To use the proper nomenclature, festival season is peaking right now. The summer circuit is in full swing at the moment with music lovers criss-crossing the Blue Ridge, and the country for that matter, seeking out their favorite bands, the best line-ups, and the coolest lot scene – sorry, make that camp scene. It seems that summer music festivals are aimed more and more at the counter-culture sect, the hippies, and the burnouts. Of course, this is the main demographic for your typical big festival crammed with jam bands, prog-rock, and late night techno raves. This leaves little room for the common man; the intrepid music fan who wants nothing more than to relax with their family, listen to some good old-fashioned mountain music, and maybe even slip off festival grounds for a bike ride or hike. This type of behavior would be blasphemy at Bonnaroo or All Good, where if you are not in a trance, hula-hooping to a band you’ve never heard of, you’re doing it wrong. Well, one band and one festival are out to change that, and it starts this weekend at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys State Park outside Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Presented by home-town and BRO favorites The Steel Wheels, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival is in its first year and is opening with a bang. Along with the Steel Wheels, the festival is headlined by the Del McCoury Band, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, and features festival favorites Yarn, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, The Duhks, and Pokey LaFarge. For the family there will be a Kids Zone featuring a kids’ stage with workshops and performances by the bands, story telling, and animal viewing from The Wildlife Center of Virginia.
The lineup is top-notch, but attendees will also be in the heart of Blue Ridge adventure at Natural Chimneys State Park. Hosts The Steel Wheels are cycling enthusiasts and will be leading rides on some of the country roads of Augusta County, and the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club will lead a hike to Little Bald Knob. There is also fishing, swimming, and mountain biking all in the immediate vicinity, and outdoor activities are encouraged by festival organizers.
Day passes are available at the gate or camping passes are online, so there is no excuse not to check out this brand-spanking-new music festival right in your Blue Ridge backyard.