Magic in Virginia: Lock’n Festival 2016
Once upon a time, there were only a handful of big music festivals throughout the summer months. My, how things have changed!
These days, music lovers are spoiled with choices – there are festivals of all shapes and sizes all year long. In the summer, you’ve got multiple options just about every single weekend for where to get your festy on.
Over the past couple of years, however, it’s been getting harder and harder to distinguish between the bigger festivals. Lineups seem almost identical, with festival organizers trying to reach as many fanbases as possible. Jambands play alongside aging rockers, who open up for a new hipster bands while a huge EDM artist gets ready to spin. With festivals like Bonnaroo having gone mainstream years ago, and other mainstays such as Wakarusa and All Good closing up shop, it seemed as if the big jam-heavy festivals were becoming a thing of the past.
Cue Lock’n, which in its 4th year set attendance records by drawing 30,000+ to Oak Ridge Farm in Virginia with a dream lineup for any jamband fan!
In its first few years, Lock’n dealt with the usual issues of a new festival – traffic, bathroom lines, food and drink options – and some unusual ones – ever heard of a microburst? People who attended last year sure have!
For its 4th installment, Peter Shapiro and Co. went the extra mile to ensure a much smoother festival experience. Getting in and out of the festival was a breeze, security and bathroom lines moved quickly, water was in ample supply, there were a wide variety of delicious food and beverage options, and the newly designed rotating stage and updated VIP area were both a huge hit.
We’ve been to a lot of festivals over the years, big and small, and we’ve never seen one go off so smoothly as Lock’n did.
Well done, everyone!
Oh yeah, can we talk about that lineup?!
In addition to festival regulars such as Phil Lesh & Friends, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Keller Williams, and Umphrey’s McGee, Lock’n managed to deliver My Morning Jacket, the newly reunited Ween, and two headlining sets from jamband kings Phish!
Music on the main stage went from noon until midnight, with very limited breaks in the action, thanks to the new stage. In addition to the main concert area, the festival also featured early morning and late night shows at the Blue Ridge Bowl, trippy late night sets in the highly decorated Woods, and the music of Captain Trips himself 24/7 in the incredibly psychedelic Garcia’s Forest.
With almost no overlapping sets all weekend, fans were spared the often difficult choices that have to be made at large festivals. With some good walking shoes or a lift from the fine festy taxi folks, it was possible to see everything you wanted throughout the weekend.
There was magical energy in the intensely hot air of Virginia, whether you drank the Kool-Aid or not.
With so many festivals going on all year round, it’s easy for them to start losing that special feeling. While many bigger festivals are starting to feel a bit generic and over-commercialized, Lock’n managed to capture lightning in a bottle this year.
There was magical energy in the intensely hot air of Virginia, whether you drank the Kool-Aid or not. Far from being an ancient relic, Lock’n proved that there’s still a demand for jam-centric festivals.
Celebrities can keep Coachella, the bros can have Lollapalooza, and the hipsters can hold onto SXSW. For the tye-dyed, glowstick throwing, patchouli soaked amongst us, we’ve found a new home, and it’s in Arrington, VA.