50 More 2014 Blue Ridge Festivals

You’ve seen the Blue Ridge Outdoors Festy Guide…now here’s 50 more to put on your list.

River Days Spring Fest

May 2-4  Berkley Springs, W.Va.

Roots music, local arts and riverside camping converge at this fest, which takes place at the Sleepy Creek on the Potomac campground. The high-quality music line-up features the Hackensaw Boys, Larry Keel, and many more. sleepycreek.wix.com/campground

Cheat River Festival

May 3   Albright, W.Va.

Celebrate Cheat Fest’s 20th anniversary, a day filled with music, dancing, art, food and fun, all in support of the Cheat River watershed. cheat.org

Aiken Bluegrass Festival

May 9-10   Aiken, S.C.

This two-day celebration of bluegrass, biking, and beer returns to Aiken, featuring pickin’ from Keller Williams and the Travelin’ McCourys, Greensky Bluegrass, and Jeff Austin and the Here and Now. On Saturday, start the day with a family bike ride downtown and during the fest enjoy micro suds from fest sponsor New Belgium Brewing Company. aikenbluegrassfestival.org 

Shaky Knees Music Festival

May 9-11   Atlanta, Ga.

After a huge inaugural year, Shaky Knees is back for round two, boasting a top line-up of artists including Spoon, The National, and The Gaslight Anthem. shakykneesfestival.com

North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival

May 10   Huntersville, N.C.

This Saturday in May features some of the region’s best craft brews alongside some foot stompin’ bluegrass and Americana. Sip on a Lonerider or Birdsong while listening to the likes of Greensky Bluegrass and Big Daddy Love. ncbrewsmusic.com 

Susquehanna Breakdown

May 10   Scranton, Pa.

Pennsylvania bluegrass crew Cabinet hosts this one-day fest at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain. Additional acts on the bill include Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Marco Benevento, Melvin Seals and many more. susquehannabreakdown.com

Sweet Life Festival

May 11   Columbia, Md.

This single-day fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion features sets from Lana Del Rey, Foster the People, and Fitz and the Tantrums, as well as great local food. sweetlifefestival.com

Drumstrong Rhythm & Arts Festival

May 16-18   Waxhaw, N.C.

This new fest located just south of Charlotte will deliver an impressive line-up that includes Railroad Earth, The Felice Brothers, Kopecky Family Band, Chatham County Line, Dom Flemon, and Joe Pug. Catch these bands and many more at Misty Meadows Farm. It all supports Drumstrong, a music-based nonprofit raising funds and awareness for cancer-fighting organizations. drumstrong.com

Hangout Music Festival

May 16-18   Gulf Shores, Ala.

A sunny four-day blowout down on the Gulf Shores, Hangout brings together top national artists Jack Johnson, The Killers, the Black Keys, and recently reunited Outkast for another year of fun on the beach. hangoutfest.com

Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival

May 22-24   Coeburn, Va.

A beautiful setting combined with legendary bluegrass has made Ralph Stanley’s music festival a staple in the area. Still held at his old home place, Stanley will play every day along with some of his favorite artists, including Judy Marshall and Russell Moore. drralphstanleyfestival.com


May 22-25   Cumberland, Md.

 For the past six years bluegrass legend Del McCoury has crafted a weekend full of foot-stomping bluegrass energy alongside the scenic Potomac River Valley. Nestled in the beautiful Appalachians of Western Maryland, this year’s lineup may be the strongest yet. Along with daily sets from Del and his band, fans will be treated to a highly anticipated performance from Colorado jam favorite The String Cheese Incident, along with Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. delfest.com

Papa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival

May 23-24   Evans, Ga.

Dig into a plate of the South’s finest BBQ and dig the sounds of the Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Leftover Salmon, The Whiskey Gentry, and Blue Dogs. banjobque.com

Artspring Festival

May 23-25   Tucker County, W.Va.

This weekend-long celebration of the arts throughout Tucker County will feature live music, theater, fine arts and crafts exhibits, and artisan food and drink. The festivities will be spread throughout the county at various venues in Davis, Thomas, Canaan Valley, and Parsons. artspringwv.com

Long Creek Music Festival

May 23-25  Long Creek, S.C.

Now expanded to three days, this up and coming mountain rager features a stellar line-up of roots music to support the mighty Chattooga River. Taking place at the Chattooga River Resort & Campground, the event will include the sounds of Col. Bruce Hampton, Truth & Salvage Co., and many more. Proceeds benefit American Whitewater and the Chattooga Conservancy. longcreekfest.com

Mountain Sports Festival

May 23-25   Asheville, N.C.

This annual weekend of Olympic-style competition in Asheville features an ultimate Frisbee tournament, dodgeball, and disc golf, among others. Kids even have the opportunity to participate in a duathlon and a bike race. Look for great vendors and live music at Carrier Park. mountainsportsfestival.com 

Virginia Mountain Bike Festival

May 23-26   Stokesville, Va.

