I’ve traveled up and down the Crooked Road, the Heritage Music Trail in Southwest Virginia, and loved learning about how the region’s music has helped to build the cultural identity of Americana.
So if you’re searching for quality music festivals, Virginia might just be the perfect place. VA music festivals run the gamut from bluegrass and country to jazz, reggae, and rock.
Bluegrass festivals in VA are typically held in the mountains. There are East Coast music festivals at popular vacation destinations like Virginia Beach, while festivals in Richmond, Virginia may include jazz, folk, and more.
Whether you prefer Blue Ridge Mountains music festivals with old-time jams, Virginia Beach festivals celebrating contemporary country-pop, or more eclectic musical events in Virginia, these concerts are usually packed with talent.
Most music festivals Virginia offers are held between May and October, with the bulk of them in late Summer or early Autumn. Many of these music festivals happen around the same time Fall colors bring more travelers to VA.
Read on for our in-depth guide to the best music festivals in Virginia, including options for enjoying almost every style of music in nearly every corner of the state.
Virginia Music Festivals Guide
(listed in chronological order)
- Rooster Walk Music & Art Festival (Martinsville VA, May)
- Beach It! Country Music Festival (Virginia Beach VA, June)
- Red Wing Roots Music Festival (Mt Solon VA, June)
- Stuart Beach Music Festival (Stuart VA, June)
- Floydfest (Floyd VA, July)
- Shenandoah Valley Music Festival (Orkney Springs VA, July-Sept)
- Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention (Galax VA, August)
- Jam Packed Craft Beer & Music Festival (Richmond VA, August)
- Staunton Music Festival (Staunton VA, August)
- Appaloosa Festival (Front Royal VA, September)
- Blue Ridge Rock Festival (Alton VA, September)
- Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (Bristol VA, September)
- Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival (Charlottesville VA, September)
- Virginia Chili, Blues, n’ Brews Festival (Waynesboro VA, September)
- Richmond Folk Festival (Richmond VA, October)
April, May & June VA Music Festivals
1. Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival
Martinsville VA (May)
Held in honor of two local boys who died way too young, the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival entertains loads of attendees and raises lots of money for regional charities each year.
The event lasts for a long weekend (May 23-26, 2024), typically starting on Thursday and wrapping up on Sunday. Participants can pitch their own tents for camping, or even bring RVs.
It’s hosted at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville VA. The expansive farm has a shower trailer, food vendors, and alcoholic beverages for sale. No outside booze is permitted, in keeping with VA law.
Their most recent event was hosted by the Infamous Stringdusters, but the talent lineup for the 2024 music festival had not been announced in time for our deadline.
Single-day tickets are available for purchase, but participants are encouraged to go for the 3-day and 4-day VIP passes so they can enjoy the entire weekend.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Campgrounds in Virginia
2. Beach It! Country Music Festival
June, Virginia Beach VA (June)
This VA music festival is a big-time production, with top country music stars headlining over 3 nights as well as a day full of music from up-and-coming artists.
All told, the Beach It! Country Music Festival features more than a dozen country concerts, rain or shine. The state of Virginia doesn’t have a bigger event for pop country.
The Virginia Beach music festival takes over downtown, with the main stage on 3rd Street and the Nashville Stage on 7th Street.
Note that the entire area is fenced off, and attendees must have a festival wristband to enter.
Several local hotels have partnered with the event to provide package deals that include 3 nights of accommodation and concert passes for the weekend.
3. Red Wing Roots Music Festival
Mt Solon VA (June)
It’s always nice when you can get the entire family involved in any special events, and the Red Wings Roots Music Festival in Mt Solon VA is that kind of gig.
There are several spots here for on-site camping, including everything from no-frills tent sites to RV sites with electric and water hookups.
The picturesque North River runs right through the venue.
Music Meadow is home to three stages for live music: Shenandoah Mountain Stage, Blue Ridge Timberwrights Stage, and The Roots Stage.
This VA festival typically runs from noon into the night Friday through Sunday (June 21-23, 2024), with big-time headliners from the roots music scene.
4. Stuart Beach Music Festival
(Stuart VA, June)
Patrick Country is located at the edge of Southwest Virginia, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains and 19.2 miles from one of the best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill.
It’s honestly not the first place we would think of for a “beach” music festival.
However, the Stuart Beach Music Festival is an annual 3-day event that takes place by the lake in Wayside Park.
The music is mostly beach-themed, and there are literally tons of sand trucked in for the early Summer event (which will be held June 6-8, 2024).
There’s on-site camping available, including over 200 campsites with electrical hookups, full shower/restroom facilities available, and food concessions.
Summer VA Music Festivals
Floyd VA (July)
It starts with Floyd Country Store, which is part of the Crooked Road route, and it intensifies with FloydFest.
FloydFest is an annual 5-day music event with lots of local musicians and nationally-known names as well.
The event started in the early 2000s with just a few bands, and grew into a massive deal from there. Each festival now has a central theme and huge headliners.
Floyd is an awesome setting for catching live music at its best, with the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia providing an ideal backdrop.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA
6. Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
Orkney Springs VA (July-Sept)
This music festival offers several concerts over the course of the summer, each held in an awesome outdoor venue in Orkney Springs VA.
The Pavilion at Shrine Mont is part of a 19th century resort that was known for its mineral springs.
This historic retreat and conference center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and package deals are available for those who want to enjoy a weekend getaway.
The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is a non-profit organization that presents 8-10 concerts a year, with an open approach to genre.
They’ve been hosting musicians and fans for 60 years now, with a diverse array of performers ranging from the Beach Boys to Arlo Guthrie to Ricky Skaggs and Pure Prairie League.
7. Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention
Galax VA (August)
Now in its 87th year, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention is a full week-long festival filled with competitions, dances, jams, and flatfootin’.
It’s held at the Felts Park Campground, which opens on the Sunday prior to the Monday start, and the jam sessions get going right off the bat.
The festival kicks off with youth competitions, moves into the individual instrument competitions through the mid-week, and culminates with different band competitions over the last couple of days.
This easily ranks among my most favorite Virginia music festivals.
8. Jam Packed Craft Beer & Music Festival
(Richmond VA, August)
Richmond VA is a progressive, music-loving city with a vibrant young population that keeps the city edgy and hip.
Combine the city’s craft beer scene with its far-reaching music scene, and that makes for an annual event that is well worth attending. Put it on Brown’s Island, and forget about it!
Tunes at this Richmond music festival happen throughout the day and into the night, with local restaurants offering snacks and meals for purchase.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Pumpkin Patches in VA to Visit
9. Staunton Music Festival
Staunton VA (August)
The Staunton Music Festival brings musicians from all around the globe to play chamber, vocal, and symphonic music for a world-class event.
This Shenandoah Valley music festival features 10 days of classical music at its best.
No less an authority than the Smithsonian says the festival takes place in “one of the best small towns in America.”
There are over two dozen concerts every year from 75-plus performers, making this a very unique music festival that celebrates an often under-appreciated genre of music.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Staunton VA
VA Fall Music Festivals
10. Appaloosa Festival
Front Royal VA (September)
Their extensive list of festival alumni includes popular award-winners like Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings, and Mandolin Orange, but it also promotes local favorites.
Performances are held on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 AM, with single-day and two-day passes available.
This is a family-friendly music festival in Virginia, with kids and their families getting huge discounts on tickets.
11. Blue Ridge Rock Festival
(Alton VA, September)
Offering four days of head-banging, moshpit-worthy rock and heavy metal, the Blue Ridge Rock Festival is not-for-the-faint-of-heart.
The “fan-driven” music festival is held at the 1,370-acre Virginia International Raceway property (near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Alton VA), with the line-up chosen via fan votes.
Festival organizers pride themselves on keeping the event affordable, from tickets and drinks to camping options, as well as endlessly exciting.
In addition to the rock and metal options, there’s also a Club Experience featuring hip-hop legends with ties to the hardcore community. This year’s event will take place September 7-10.
12. Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
(Bristol VA, September)
Widely regarded as the birthplace of country music, Bristol TN/VA is a fantastic mountain town for anyone who loves listening to live music.
It has a stellar music museum, two old fashioned theaters, and the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival.
A local favorite for 20+ years now, the festival honors the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which are credited with popularizing country music and influencing other genres of American music.
It’s three days packed full of music (September 8-10, 2023), and it more or less takes over Downtown Bristol.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Bristol TN/VA
13. Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival
(Charlottesville VA, September)
Celebrating chamber music for nearly 25 years now, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival hosts a series of concerts and special events, including a free community concert.
The 2023 festival takes place September 7-17, with shows all over the city.
Concert venues will include the Paramount Theater, Old Cabell Hall at UVA, Carriage House at King Family Vineyard, and Second Street Gallery.
This annual event spans 11 days and features an impressive array of world-class international artists. It’s a beautiful opportunity to enjoy chamber music in relaxed settings.
14. Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival
(Waynesboro VA, September)
Nothing combines to create fun quite like spicy chili, cold beers, and blues music.
So it only makes sense that the Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival in Waynesboro VA is a winner.
Now in its 13th year, their ever-popular Chili Contest offers several cash prizes, including People’s Choice Awards, the Best “Spicy Spirit” Tent, and the Most “Eco-Friendly” Chili. There are also plenty of food trucks.
This year’s event will be held on September 16 in Downtown Waynesboro’s Lumos Plaza. The live blues music starts in the early afternoon and goes on into the night, with the gates closing at about 9 PM.
General admission tickets are available at the door, and VIP tickets include beers and seats for the shows.
15. Richmond Folk Festival
(Richmond VA, October)
The biggest of the fall festivals Richmond VA has to offer, the Richmond Folk Festival has been growing in popularity for the last 20 years.
Like other music festivals in Richmond VA, this folk festival draws top-notch talent from afar and takes advantage of Virginia’s thriving music scene, too.
Held October 13-15, this year’s event features all sorts of folk and roots music from around the world, including Richmond-based salsa legends Bio Ritmo.
The festival takes place at Downtown Richmond’s Historic Riverfront, with stages and food courts spread all throughout the area. -by Jonathon Engels; featured photo via Canva