excludeFestival Guide 2016: 2016 Festival Calendar

Festival Guide 2016: 2016 Festival Calendar

These are the Top 100 music festivals taking place all across the Southeast and MidAtlantic in 2016.

French Broad River Festival

Hot Springs, N.C.  |  April 29- May 1


Started nearly two decades ago as an intimate gathering of a group of paddlers, this fest at the Hot Springs Campground has grown into a regional favorite, featuring an impressive line-up of roots music and plenty of chances to play on the river.

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

Silk Hope, N.C.  |  May 5-8


Shakori Hills brings a stellar line-up of roots acts together for a long weekend of family-friendly revelry. Headliners include the Punch Brothers and Locos Por Juana. A fall version also takes place October 6-9.

North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival

Huntersville, N.C.  |  May 6-7


A celebration of tasty beer and good tunes, including some of the region’s best craft brews and bluegrass tunes together on Huntersville’s historic Rural Hill. Band this year: Travelin’ McCourys, Della Mae, and Mipso.

Laid Back Festival

Atlanta, Ga.  |  May 7


Greg Allman hosts this one-day fest with ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, and Michelle Malone.

Cheat River Festival

Albright, W.Va.  |  May 7


This big annual party is filled with arts, boating, bluegrass, food, and fun, all in support of the Cheat River watershed.


Black Mountain, N.C.  |  May 12-15


The family friendly Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known as LEAF—celebrates arts and culture from around the world.

Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival

Gettysburg, Pa.  |  May 12-15


This serious bluegrass festival celebrates its 72nd running with the Seldom Scene, Rhonda Vincent, Dry Branch Fire Squad, and many more.

Aiken Bluegrass Festival

Aiken, S.C.  |  May 13-14


This two-day celebration of bluegrass, biking, and beer returns to Aiken, featuring jams from Keller Williams, Larry Keel, and members of Greensky Bluegrass.

Swamptown Getdown

Waycross, Ga.  |  May 13-14


A diverse celebration of roots music in the South, touching on jam, country indie rock, and Americana. Acts this year: Roosevelt Collier, Parker Urban Band, and S.P.O.R.E.

Shaky Knees Music Festival

Atlanta, Ga.  |  May 13-15


The Atlanta indie and roots rock throwdown at Centennial Olympic Park boasts big names including My Morning Jacket, Florence and the Machine, and Walk the Moon.

Trail Days

Damascus, Va.  |  May 13-15


With the A.T. running through town, Damascus is the perfect place to host this big festival that’s an annual reunion for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.

Sweet Life Festival

Columbia, Md.  |  May 14


Head to Merriweather Post Pavilion to hear tunes from 1975, Halsey, Flume, and Grimes, and chow down on great local food during the show.

Susquehanna Breakdown

Scranton, Pa.  |  May 20-21


Pennsylvania bluegrass group Cabinet hosts this festival at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain. Additional acts on the bill include Railroad Earth and the Infamous Stringdusters.

Dominion Riverrock

Richmond, Va.  |  May 20-22


Riverrock is a huge outdoor sports and music festival on the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond.

Fish and Pick

Buena Vista, Va.  |  May 20-22


A great combination—bluegrass tunes and trout fishing—come together at this fest at Glen Maury Park and Campground.

Hangout Music Festival

Gulf Shores, Ala.  |  May 20-22


Hang out for three sunny days on the Gulf Shores of Alabama and listen to top national artists like Weeknd, Calvin Harris, and Florence and the Machine.

Briar Patch Music Festival

Damascus, Ga.  |  May 20 – 21


The Briar Patch Music Festival boasts exciting underground Southern jams in a rural farming area of Georgia.

Shaky Beats Festival

Atlanta, Ga.  |  May 20-22


The electronica sister festival to Shaky Knees, this fest at Centennial Olympic Park will feature Major Lazer, Odesza, and Big Gigantic.

Tour De Fat

Washington D.C.  |  May 21


New Belgium hosts this traveling celebration of “beer, bikes and bemusement,” featuring a large bike parade, followed by a series of wild shenanigans. The first stop is in Washington D.C. at Yards Park.

LAVA Music Festival

Suffolk, Va.  |  May 27-28


This Virginia festival features some of the biggest names in indie music. Bands on this year’s bill: The Front Bottoms, Charles Bradley, Dan Deacon, and Minus the Bear.

