14 Virginia Music Festivals in 2018 that Rock

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Apr 4, 2016 | Updated: Jan 30, 2018

Comments: 19 Comments


dave matthews band

Whether considering the history of country music, the evolution of blues, or current musical influences like the internationally renowned Dave Matthews Band, Virginia has contributed to changing the American music scene in a big way. Fill the year with live music and entertainment, discovering dozens of upcoming Virginia artists and sounds that may quickly turn into your new favorite bands.


Graves Mountain Festival of Music—Syria

May 31-June 2, 2018

Graves mountain music festival

Banjo pickers, fiddler players, and vocal harmonies as bluegrass fans from around the country and even the world come together for the Graves Mountain Festival of Music in Syria, Virginia. The impressive lineup features over 15 bluegrass bands, including Country Current, Lou Reid & Carolina, and Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys. The gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains are the perfect backdrop for this bluegrass festival, and you quickly began to see how the Mountain Music genre became influential in the Commonwealth. Camping on the festival grounds is free (with the purchase of a 3-day festival pass) on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure you get there early and make backup plans for accommodations. Get Tickets



June 8-9, 2018

Galax’s Houstonfest is a music festival in honor of a local talented musician, Houston Caldwell, who passed away in 2010. With 45 regional and national bands that range in style from Bluegrass to Old Time playing on only three stages, Houstonfest packs a lot of entertainment into a weekend. Artisans from Galax and the surrounding area demonstrate and sell their crafts, while food vendors serve up local dishes. The festival raises money for scholarships that go to musical training and education for youths, and Camp Houston, the youth section of the festival, features music and activities for kids. Overnight festival attendees can stay overnight in the camping area of Felt Park. Get Tickets


Mountains of Music Homecoming—Abingdon

June 8-16, 2018

Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming is a nine-day, region-wide celebration of the Southwest Virginia communities and their incredible contributions to music. Tradition, culture, and nation are all emphasized in this music festival. There are over 200 cultural experiences, 70 music concerts and jam sessions during these nine days, and Bluegrass, Folk, Gospel, and Old Time music are the main genres. Communal meals, wine tastings, film festivals, instrument-making demonstrations, dancing, guided hikes, river floats, cave hikes, and storytelling are just a few of the activities you will get to experience in the more than 20 communities from in and around Abingdon that participate in this festival. Get Tickets


Hampton Jazz Festival—Hampton

June 22-24, 2018

For 51 years, the Hampton Jazz Festivals has been attracting the nation’s biggest fans and performers for live blues, soul, and jazz music. The festival began as a one-time celebration of Hampton University’s centennial, but the audience loved it so much that they pushed to make it an annual event. Today, the Jazz Festival draws tens of thousands of people from all over the world. This year’s performers have not yet been announced, but previous years featured big names like Gladys Knight, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Charlie Wilson. Get Tickets


Red Wing Roots Festival—Mt. Solon

July 13-15, 2018

Redwing Roots Music Festival

Bring the whole family to the Red Wing Roots Festival in Mt. Solon this summer for dozens of regional and national bands on multiple stages that everyone can enjoy and plenty of unique events and activities just for the kids. Live music fills the air each day from 11am until after midnight, and fishing, bike riding, and hiking in the scenic Shenandoah Valley are all conveniently available for those visitors looking to stay active. If adventure happens to be your middle name, explore the nearby Grand Caverns to see awe-inspiring natural formations and set up your tent on the festival grounds for some much-needed camp time in the great outdoors. Get Tickets


Shenandoah Valley Music Festival—Orkney Springs

Dates TBD

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs is the longest running outdoor music festival in the mid-Atlantic and is held at the Shrinemont Conference Center. With such a prestigious and solid history, the festival annually draws some big names in music. Previous acts included big names like LeAnn Rimes and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, as well as the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and other local and national bands. While the festival draws some huge headliners, it doesn’t equate to a huge price tag for visitors. Even the front row seats at the biggest concerts run only $59 per person, making this an affordable festival option. Plus, parking is free and guests are encouraged to pack and bring their own picnics. Get Tickets



July 25-29, 2018


Off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Floydfest is five days of music, arts, and Blue Ridge culture all combined into one festival in Southwest Virginia. The festival takes place on 80 acres of mountain plateau land and features a “Global Village” area of progressive workshops and demonstrations, including a healing arts area, over 100 artisans, and a wide array of food options from sushi to barbecue. If this isn’t enough to convince you to come to Floydfest, there is also a huge emphasis on outdoor sports. Festival-goers can get their workouts in with disc golf, kayaking, hiking, and even mountain biking. For families, there is a children’s area with stage performances geared toward kids, puppetry, and youth workshops to teach crafts, playground equipment. There are even babysitting services available if you are in need of a little help. Get Tickets


Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention—Galax

August 6-11, 2018

Since Galax is the international Capital of Old time Mountain Music, it makes sense that the world’s largest and oldest fiddlers’ convention, the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, is held here. The annual show has been bringing musicians and fans from around the world together to perform and hear the music that defines the sound of the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1935. If you are searching for an affordable, family friendly festival in Virginia, add the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention to your itinerary. Tickets Sold at the Door


Richmond Jazz Festival—Richmond

Dates TBD

Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont

Experience the roots of American musical culture at the 9th annual Richmond Jazz Festival, a four day event that brings smooth, soulful sounds to the city of Richmond. Held at Maymont Park, over 10,000 music lovers gather to hear 20 local and national jazz bands perform on two stages. Local food and beverage vendors provide delicious snacks and drinks to attendees, and if you are interested in trying a variety of Virginia’s wines, there are tastings available each day. Although smooth jazz is the focus, genres like R&B and Neo-Soul add diversity and flavor to this annual festival. Stay Tuned for Announcements and Tickets


Staunton Music Festival—Staunton

August 10-19, 2018

Sixty of the world’s most acclaimed vocal, instrumental, and chorus musicians will perform at the Staunton Music Festival. Come listen to classics like Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and dozens of other composers, along with modern composers like Zach Wadsworth, Eric Guinivan, and German composer Stefan Heucke. There are free concerts held at noon each day, but the evening concerts require tickets that range from $8 to $28, making this an affordable way to get a little extra culture this summer.  Get Tickets


Lockn’ Music Festival—Arrington

August 23-26, 2018

Lockn' Music Festival

Lockn’ Music Festival is about a lot more than great live music. This festival combines stellar music, camping, outdoor lifestyle activities, regional food, beverages, and artisans, creating one of the most popular festivals in Virginia. Oak Ridge Farm, the Lockn’ venue, sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Go hiking on one of the many trails that wind through the mountains, bring your mountain bike and ride along bike-friendly roads, or get in some relaxing yoga with group classes available daily. Lockn’ is a festival geared towards a laidback, music-loving crowd, and past headliners include Tom Petty, Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, Phil Lesh, and Willie Nelson. Stay tuned, as this year’s lineup has not yet been announced.  Get Tickets


American Music Festival—Virginia Beach

August 31-September 2, 2018

The American Music Festival blends rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, and many more genres into three days of live music and beach-front fun. This Labor Day weekend festival is the largest outdoor music event on the East Coast, with talent ranging from local bands to national acts playing on the four main concert stages along with side stages off the boardwalk for local performances. Although the 2018 lineup has not yet been announced, some of the big names in previous years were Sheryl Crow, Rebelution, the Steve Miller Band, and Reel Big Fish. Stay Tuned for Band Announcements & Tickets


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion—Bristol

September 21-23, 2018

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Photo by Justin Wiseman.

The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is all about creativity and passion in music and life. Downtown Bristol offers up 22 stages of live music, both indoor and outdoor, for the celebration of Bristol’s heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music. No bands have been announced yet, but the lineup announcement is scheduled for April and the sooner you purchase tickets, the less they cost. Previous Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion lineups included big name artists like Dr. Dog, Rusted Root, Steve Earl & the Dukes, and the Whiskey Gentry. Camping passes will go on sale in June and range from primitive tent camping to RV sites with access to an exclusive shower and bathroom area. Get Tickets


Richmond Folk Festival—Richmond

October 12-14, 2018

The Richmond Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness, and variety in American culture through music, dancing, traditional crafts, and food. Featuring more than 30 performing groups on 7 different stages, the festival keeps you jamming to eclectic music nonstop during this October weekend. Virginia Arts are encouraged, and there are booths set up for children’s activities and an area for Virginia Folklife demonstrations within the festival grounds, as well as a folk arts marketplace where you can purchase goods made locally. Regional and ethnic foods, craft beers, and wines are available for purchase, but the festival itself is free.


These are just a few of the many live music performances that are happening around Virginia this year. Check out our new music site to learn about Virginia artists and stream their hits on our live radio. Virginia is the perfect destination for music lovers, uniting the heritage of the past with sensational festivals, live concerts, and music events of the future.


Leave a Reply

16 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
MelAmanda BApril RJeremyAnnie Bee Recent comment authors
Notify of

Stuart Beach Music Festival
June 7-9


Amanda B
Amanda B

Not ONE actual rock festival? Blue Ridge Rock Festival, first weekend in September, Lynchburg, VA.

April R

2018 Supernova ska festival in Fredericksburg, VA May 26- 27, memorial day weekend. Featuring 1st, 2nd, and third wave ska artist. http://Www.supernovaska.com


Chesapeake Bay Reggae Fest
June 30-July 1
Mill Point Park
Hampton, Va

Annie Bee
Annie Bee

Hi, thanks for the coverage! Many of us wish you would acknowledge the “green-ness” of festivals. We’ve had a hugely successful onsite composting program at FloydFest for the past several years, and they are by far the most green music festival in Virginia, setting an example for all.

Kathryn Louise

Hope when you update this for 2017 you go to 20 and include my favorite http://www.thefesty.com/