Save the Dates: The Can’t-Miss Festivals of 2017, Part 3

Still looking for more Virginia entertainment to fill your calendar this year? Here are a few more of the must-attend festivals of 2017 to add to the list!


This is Part 3 of a series.

Read Part One.

Read Part Two.


Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival—Axton

May 25-28, 2017

The 9th annual Rooster Walk promotes music, arts, and education in the Martinsville area, with tons of amazing music, kids’ activities, craft beer, food and arts vendors, and gorgeous campsites at Pop’s Farm in Axton, located just outside of Martinsville. Named one of the top five festivals in the state by Richmond Times Dispatch in 2016, this year’s festival has an impressive lineup, featuring The Wailers, Billy Strigs, The Trongone Band, and Greensky Bluegrass. Get Tickets



June 9-10, 2017

Held annually in memory of a young local musician, Houston Caldwell, HoustonFest displays the strong community love and support found in Southwest Virginia. More than 30 bands perform during this two-day festival, with musical genres ranging from Bluegrass to Gospel. Skilled artisans teach festivalgoers their skills and sell homemade goods, and local vendors cook up a wide variety of foods. So far, the announced lineup for 2017’s HoustonFest includes John Berry, Strictly Strings, The Burnett Sisters, Flatt Lonesome, The Church Sisters, and Emi Sunshine. Festival tickets cost $20 each day, and camping is available for only $15 per night. Get Tickets


Richmond Jazz Festival—Richmond

Dates TBA

Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont

America’s musical roots are on full display during the Richmond Jazz Festival, a four-day performance showcase held at Maymont Park. More than 10,000 people gather to experience jazz from local and national bands, as well as several R&B and Neo-Soul groups. Sample food and drinks from local vendors during the festival, including Virginia wines, then head over to the artisan tents to peruse an extensive selection of arts, crafts, and goods. Stay Tuned for Announcements and Tickets


Tazewell Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention—Tazewell

July 7-9, 2017

Come to the Tazewell Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention for three days of live musical performances played with banjos, guitars, fiddles, and many other folk-inspired instruments. During the festival, bands compete in their respective categories, including harmonica, autoharp, and bass, for more than $5,000 of cash prizes, pride, and recognition. With full weekend passes selling for $12, children under 12 free, and primitive campsites available at no cost, you can bring the entire family to this affordable festival celebrating Heart of Appalachia’s traditional mountain music.


American Music Festival—Virginia Beach

September 1-3, 2017

Get your fill of live performances from rock, blues, jazz, country performers (to name just a few!) at the American Music Festival, held along Virginia Beach’s famous Boardwalk. As the largest outdoor music event on the East Coast, you’ll find big names headlining the festival, with a blend of local and nationally recognized talent filling out the lineup. The 2017 line-up has yet to be announced, but previous big performers included Sheryl Crow, Blue Oyster Cult, Travis Tritt, and the Steve Miller Band. Stay Tuned for Band Announcements & Tickets


Appaloosa Roots Music Festival—Front Royal

September 3 – 4, 2017

The Appaloosa Roots Music Festival brings together more than 40 bands on multiple stages, creating two days of nonstop live entertainment that the whole family will love. Music genres at the festival cross entire continents, with Virginia-born Bluegrass acts following Celtic bands to craft an international event in the heart of the Commonwealth. Kids 13 and under get in free, with arts, crafts, and games available in the Kid’s Zone, as well as horseback riding for ages 8 and up. Camp overnight on the festival grounds to get the full Appaloosa Roots experience. Get Your Tickets


Lovettsville Oktoberfest—Lovettsville

September 22-23, 2017

Lovettsville Oktoberfest spans a full half mile through the town of Lovettsville, lining the way with beer gardens, live entertainment, over 120 vendors, and food courts. The festival is absolutely free to attend, including free parking, trolley rides to the grounds, musical performances, professional dance groups, and a bevy of other events. Bring money for food, drinks, and any crafts you wish to take home, but otherwise, you can keep your wallet in your pocket at this brew-focused festival. In addition to offering fun for the adults, this is a family-friendly festival, with the Kinderfest area providing activities for kids of all ages, including carnival games, face painting, sports, and a climbing wall.



September 28-October 1, 2017

Although only the second year in existence, Devils Backbone’s Hoopla is already well known on the Virginia festival circuit. The festival brings music, craft beer, adventure, and nonstop fun together during this four-day extravaganza. Attend workshops, enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, try award-winning craft beers, listen to live music performances, and end the day camping out in scenic Nelson County. Lineup and schedule to be announced in the spring. Get Tickets


The Festy Experience—Arrington

October 5-8, 2017

The 8th annual Festy Experience in Nelson County is a festival for those with a deep appreciation for craft beer, great food, local music, and the Great Outdoors. Held on acres of meadows and encircled by miles of hiking trails, this family-friendly festival provides plenty of opportunities for you to stay active the entire weekend. If you’re feeling competitive, sign up to play some of the group sports that the festival provides, such as Disc Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, kickball, soccer, and volleyball. Want to take a break from outdoor activities? Head to the stages for incredible live performances while you savor tasty food and drinks provided by local vendors.


Richmond Folk Festival—Richmond

October 13-15, 2017

The Richmond Folk Festival, a continuation of the National Folk Festival, celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts and what everyone enjoys, food. Virginia Tourism Corporation,

Celebrating a multitude of American cultures, the Richmond Folk Festival incorporates live music, dancing, local foods, and traditional arts and crafts into this weekend-long event. This free festival features over 30 performing groups on 7 stages and Folklife demonstrations throughout the grounds that teach visitors about the cultural richness of our nation. Various regional and ethnic foods are available to purchase, as well as craft beers, wines, and other beverages. With arts, crafts, and lots of children’s activities filling out the schedule, the Richmond Folk Festival is fun for the entire family.


Anthem Go Outside Festival—Roanoke

October 13-15 and 19-21, 2017

Presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Roanoke’s Go Outside Festival encourages healthy living and outdoor recreation. Try out equipment like mountain bikes, kayaks, and fly rods at the festival, (all for free!) to get a feel for the often-pricey gear before purchasing. Various events, from slacklining to motocross, let visitors discover impressive and adventurous new hobbies from the safety of the sidelines, or they can get involved in active competitions like the Half Marathon and Cyclocross races. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome and visitors are encouraged to bring a tent to camp overnight during the festival.


Find even more recommendations in the upcoming Can’t-Miss Festivals Part 4!


© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

Patricia Keppel

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!