Celebrating Virginia’s rich mountain biking culture over the course of three epic days in Stokesville, this fest allows you get some great rides in during the day and kick back with a few beers at night. Brave the legendary Southern Traverse or Reddish Knob. mtntouring.com 

Spoleto Festival USA

May 23 – June 8   Charleston, S.C.

For 17 days and nights this spring, the Spoleto Festival, recognized as America’s premier performing arts fest, fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with a variety of music, dance, theater, and visual arts. spoletousa.org

Nelsonville Music Festival

May 29 – June 1   Nelsonville, Oh

This festival celebrates its unique, intimate vibe, yet continually brings some of the biggest touring names in indie and Americana. Headliners include The Avett Brothers, Dinosaur Jr., and the Head and the Heart. nelsonvillefest.org 

Graves Mountain Festival of Music

May 30 – June 1   Syria, Va.

The foothills of Shenandoah National Park come alive with another great weekend of banjo pickin’ and great accommodations. Hear traditional bluegrass artists like the Steep Canyon Rangers alongside progressive artists like The Duhks. Spend your afternoon horseback riding, hiking, or swimming before the music begins. gravesmountain.com

Briar Patch Music Festival

May 29-31  Damascus, Ga.

Bringing what festival curators call “The Real to the Field,” the Briar Patch Music Festival promises to bring exciting underground Southern jams to this rural farming community. Look for Rollin’ in the Hay and Thomas Wynn and the Believers to round out the weekend. briarpatchpro.com

Blackstock Music Festival

May 30-31   Blackstock, S.C.

Another big bash on the rise, this fest features musical heavyweights like Galactic, Leftover Salmon, Papadosio, Bill Payne, BoomBox, Mason Jennings, Will Hoge, The Revivalists, and Toubab Krewe. blackstockmusicfestival.com

Tour De Fat

May 31   Washington D.C.

This traveling celebration of “beer, bikes and bemusement” features a large bike parade, followed by a series of wild shenanigans that include a bike circus and rodeo. Don’t forget all the great New Belgium beer you’ll be enjoying. The first stop is in D.C. on May 31. newbelgium.com 

Beer City Festival

May 31   Asheville, N.C.

Sample beers from more than thirty craft breweries while soaking up some great tunes in downtown Asheville. Music Lineup TBA. beercityfestival.com 

Appalachian Uprising

June 5-7   Scottown, OH

Another year of progressive bluegrass and classic favorites occurs at the scenic Eden Valley Farm in Scottown. The Marshall Tucker Band joins The Travelin McCourys, Della Mae, and Larry Keel for a foot-stompin’ Appalachian escapade. appalachianuprising.net

Seedtime on the Cumberland

June 6-7   Whitesburg, Ky.

This annual two-day celebration of Appalachian music, arts, and culture occurs in the tiny, beautiful town of Whitesburg.


Mountain Music Festival

June 6-8   Oak Hill, W.Va.

Access some world-class whitewater and a top-notch trail network in West Virginia’s New River Gorge at this event hosted by ACE Adventure Resort. Beyond the outdoor playtime, this new event will also feature an amazing line-up of roots music that includes Keller Williams, The Wood Brothers, and Larry Keel. mountainmusicfestwv.com

Blue Plum Festival

June 6-8   Johnson City, Tenn.

This three-day fest in downtown Johnson City attracts nearly 80,000 people every year for a weekend of Americana music, art, and great food. blueplum.org

Shenandoah Riverside Festival

June 14-15   Berryville, Va.

Along with donating all festival proceeds to protect the Shenandoah River, this Berryville bash boasts hot pickin’ from Larry Keel and Yarn, along with scenic camping at the Brunswick Family Campground. shenandoahriversidefestival.com 

Mad Tea Party Jam

June 19-22   Hedgesville, W.Va.

Now in its third year, the Mad Tea Party Jam brings back familiar jamtronica acts to the “Bavarian Villa” in Hedgesville. Look for sets from Papadosio, The Werks, and Dopapod. appalachianjamwich.com

Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest

June 21-22   Leesburg, Va.

A deep roster of breweries coupled with local music, food, and arts makes this annual Leesburg fest a summer staple in the area. novabrewfest.com

ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival

June 26-28   Owensboro, Ky.

This three-day fest aligns seasoned bluegrass veterans Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury with progressive favorites like Railroad Earth and the Wood Brothers. Benefiting the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, the eclectic lineup is sure to kick up some flatfooting in Yellow Creek Park. rompfest.com

Festival for the Eno

July 4-5   Durham, N.C.

Last year’s event featured over 65 acts on three stages, complete with great food, art, and celebration of the great Eno River & Watershed. Look for another fun weekend this summer in the Triangle. enoriver.org 

The Big What Festival

July 4-6   Possum Holler, N.C.

Three huge nights of camping and jams in central North Carolina. Big Something, Toubab Krewe, and Zach Deputy round out an impressive lineup. thebigwhat.com 


July 18-20   Baltimore, Md.

