Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in May

Festival season is here and many big name musicians will be coming to Virginia during the month of May. From major country acts to the biggest names in rock and pop, catch your favorite artists and discover new ones all over the Commonwealth.

Richmond’s summer concert series, Friday Cheers, brings some of the nation’s hottest touring acts, along with some regional favorites to Brown’s Island every Friday night in May. Thousands of people will come to relax after the work week to meet friends and hear music from Lee Fields and the Expressions (May 5), Con Brio and Red Baraat (May 12) and RVA Music Night  (May 26) featuring Richmond bands People’s Blues of Richmond, Angelica Garcia and Ohbliv.

Richmond’s outdoor sports and music festival Dominion Riverrock will brings thousands to the riverside Brown’s Island on May 19-21 with live music performances from Hard Working Americans and The Steel Drivers along with Front Country, Larry Keel Experience, The Bush League, Camp Howard, Jouwala Collective, Los Colognes, The London Souls, The Folly, The Trongone Band, and Cris Jacobs Band.

Running through May and June, the Virginia Arts Festival will be bringing hundreds of world-class performing arts in venues throughout Hampton Roads. Major performances include jazz funk artists Red Baraat on May 13, pianist Olga Kern on May 24, and 13-year-old phenom Joey Alexander on May 27.

The Chesapeake Bay Reggae Festival takes place May 20-21 in Mill Point Park in Hampton. The two-day festival will feature reggae artists like Mighty Joshua, Ras Attitude, Crucial Fiya, Donovan Careless, Marcia Aitken, Keith Poppin, and many more.

The Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival will feature nearly 50 bands just outside of Martinsville May 25-28. The lineup includes Greensky Bluegrass, The Wailers, Anders Osborne, Anderson East, and many others.

Just because festivals are starting doesn’t mean Virginia’s regular venues are slowing down. Here’s a rundown of some of the big artists coming to town.

The National in Richmond will be bringing a number of big name artists throughout the month. The venue will be hosting T.I. on May 5, The Pixies on May 9 and The Shins on May 17.

Elsewhere in Richmond, Broadway star and “Let It Go” singer Idina Menzel will be at the Altria Theater on May 19. The Dominion Arts Center will host country artist Billy Currington on May 19 and Petersburg’s own Trey Songz on May 20. Indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will perform at the Camel on May 4. Weezer will be headlining the Big Field Day festival along with PVRIS, Bob Moses, Dreamers, and Skratch N Sniff at the Classic Amphitheater at Richmond Raceway Complex on May 13.

Just outside Richmond, country artist Kip Moore will kick off the Innsbrook After Hours concert series at the Servpro Pavilion in Glen Allen on May 20.

The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell will host Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles on May 5 and the legendary Loretta Lynn for the Jimmy Dean Music Festival on May 13.

In Charlottesville at the John Paul Jones Arena, Def Leppard will perform on May 5. Shows at the Jefferson Theater will include J. Roddy Walston and the Business on May 9 and Future Islands on May 30. The Paramount Theater will have Kris Kristofferson on May 12.

The NorVa in Norfolk will be hosting acts like T.I. (May 6), Trey Songz (May 12), Mayday Parade (May 15), The Shins (May 16) and Good Charlotte (May 21).

The Temptations and The Four Tops will perform at the Portsmouth Pavilion in Portsmouth on May 14.

At the Hampton Coliseum, DJ duo The Chainsmokers will perform on May 25.

The Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach brings in Chris Stapleton on May 11 to kick off its season of concerts, followed by music icon Jimmy Buffet on May 18, Kings of Leon on May 19 and R&B superstar Maxwell on May 27.

Over in Rocky Mount at the Harvester Performance Center, Barenaked Ladies will perform on May 2, Kris Kristofferson will play on May 13 and Béla Fleck & Chris Thile will be there on May 26.

Country artist Trace Adkins heads to the Salem Civic Center on May 19.

The Thursday Jams concert series at the Abingdon Market Pavilion will welcome Polyrhythmics on May 18 and Aaron Lee Tasjan on May 25.

The Hillsville Summer Nights Concert Series brings in 70s beach music group Catalinas to Hillsville’s Main Street on May 20.

The Blue Ridge Summer Concert Series at the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax will host The Steel Wheels and the Dan River Girls on May 27.

At Wolf Trap Center for Performing Arts in Vienna, Mary J. Blige and pop group Fifth Harmony will be among the artists performing – May 25 and May 27, respectively.

Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow kicks off its season with hip hop artist Future on May 11 and continues with country star Luke Bryan on May 12 and Jimmy Buffet on May 20.

Blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy will be stopping by The State Theatre in Falls Church on May 16.

Melissa Etheridge will perform at Alexandria music hall The Birchmere on May 3. Also on the Birchmere’s schedule are 10,000 Maniacs (May 4), Gordon Lightfoot (May 15) and Keifer Sutherland (May 23).

For more big names coming to Virginia this month, go to At a Virginia concert this month? Share your photos with @VisitVirginia on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #vamusic and #vaisformusiclovers.

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

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Andrew Cothern

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