Dr. Ralph Stanley’s 46th Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass


Coeburn, Va.  |  May 26-28


Ralph Stanley leads this bluegrass festival at his old home place in southwest Virginia.

RoosterWalk Music and Arts Festival

Axton, Va.  |  May 26-29


This family friendly festival held near Martinsville continues to raise the bar with its impressive line-up of roots music. Bands this year: Sam Bush, Lettuce, Perpetual Groove, the Revivalists, and many more.

Papa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival

Evans, Ga.  |  May 27-28


Dig into some delicious BBQ and killer tunes from Willie Nelson and Old Crow Medicine Show.


Cumberland, Md.  |  May 26-29


Del McCoury headlines this progressive bluegrass and roots music fest with help this year from Bruce Hornsby, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, and many more.

Long Creek Music Festival

Long Creek, S.C.  |  May 27-29


This mountain rager at the Chattooga River Resort & Campground features plenty of fiddles and funk to support the mighty Chattooga River. Catch the Pine Box Dwellers, Absolute Zero, Charlie Wooten, and more.

Mountain Sports Festival

Asheville, N.C.  |  May 27-29


This annual weekend of Olympic-style competition in Asheville features a tough 10K run, stand-up paddleboard and mountain bike races, yoga, cyclocross, climbing, and a fun duathlon, among other events. Look for great vendors, live music, and kid’s activities at Carrier Park.

Virginia Mountain Bike Festival

Stokesville, Va.  |  May 27-30


Virginia mountain bikers get together for a big hang at Stokesville Campground throughout a long weekend that includes some great rides during the day and kicking back with a few beers at night.

Spoleto Festival USA

Charleston, S.C.  |  May 27-June 12


For 17 packed days and nights this spring, the Spoleto Festival fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with a variety of music, dance, theater, and visual arts.

Beer City Festival

Asheville, N.C.  |  May 28


Head to Roger McGuire Green to sample beers from more than 30 craft breweries while soaking up some great local Asheville tunes.

Graves Mountain Festival of Music

Syria, Va.  |  June 2-4


Three days of the best in bluegrass takes place at the scenic Graves Mountain Lodge in the shadow of Shenandoah National Park. Catch sets from Doyle Lawson, Larry Sparks, Flatt Lonesome, and many more.

Nelsonville Music Festival

Nelsonville, Ohio  |  June 2-5


With both big names and small-town charm, this festival includes Randy Newman, Gary Clark, Jr., Courtney Barnett, and many more.

Seedtime on the Cumberland

Whitesburg, Ky.  |  June 3-4


This annual two-day celebration of Appalachian music, arts, and culture occurs in the tiny, beautiful town of Whitesburg. Enjoy both old-time and contemporary bluegrass tunes, visual art exhibits, and hands-on workshops.

Mountain Music Festival

Oak Hill, W.Va.  |  June 3-4


Access some world-class whitewater as well as a top-notch trail network in West Virginia’s New River Gorge at this event hosted by ACE Adventure Resort. Alongside all your outdoor playtime, listen to an amazing line-up of roots music that includes Galactic, Trampled by Turtles, and the Infamous Stringdusters.

Blue Plum Festival

Johnson City, Tenn.  |  June 3-5


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. Bands include the Mavericks and the Steeldrivers.

OBX Brewfest

Nags Head, N.C.  |  June 5


Enjoy a huge roster of craft brews from across the nation plus live music from Keller and the Keels, yard games, and a handcrafted soda garden.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Manchester, Tenn.  |  June 9-12


The mothership of all fests returns to Manchester with Pearl Jam, Dead & Co., and LCD Soundsystem.

Carolina Country Music Festival

Myrtle Beach, S.C.  |  June 10-12


Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Florida Georgia Line lead this huge country bash on the beach.

Americana Beer Fest

Leesburg, Va.  |  June 11


A slate of great bands and 60 breweries come together to provide a killer afternoon of drinking and dancing at Morven Park. Acts on the bill include Trampled by Turtles, Wild Child, and Possessed by Paul James.

Mad Tea Party Jam

Artemas, Pa.  |  June 16-19


This big jamtronica summit in the Mid-Atlantic will features sets from Papadosio, Tauk, Twiddle, and many more.

Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest

Centreville, Va.  |  June 18-19


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

ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival

Owensboro, Ky.  |  June 22-25


This three-day fest aligns seasoned bluegrass veterans like Del McCoury and Sam Bush with progressive favorites including the Infamous Stringdusters and Old Crow Medicine Show.

IPA Jambeeree

Crozet, Va.  |  June 25


Star Hill Brewery hosts this new fest that will feature the best in hoppy brews from the Commonwealth.

Floyd Fandango

Floyd, Va.  |  June 25


Taking place at the same site as FloydFest, this one-day boutique festival features live tunes, craft brews, and plenty of outdoor fun, including a 5K race, disc golf tournament, and a mountain cross bike race.

Frankfort River Blast

Frankfort, Ky.  |  June 25


The waterfront of Kentucky’s Capital City comes alive with music, craft beer, an art market, and paddling.

Festival for the Eno

Durham, N.C.  |  July 2 and 4


Last year’s event featured over 65 acts on four stages, along with great food and art—a big celebration of the great Eno River. Line-up TBA.

Master Musicians Festival

Somerset, Ky.  |  July 8-9


This fest is all about variety, bringing a big range of multi-cultural music— blues, bluegrass, Celtic, rock, jazz, country, and Americana acts—to the stage. Lineup TBA.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival

Mount Solon, Va.  |  July 8-10


An intimate roots music festival hosted by the Steel Wheels with an impressively growing line-up at Natural Chimneys Park in the Shenandoah Valley.


Baltimore, Md.  |  July 15-17


Over 400,000 people regularly attend Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival. Situated in downtown Baltimore, the fest spans 12 city blocks and features a bevy of exhibits, music, dance, theater, and film.

Forecastle Festival

Louisville, Ky.  |  July 15-17


Forecastle has become one of the premiere music festivals in the country, taking place every summer at Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park. Bands: Alabama Shakes, the Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and many more.

Sloss Festival

Birmingham, Al.  |  July 16-17


Birmingham gets its own big band bash downtown at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Headliners: Ryan Adams, Death Cab for Cutie, Ray Lamontagne, the Flaming Lips, and Ben Harper.

The Big What Festival

Mebane, N.C.  |  July 21-23


Three big nights of camping and jams in central North Carolina. Big Something, the Werks, and Turkuaz lead an impressive lineup.


Floyd, Va.  |  July 27-31


FloydFest is a multi-stage musical blowout on a beautiful 80-acre mountain plateau right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Headliners this year: Greg Allman, Bruce Hornsby, Leftover Salmon, and Warren Haynes with his acoustic Ashes and Dust Band.

Virginia Highlands Festival

Abingdon, Va.  |  July 29 – August 7


Arts and culture collide at this festival in historic Abingdon.

Wills Mountain Festival

Bedford, Pa.  |  August 5-7


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

Blue Grass Valley Music Festival

Blue Grass, Va.  |  August 12-14


Set amid the remote beauty of Highland County in the mountains of western Virginia, this festival on the rise features a great line-up of roots music acts, including Whiskey Shivers, Big Daddy Love, Chamomile & Whiskey, and the Rondo Rigs. Taking place at Potomac Farm, the family friendly fest also offers local food, kids’ activities, and onsite trout fishing in the Potomac River.

The Peach Music Festival

Scranton, Pa.  |  August 11-14


Greg Allman leads this fest originally started by the now-retired Allman Brothers Band, playing solo alongside Trey Anastasio and the String Cheese Incident.

Staunton Music Festival

Staunton, Va.  |  August 12-21


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


Roanoke, Va.  |  August 13


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

Smith River Fest

Axton, Va.  |  August 13


Celebrate the Smith River with a full day of paddling, fishing, running, and biking, along with vendor booths, live music, and fun for the whole family. The fest takes place at the Smith River Sports Complex near Martinsville.

Hot August Music Festival

Cockeysville, Md.  |  August 20


Soak up that hot August sun with the best of rock, folk, and bluegrass. Lineup TBD.

Camp Barefoot

Elkins, W.Va.  |  August 18-20


Camp Barefoot returns for another year of hot jams and beats in the Mountain State, this year at a new site in Elkins. This year’s lineup features Ghostland Observatory, the New Deal, and Keller Williams.

Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

Roseland, Va.  |  August 20


Over 50 Virginia breweries make their way to this annual festival at Devils Backbone Brewing Company.


Arrington, VA  |  August 25-28


The ultimate jam band festival takes place on the scenic grounds of Oak Ridge Farm in Nelson County. The huge line-up this year includes Phish, My Morning Jacket, and Ween.

Rte. 23 Music Festival

Wise, Va.  |  August 27


This killer little fest on the rise features a great line-up at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Front Porch Fest

Stuart, Va.  |  September 2-5


Produced by some great friends and family in Patrick County, this relaxed weekend campout sits on the picturesque Spirit Haven Farm. Big Daddy Love, Laura Reed, Dangermuffin, and more will take the stage this year.

Abingdon Main Street BuskerFest

Abingdon, Va.  |  September 3


Street performers of all stripes are the main event at this festival in downtown Abingdon.

Hopscotch Festival

Raleigh, N.C.  |  September 8-10


Every year an eclectic mix of indie rock and experimental acts converge in downtown Raleigh for this annual festival.

Mountain Song Festival

Brevard, N.C.  |  September 9-10


The Steep Canyon Rangers curate another weekend of spectacular bluegrass at the Brevard Music Center’s open-air auditorium. Lineup includes the host band with Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Dom Flemons, and more.

Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival

Kodak, Tenn.  |  September 15-17


A picker’s paradise with the Seldom Scene, John Cowan, Rhonda Vincent, and the Gibson Brothers.

Gauley Fest

Summersville, W.Va.  |  September 15-18


This bash brings together class V whitewater runs, live music, and boater shenanigans at the biggest paddling festival in the world.

Brewgrass Festival

Asheville, N.C.  |  September 17


New beer festivals keep popping up everywhere, but, at 20 years old, Brewgrass was around long before the current craft beer boom. This pioneering event features tasty offerings from 50 craft breweries and a full day of progressive bluegrass.

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

Bristol, Tenn./Va.  |  September 16-18


This annual fest incorporates roots music from all generations, featuring a range of artists from national headliners to regional upstarts to down home Appalachian pickers playing along the bustling main drag of State Street.

Watermelon Park Fest

Berryville, Va.  |  September 22-25


This small Americana gathering in Berryville kicks up some serious dust alongside the scenic Shenandoah River. Lineup TBA.

World Chicken Festival

London, Ky.  |  September 22-25


Country music and delicious fried chicken dominate this Kentucky fest.


Roseland, Va.  |  September 29 – October 2


This new festival at the Devils Backbone Brewing Company Basecamp Brewpub and Meadows will feature a long weekend of live music, as well as plenty of delicious craft beers and outdoor playtime. Catch sets by the Revivalists, the Old 97’s, Futurebirds, and more.

Top of the Hops

Charlottesville, Va.  |  September TBD


You get four hours to sample more than 150 craft beers from around the world at Top of the Hops.

River Rocks

Chattanooga, Tenn.  |  October 1-15


Celebrating the best of Chattanooga, this fest features mountain biking, trail running, paddling races, hikes, and outdoor activities for novices and seasoned athletes alike. At night, enjoy great food and music by the river.

Richmond Folk Festival

Richmond, Va.  |  October 7-9


Celebrate the rich roots of American culture through music, dance, storytelling, and food at this yearly Richmond staple born out of this city’s previous reign as the host of the National Folk Festival. Lineup and events TBA.

The Festy Experience

Arrington, Va.  |  October 7-9


This year the Festy will move to a new site, the expansive Nelson County Preserve in Arrington, about a half hour south of Charlottesville. With proceeds benefiting Oskar Blues Brewery’s CAN’d Aid Foundation, the festival will feature its usual impressive roster of roots music acts, headed by the Infamous Stringdusters. In addition to the tunes, expect an experience full of local food, craft beer, and plenty of outdoor action, including the Blue Ridge Burn, the annual 10K/5K trail race hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoors.

Go Outside Festival

Roanoke, Va.  |  October 14-16


River’s Edge Sports Complex turns into a mountain sports playground filled with running, biking, climbing, slacklining, paddling, and fishing. Set along the Roanoke River, this annual three-day fest features races, relaxed gear demos, live music, and clinics.

Virginia Cheese Festival
Blacksburg, Va. | June 11, 11am-4pm

Places to Go, Things to See:

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