Over 350,000 people attended Artscape last year, America’s largest free arts festival. Taking place in downtown Baltimore, the fest spans 12 city blocks and features a bevy of exhibits, music, dance, theater and film. artscape.org

Wills Mountain Festival

August 8-10   Bedford, Pa.

This three-day roots fest sits along the scenic Appalachians in Bedford County. Lineup TBA. wmfest.com

Blue Grass Valley Music Festival

August 8-10   Blue Grass, Va.

This up-and-coming fest, set among the remote beauty of Highland County, will feature a great line-up of regional acts including The Hillbilly Gypsies, Sun-dried Opossum, The Halftime String Band, Yankee Dixie, and Hound Dog Hill. [email protected]


August 9   Roanoke, Va.

Situated at Elmwood Park in the heart of downtown Roanoke, Microfestivus brings nearly 130 beers for your sampling pleasure, along with great music and local food. microfestivus.squaresociety.org

The Peach Music Festival

August 14-17   Scranton, PA

The Allman Brother’s annual fest bears extra importance this year, as Gregg and the boys have announced they will stop touring after 2014. Look for a performance of  “Eat a Peach” in its entirety, along with sets from Bob Weir & Ratdog and the Trey Anastasio Band. thepeachmusicfestival.com

Staunton Music Festival

August 15-24   Staunton, Va.

This annual event will feature an extended program of world-class chamber music in a quaint historic town in the Virginia Blue Ridge. stauntonmusicfestival.org

Camp Barefoot

August 21-23  Bartow, W.Va.

Camp Barefoot returns for another year of hot jams and beats at the secluded Camp Hidden Meadows in the Monongahela National Forest. This year’s lineup features Beats Antique, Papadosio, Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident, and Lettuce. campbarefoot.org

Front Porch Fest

August 29-31   Stuart, Va.

Produced by some great friends and family in Patrick County, this relaxed weekend campout sits on the 130 picturesque acres of Spirit Haven Farm. Corey Harris, Jon Stickley Trio and the Former Champions will ring in the sixth year of this fest. frontporchfest.com

Hopscotch Festival

September 4-6   Raleigh, N.C.

With more than 450 bands performing and 60,000 fans attending since 2010, Hopscotch is becoming one of the most renowned celebrations of music on the East Coast. From genre staples to relative newcomers, Hopscotch offers something for everyone. Music featured in 15 venues in downtown Raleigh. hopscotchmusicfest.com


September 4-7   Arrington, VA

Last year’s inaugural fest was a jam fan’s paradise, complete with two massive stages and no overlapping sets. Set on Arrington’s beautiful Oak Ridge Farm, fans can look forward to another round of Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, and sets from Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. locknfestival.com

Mountain Song Festival

September 13-14   Brevard, N.C.

The Steep Canyon Rangers curate another weekend of spectacular bluegrass at the Brevard Music Center’s open-air auditorium. Lineup this year still to be announced. mountainsongfestival.com

Gauley Fest

September 19-20   Summersville, W.Va.

Live music, boat raffles, and an infamous silent auction are just a few highlights at the largest paddle festival in the world. The Gauley Fest has been stirring excitement since 1983 and shows no signs of slowing down. Get ready for some sunshine and maybe a little moonshine. americanwhitewater.org

Watermelon Park Festival

September 25-27   Berryville, Va.

This small Americana gathering in Berryville kicks up some serious dust alongside the scenic Shenandoah River. Sam Bush is already on this year’s lineup. watermelonparkfest.com 

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

October 9-12   Silk Hope, N.C.

A bluegrass-Americana paradise set in the Triangle; twice a year Shakori Hills brings a stellar line-up of roots acts together for a long weekend of family-friendly revelry. The fall roster is still TBD, but the spring fest featured Indigo Girls, The Del McCoury Band, and Donna the Buffalo. shakorihillsgrassroots.org

Richmond Folk Festival

October 10-12   Richmond, Va.

Celebrate the rich roots of American culture through music, dance, storytelling and food at this yearly Richmond staple. Lineup and events TBA. richmondfolkfestival.org

Go Outside Festival

October 17-19   Roanoke, Va.

A weekend filled with biking, climbing, slacklining, paddling, and fishing, Roanoke’s Go Outside Fest has become the premier weekend for area outdoor enthusiasts. Festival grounds are located along the Roanoke River at the River’s Edge Sports Complex, and feature local food and craft beer. This year the Lazy Man Dub Band and the Hackensaw Boys will provide the tunes, along with a newly announced Red Bull Film Fest for evening screenings. roanokegofest.com

River Rocks

October TBD   Chattanooga, Tenn.

Celebrating the best of Chattanooga, this 10-day fest features mountain biking, trail running, paddling races, hikes, and novice outdoor activities. At night, enjoy great food and music by the river. riverrockschattanooga.com

Places to Go, Things to See: