The sixth annual Dominion Riverrock festival took place May 16-18 with a number of new and exciting features  this year. The festival takes place on Brown’s Island and Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, and is free and open to the public, drawing tens of thousands each day and night.

This fest is all about indulging in as much adventure as possible.

Friday features a 5K mud run and the start of the two-day bouldering comp, while Saturday is stacked with the long-standing James River Scramble 10K Trail Run, the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, an adventure race, and kayak and stand-up paddleboard races. Sunday includes a climbing speed comp, more paddling races, and the end of the weekend-long freestyle bike comp. If you’d rather keep competition to a minimum, you can check out SUP demos, join a group hike, test your pedal power on the mountain bike skills course, or gawk at the brave and balanced on the Slackline Highline Exhibition.

Downtown Richmond hosts this full-weekend adventure sports festival that takes place on the banks of the James River. From central grounds on Brown’s Island, you can run, ride, paddle, and climb in a variety of comps and races, while live tunes are blaring in the background and big crowds are browsing gear booths from the outdoor industry’s best.

This year the event will feature two big headliners: bluegrass-rock expansionists The Infamous Stringdusters on Friday night and reggae-flavored MC Matisyahu on Saturday. Support bands include The London Souls, The Congress, Sunliner, and People’s Blues of Richmond.

New features include:

5Point Film Festival presented by Walkabout Outfitter

The 5Point Film Festival On the Road presented by Walkabout Outfitter will kick off the action-packed weekend on Thursday, May 15 at The Byrd Theatre with a series 12-14 short documentary adventure films from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This event is free, and doors open to the public at 6:00 p.m.

First Descents partners with VCU Massey Cancer Center to host rafting trip

First Descents, a Denver-based nonprofit that provides free outdoor adventure programs for young adults (ages 18-39) with cancer, is participating in its first year at Dominion Riverrock. While First Descents is in Richmond for the festival, they will be teaming up with the VCU Massey Cancer Center to take eight young adult cancer fighters down a seven-mile stretch of the James River on Thursday, May 15. First Descents is excited to connect with the Richmond community and hopes to expand its reach and open up their programs to this area in the near future. Brad Ludden will be there early in the week and then Willie Kern will be here the whole time, competing in both kayaking events.

Red Bull Berm Burners, a world premier event

Attention dirt jumpers, cyclocross racers, and downhill mountain bikers—the challenge is set. On May 17, 30 professional cyclists from all disciplines to compete in Red Bull Berm Burners, a first-of-its kind individual head-to-head pursuit dirt cycling competition taking place during the Dominion Riverock outdoor festival in Richmond, Virginia.

Red Bull Berm Burners’ stripped down pump track presents a unique challenge to all disciplines of riders, ultimately testing their core abilities on a dirt cyclone of moto whoops housed between two fast, steep berms. Influenced by BMX racing, track cycling, and motocross, the completed 100’ by 25’ oval course will feature pump track style rollers leading into two nearly vertical six-foot berms. The race is open to 20’ BMX and 26’ and 29’ mountain bike wheels with both rigid and suspension frames, along with all other bike disciplines.

In addition to the professional race, the Red Bull Berm Burners open amateur race will take place on May 18. Cyclists from all age groups and classes are welcome to enter. Race format for the qualifiers and finals will follow the same format as the professional race.

SUP with your Pup presented by Ruffwear and Black Dog Paddle

Ruffwear has partnered with Black Dog Paddle to offer two, 30-minute SUP with your Pup demo sessions. The first session will take place on Saturday, May 17th from 1:30-2:00 p.m. and the second on Sunday, May 18th from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. In order to sign up for a session, participants must check-in at the Ruffwear booth on Brown’s Island. Sessions are limited to a maximum of eight participants plus their dogs.

Dominion Mobile Charging Station (#poweredbyD)

This year, it will be easier to stay connected at Dominion Riverrock, thanks to Dominion’s mobile charging station. This one-of-a-kind, 12-foot trailer is designed to quickly power up to 96 devices at a time by harnessing energy from the sun. Participants enjoying an activity-packed day can simply walk up any time and plug in— charging cords for a number of devices and smartphones are included. This new technology at Dominion Riverrock will allow participants and spectators to stay and play all day. They can take more pictures, capture more video, and keep in touch with friends and family without their phone batteries running out.

Dominion Riverrock, organized by Venture Richmond and the Sports Backers, began in 2009 and is now one of the nation’s premier outdoor sports and lifestyle festival, bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The event was designed to promote Richmond’s unique riverfront, downtown trails and whitewater rapids to outdoor enthusiasts.

Photo by Dawn Yilmaz

Photo by Dawn Yilmaz