The LOCKN’ Festival draws folks to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains like, well, true-blue Deadheads to the Grateful Dead. LOCKN’ is the premier jam band event of the east, and an all-star celebration of Grateful Dead founder Phil Lesh’s 80th birthday this summer makes the eight-year-old festival truly exceptional.
Set for June 19-21, the 2020 LOCKN’ has Lesh, David Crosby, John Mayer, Jeff Beck, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and many other stellar musicians streaming into Nelson County, three hours south of Washington, D.C., for non-stop fun. Festivities take place at Infinity Downs & Oak Ridge Farm, a 387-acre estate with multiple camping, glamping and performance sites near Arrington, Virginia.
“LOCKN’ is a celebration of everything our region has to offer, from food specialties and craft beers to the stunning beauty of this location,” says promoter Mary Beth Aungier. “LOCKN’ is simply one of the most beloved modern festivals.”
While bassist Lesh kicks off the new decade on the stage every night, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, Bruce Hornsby, Yola and others will be in the wings and ready to go. The fest’s main stage is double-sided, so as one band wraps up the platform begins to rotate, revealing the next band. Festivalgoers are treated to an endless loop of mind-bending music.
Lesh continues the tradition of Grateful Dead family music, playing their originals, common covers and the songs of the members of his most recent band, Phil Lesh and Friends. LOCKN’ festival has been a headlining rock event since 2013 and boasts such alumni as Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana.
For fans who can’t wait for the weekend, a special “Steal Your Thursday” add-on is available for $30, with performances by Dark Star Orchestra and The Marcus King Band, along with an immersive psychedelic audio/visual “Jerry Dance Party,” celebrating the music of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.
Music is what brings in attendees, while the sense of camaraderie, good vibes, activities and overall camping experience is what keeps them coming back year after year. All throughout the day, people are dancing to the music, doing yoga, cruising the campgrounds on bikes, hula-hooping, swimming or rafting in the Tye River. This year true LOCKN’ devotees may partake of the festivities even sooner with the Wednesday early entry add-on.
If you go
LOCKN’ 3-Day Festival Passes, priced at $239, are available at locknfestival.com. The new Super-Easy Payment Plan offers fans a chance to purchase tickets for a deposit as low as $19.99 (plus fees), followed by a number of progressively lower payment installments.
On-site lodging options include camping, glamping tents, RVs, tour buses, and more, and are available as an add-on to festival passes. Food concessions are diverse and tempting. Hamageddon will be fire roasting a hog, the essential ingredient for its renowned pulled pork barbecue.
For a full list of premium offerings, visit cidentertainment.com/events/lockn. For those who wish to stay off site, Wintergreen Resort is offering hotel accommodations with round-trip shuttles to LOCKN’.
Nelson County is known for its local wineries, breweries, and distilleries. For a pleasurable stop before or after LOCKN’, visit lovingstonwinery.com, mountaincovevineyards.com, bluemountainbarrel.com and boldrock.com.