Summer Festivals To Add To Your 2018 Calendar

by Taylor Paul | Posted: May 5, 2017 | Updated: Jun 4, 2018

Comments: 9 Comments


Summer in Virginia is the time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. It also happens to be prime festival season. The endless sunny days invites visitors and residents alike to get outside and experience the best of Virginia. If you’re looking for more Virginia entertainment to fill your calendar this year, here are a few of the must-attend festivals of 2018 to add to the list!



June 16-23, 2018

The Chautauqua Festival in Wytheville is a week-long day family oriented arts and music festival presented each year starting on the third Saturday of June. The festivities are conducted in and around Elizabeth Brown Park, just a few blocks south of the heart of downtown and largely at no cost to the festival goer. Each evening brings a different musical theme on the main stage with performances by major regional talent. Get more event information.



June 22-23, 2018

Funhouse Fest is presented by the Virginia Arts Festival and Bruce Hornsby. It takes place on the lawn of the Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets for the 3-day-festival can be found here. This year’s lineup includes showstoppers like Alison Krauss, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Amos Lee, and many more!



July 13-15, 2018

Come to the Tazewell Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention for three days of live musical performances played with banjos, guitars, fiddles, and many other folk-inspired instruments. During the festival, bands compete in their respective categories, including harmonica, autoharp, and bass, for more than $5,000 of cash prizes, pride, and recognition. With full weekend passes selling for $12, children under 12 free, and primitive campsites available at no cost, you can bring the entire family to this affordable festival celebrating Heart of Appalachia’s traditional mountain music.



July 13-15, 2018

Red Wing Roots Music Festival. Image by Ruby Sky Photography.

This is a family-friendly celebration of multiple stages with dozens of high-quality national and regional bands, kid’s events and activities, bike rides in the scenic Shenandoah Valley and close access to great hiking and fishing. The 2018 lineup includes Trampled By Turtles, Josh Ritter, and Steep Canyon Rangers. Get more event information.



*Multiple dates, beginning July 20, 2018

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has been bringing great music to the Valley for more than 50 years! Each summer the Festival presents eight to 10 concerts, featuring nationally recognized, award-winning artists. Get the full lineup.



July 25-29, 2018


Spanning over 80 acres of mountain plateau land off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Floydfest combines music, arts, and local culture into five days of unforgettable fun. The festival celebrates Virginia’s Great Outdoors with kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and even disc golf courses throughout the festival grounds. Walk over to the “Global Village” to peruse goods from more than 100 artisans, learn crafts and unique skills in the ongoing workshops and demonstrations, and find every type of food imaginable, whether you prefer sushi, burgers, or barbecue. Bring along the kids and head to the children’s area, complete with youth workshops, puppet shows, playgrounds, and live stage performances. And with babysitting services available, you can attend the later shows without worrying about the kids. Get Tickets



August 6-11, 2018

galax old fiddlers convention

The oldest and largest fiddlers’ festival in the world, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention pays tribute to the region’s rich culture and mountain music roots. Since 1935, this festival has brought musicians and bluegrass fans from around the world to discover the sound that defines the Blue Ridge Mountains. After 80+ years, the festival is still one of the most affordable, fun events anywhere on the east coast, providing a family-friendly vacation option for those looking to learn more about Southwest Virginia’s extensive musical background. Tickets Sold at the Door



August 9-12, 2018

Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont

America’s musical roots are on full display during the Richmond Jazz Festival, a four-day performance showcase held at Maymont Park. More than 10,000 people gather to experience jazz from local and national bands, as well as several R&B and Neo-Soul groups. Sample food and drinks from local vendors during the festival, including Virginia wines, then head over to the artisan tents to peruse an extensive selection of arts, crafts, and goods. Get Tickets.



August 10-19, 2018

Hear 60 of the world’s most acclaimed musicians performing in 30 concerts during the 21st annual Staunton Music Festival. SMF offers daily free concerts at noon and ticketed concerts each evening, all in historic venues throughout downtown Staunton, VA. Get tickets and information.



August 23-26, 2018

Lockn' Music Festival

Some of the most influential jam bands gather each year to play Lockn’, a four-day festival held in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Previous acts include Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Robert Plant, and Tom Petty. This year’s lineup features Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, George Cliton & P-Funk, Moon Taxi, and Dead & Co., with more performances being added as the festival nears. Along with nonstop musical acts, the festival highlights outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, camping, and even yoga, as well as local artists, crafts, and regional foods. Get Tickets



August 30-September 2, 2018

At Front Porch Fest lovers of music come together in an intimate outdoor setting where the distinction between artist and audience is blurred. Local, regional and national musicians showcase their talent on three stages with no overlapping sets so that you never have to miss a beat. Get tickets and see the full lineup of performers.



August 31-September 2, 2018

Get your fill of live performances from rock, blues, jazz, country performers (to name just a few!) at the American Music Festival, held along Virginia Beach’s famous Boardwalk. As the largest outdoor music event on the East Coast, you’ll find big names headlining the festival, with a blend of local and nationally recognized talent filling out the lineup. The 2018 line-up has yet to be announced, but previous big performers included Sheryl Crow, Blue Oyster Cult, Travis Tritt, and the Steve Miller Band. Stay Tuned for Band Announcements & Tickets


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Chris James

well, you have compiled a great list but i think you forget MassKara Festival.


Virginia Lake Festival, July 20-22nd-Voted by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2017 as “One of the Top 20 Festivals In The Southeast”, LakeFest (as it is known locally) attracted nearly 60,000 visitors in 2016 to view hundreds of attractions including hot air balloons, arts and crafts, live entertainment including music and dancing, great local and ethnic food, and the traditional ‘Gathering Of The Boats’ and fireworks show!

Steve Ormsby

In the fall edition of the list, please add the 14th Annual Oyster Roast at the Watermen’s Museum along the banks of the York River in Yorktown on September 16th from noon until 3 PM. We will again feature all-you-can-eat raw and roasted oysters, clam chowder, hot dogs, side dishes, desserts, and family and adult beverages…all for a very low cost. Tickets will be available for those who eat oysters and for those who do not. Children’s tickets will also be available. The oysters are always obtained only from local growers and harvesters. And, we make sure that we have… Read more »

Becky Caldwell

So….. is there some reason why the 69th annual Virginia Highlands Festival didn’t make the list?

Tammy Brackett

Gallmeyer Farms in Richmond is hosting two family friendly FREE festivals in May. May 20 – Strawberry Fields Festival at The Berry Patch from 10am until 5pm. May 27- Memorial Day Saturday Celebration at The Berry Patch from 10am until 5pm. Free admission, parking, hayrides, live music, bounce house and food and craft vendors.