Written by Maria Ekaterina
Photos by Roger Gupta
With an ever-growing number of music festivals to choose from each year, some continue to sail above the rest. Putting together a well-run, organized and memorable event year after year takes a lot more than just an outdoor setting, patrons and musicians who rock night after night. It takes thinking outside the box, listening to what the patrons need and want while inviting legendary musicians to fill up stages all weekend long. Lockn’ Music Festival has built a strong foundation, created a noteworthy musical experience while allowing patrons to fully indulge in some of life’s best treats.
What continues to make Lockn’ special starts with the people who love returning to Lockn’ year after year. People who love hearing legendary musicians like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, members of the Grateful Dead, PHISH, The String Cheese Incident, Gov’t Mule, My Morning Jacket, Vulfpeck, Tedeschi Trucks Band and so many other musicians who know how to have a great time. Lockn’ is for music lovers and those artists who know how to rock out in the middle of summer; leaving patrons with electrified goosebumps. This year, you and your whole crew can set up your own neighborhood and soak up every unforgettable moment together in your choice of housing. Lockn’ has upgraded and expanded options for patrons to choose from, to match their levels of comfort throughout the weekend. Whether the whole crew brings their own RV’s to set a neighborhood on site or rents out a block of hotel rooms near by to enjoy some extra AC during the night accommodations are close to limitless when it comes to finding your comfort zone.
Those who love being outdoors, listening to music and spending a weekend with their friends also can enjoy having craft beers and a large array of food to choose from each day. Between the variety and the large collection of food to choose from, it’s possible to go all weekend without having tried everything available. In 2018, Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro brought in Hamageddon, a 14 feet high by 18 feet long metal pig sculpture that cooks a pig-on-a-split in its belly and shoots fire from both ends. This is a must see to fully understand and enjoy the slow roast experience. Between Blue Ridge Pizza Co., Carpe Donut, Doom Street Eats, Homeslice Pizza, Humpty’s Dumplings, Ice Cream, Cream of Pops, Asian Sensation, Shady Grove Wraps and so many other food vendors who are ready to feed your belly, you won’t go hungry.
Running from stage to stage at any festival means you’re going to miss a show or two you’ve been dying to see. The innovative and original seed of Lockn’ is the never-ending music interlocking itself on one stage. It’s going to be a never-ending party this year as Pigeons Plyaing Ping Pong ft. Cory Wong pass the stage off to Old Crow Medicine Show, followed by The Revivalists then Trey Anastasio Band ft. Derek Trucks for their second set on Friday night. From early afternoon through the gorgeous sunsets grazing the Virginia Mountains the music doesn’t end. This year’s VIP experience allows patrons to get an up close and personal view of the unique rotating stage. Lining the sides of the stage, VIP goers get to enjoy Khruangbin, Twiddle ft. John Popper, Tedeschi Trucks Band ft. Trey Anastasio, Nahko and Medicine for the People along with other bands from an intimate and unique on –stage perspective.
Keeping a high-spirited day rolling into the night, brings the party into Lockn’s unique Garcia’s Forrest experience after midnight where we let it all hang out. This year the forest will be booming with lights, characters and some high-profile music featuring Galactic, Fruition, Circles Around the Sun, Soulive ft. Infinity Horns, The Lil Smokies, Town Mountain and the legendary Jerry Dance Party throughout the weekend. The forest is the perfect place to lay up in a hammock during the day and enjoy a truly unique experience after sunset.
Lockn’ festival has managed to curate something above the rest when it comes to their lineup year after year. Since 2013, many changes have graced the Lockn’ grounds making each year one for the books but one thing has been a constant and that’s legendary music itself. One thing Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro continue to build on is the stacked amount of incredible music that’s bound to have a spot on your next playlist. Pete and Dave have invited bands such as Gov’t Mule, The String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong along with new additions each year which rise to their high level of taste. While we love seeing jam bands of all walks of art showcase their talents, it’s a whole new spectrum of music when it comes to having the best collaborations in the country happen on one stage throughout the four-day event. The past has gifted us some legendary collaborations such as Further featuring Trey Anastasio in 2013, String Cheese & Kool & The Gang in 2014, Galactic featuring Lee Oskar and Erica Falls in 2016, Toots Hibbert and Taj Mahal in 2018 and 2019 only placed Lockn’ on a new pinnacle of musical collaborations. Scheduled for 2019, Oteil & Friends ft. Bob Weir, Devon Allman, Duane Betts, Melvin Seals, Eric Krasno, Neal Casal, Jen Hartswick, Nat Cressman & Jay Lane are bound to bring forth one unforgettable set Saturday night starting at 6 pm sharp. While Marcus King is the weekend’s special guest, it’s not yet fully known with who and when we will see him rock out with the high stacked lineup for 2019 but we’re sure it’s be one stellar surprise to get to see him play with anyone on this year’s lineup.
Lockn’ has set it’s expectations high from the first time it opened its gates in 2013. Raising the bar year after year, they’ve created and curated a weekend full of live music ready to fulfill any music lovers dream. From the lavish Garcia’s Forest, to the positive improvements throughout the years, Lockn’ has created its own unique pinnacle. The magical weekend is sure to provide a top-notch experience for music Lovers of all ages.
Get your ticket before it’s too late: http://www.locknfestival.com/tickets
Lockn’ Website: http://www.locknfestival.com/
Lockn’ Festival Photo Albums by Roger Gupta: