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 2017 to add to the list!
May 19-21, 2017
The biggest outdoor sports and music festival in the U.S., Dominion Riverrock brings thousands of participants and spectators (even the four-legged kinds!) together on Richmond’s riverside Brown’s Island for three days of unforgettable fun. Outdoor sports of every kind are demonstrated at the free event, including kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paddleboarding, and slacklining. Live music performances occur throughout, and last year’s festival showcased impressive acts like Keller Williams, the Futurebirds, and G. Love & Special Sauce. There are also outdoor races for those looking to get active during the festival, and if you’re not worried about the mess, the 5K Mud Run is incredibly popular for even beginner-level runners. Music lineup to be announced in late January.
CHESAPEAKE BAY REGGAE FESTIVAL—HAMPTON
May 20-21, 2017
The Chesapeake Bay Reggae Fest is in its 7th year of action – located in Hampton, Virginia, on the heart of the historic Chesapeake Bay. The festival is not only known for its good music but its huge line up of Craft and Food Vendors from all over the East Coast. This year promises to bring another irie time to all of its attendees, so don’t miss out on the fun!
May 25-28, 2017
The 9th annual Rooster Walk promotes music, arts, and education in the Martinsville area, with tons of amazing music, kids’ activities, craft beer, food and arts vendors, and gorgeous campsites at Pop’s Farm in Axton, located just outside of Martinsville. Named one of the top five festivals in the state by Richmond Times Dispatch in 2016, this year’s festival has an impressive lineup, featuring The Wailers, Billy Strigs, The Trongone Band, and Greensky Bluegrass. Get Tickets
CLINCH RIVER DAYS FEST—ST. PAUL
June 1-3, 2017
In its 19th year, the Clinch River Days Fest in St. Paul celebrates the river and mountain heritage of Southwest Virginia. The festival includes a bus tour of Breaks Interstate Park, caving, live music, a farmers market, car show, parade with floats, and of course, kayak and canoe trips down the river. Start off the festival by participating in Friday night’s “Duck Race” (plastic, not real!), then continue with a full weekend of outdoor activities. In addition to these events, classic car shows, a Civil War reenactment, and carnival rides round out this monumental festival. Entry is free, but several of the participating events charge admission. Stay tuned to the official website for more information as the festival approaches.
THE HOWLING CRAFT BEER & MUSIC FESTIVAL—ABINGDON
June 2-3, 2017
The event will include craft beer from Wolf Hills as well as other local breweries, two stages with live music, food trucks, craft and outdoor vendors, live art and overnight camping. Look for lots of extras to enhance the carnival atmosphere. Get tickets.
VIRGINIA BEACH PATRIOTIC FESTIVAL— VIRGINIA BEACH
June 2-4, 2017
The Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival celebrates the military at The Virginia Beach Oceanfront for three days of concerts, military expos and displays. The concerts will be at 5th Street and Oceanfront Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Find the lineup and get show information.
June 9-10, 2017
Held annually in memory of a young local musician, Houston Caldwell, HoustonFest displays the strong community love and support found in Southwest Virginia. More than 30 bands perform during this two-day festival, with musical genres ranging from Bluegrass to Gospel. Skilled artisans teach festivalgoers their skills and sell homemade goods, and local vendors cook up a wide variety of foods. So far, the announced lineup for 2017’s HoustonFest includes John Berry, Strictly Strings, The Burnett Sisters, Flatt Lonesome, The Church Sisters, and Emi Sunshine. Festival tickets cost $20 each day, and camping is available for only $15 per night. Get Tickets
HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL— STUART
June 8-10, 2017
It’s the 35th annual Music Festival in Stuart, VA. Plan to come camp, dance, shop, play corn hole and enjoy original beach music and rhythm & blues. Food & beverage is available for purchase along with handmade arts & crafts. Get tickets.
June 9-11, 2017
Celebrate Fairfax! arrives June 9-11, 2017 to the Fairfax County Government Center. The annual festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors during the three-day run, with nightly fireworks, headlining performers and more than 300 exhibitors. Get tickets.
MOUNTAINS OF MUSIC FESTIVAL—VARIOUS VENUES ALONG THE CROOKED ROAD
June 9-17, 2017
For nine days in June, the mountains of Southwest Virginia come alive with musical experiences in more than 20 communities along the famous Crooked Road. The Mountains of Music Homecoming festival pays tribute to the important traditions, culture, and music of the region, with over 200 cultural experiences and 70 folk, bluegrass, gospel, and old time musical concerts. Attend a few of the instrument-making demonstrations to get an even deeper appreciation of the Crooked Road’s historical contributions, then dine on some of the finest locally sourced cuisine available in Virginia. Round out your festival experience with some outdoor activities, like a leisurely river float or a wondrous hike through some of the region’s caves. Purchase Your Tickets
SHORE MADE MUSIC FESTIVAL—ONANCOCK
June 17, 2017
This is an all-day music event of local entertainers. A music swap begins at 11 a.m. with performances starting at 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. With over 20 different musical acts, local vendors & artisans, food vendors, beverages, kids play area there’s something for everyone! Get event information.
MOUNTAINS OF MUSIC ON MAIN—CHRISTIANSBURG
June 17, 2017
Christiansburg’s Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Art Museum are excited to host a Christiansburg Concert as a part of the Crooked Road Mountains of Music Homecoming. Check the performance schedule for more information.
COLUMBIA PIKE BLUES FESTIVAL—ARLINGTON
June 17, 2017
The 22nd Annual Columbia Pike Blues Fest returns Saturday, June 17th. This event features great music, local food, and arts & crafts vendors! Community groups, local businesses, kids’ activities are showcased. Find more event information and the performance schedule.
June 17-24, 2017
The Chautauqua Festival in Wytheville is an eight day family oriented arts and music festival presented each year starting on the third Saturday of June. The week long 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 23-25, 2017
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 Sheryl Crow, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, the Staves with yMusic, and many more!
TAZEWELL OLD TIME & BLUEGRASS FIDDLERS’ CONVENTION—TAZEWELL
July 7-9, 2017
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.
RED WING ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL—MT SOLON
July 14-16, 2017
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. Get more event information.
SHENANDOAH VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL—ORKNEY SPRINGS
*Multiple dates, beginning July 21, 2017
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 26-30, 2017
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
GALAX OLD FIDDLERS CONVENTION—GALAX
August 7-12, 2017
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 81 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
RICHMOND JAZZ FESTIVAL—RICHMOND
August 10-13, 2017
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. Stay Tuned for Announcements and Tickets.
STAUNTON MUSIC FESTIVAL—STAUNTON
August 11-20, 2017
Hear 60 of the world’s most acclaimed musicians performing in 30 concerts during the 20th 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.
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 Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident, Gov’t Mule, and the Avett Brothers, 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
FRONT PORCH FEST—STUART
September 1-3, 2017
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.
AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL—VIRGINIA BEACH
September 1-3, 2017
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 2017 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