, for sure, but wish the organizers would… Read more »
Heather Browning

Another great festival coming up on September 14 is Blacksburg Brew Do, an awesome craft beer festival in Blacksburg. They’re expecting over 40 different craft beers this year. There are two stages for music, cooking with beer demonstrations, beer talks, and the announcement of home brew competition winners. It’s a ton of fun!