Rock On Experience The Best Of Live Music Virginia

Greetings, fellow music lovers! Whether you’re chasing the rhythm or the lyrics, there’s something about live music that truly speaks to us. Unfortunately, with the world being what it is today, finding safe, enjoyable live performances can be quite the challenge. That’s where we come in! Today, we’re exploring the vibrant music scene in Virginia and helping you figure out how to enjoy it in the safest and most delightful way possible.

By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know exactly where to go to catch the best live performances, which artists are up and coming, and which venues are doing the most to protect their patrons from COVID-19. You’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the magical experience of seeing your favorite musicians live and, hopefully, some awesome memories to cherish for years to come.

With everything from bluegrass and country to hip hop and rock, Virginia’s live music scene may seem a little overwhelming at first, but fear not! We’ve done the research and are eager to share our findings with you. We’ve talked to local experts, listened to hours of music, and put our own dancing shoes to the test in order to bring you the ultimate guide to enjoying live music in Virginia. So sit back, grab a drink or two, and let us show you how to have a fantastic time while staying safe and healthy.

The Best Live Music Venues in Virginia

Are you a lover of live music searching for the best venues in Virginia? Well, good news, Virginia is known for its vibrant and varied music scene with a long and rich history of producing legendary artists. As a result, the state has many fantastic music venues that cater to different genres, styles, and tastes. In this guide, we will explore the top live music venues in Virginia.

1. The National

Located in Richmond, The National is an iconic and historic music venue that has undergone numerous transformations since its inception in 1923. The venue was formerly a movie theater, restaurant, and even an auction house but it has now become a go-to spot for live music events. Here are some fascinating facts about The National:

  • Capacity and Seating Plan

The National has a capacity of 1,500 standing for general admission shows, with an additional 200 reserved balcony seats for more intimate events. The upper balconies provide fantastic views of the stage and ample seating for those who prefer to sit.

Capacity Standing Balcony Seats
1,500 Yes 200
  • History and Renovations

The National has a rich history dating back to 1923, originally named The National Theater. It was used as a vaudeville theater, a movie house, and most recently as a nightclub. The venue underwent a massive renovations in 2008, complete with state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment.

  • Upcoming Events and Performances

The National attracts a broad range of performers, from indie bands to major headliners. Upcoming events at the venue include musical performances by Joywave, Washed Out, and the Psychedelic Furs. Additionally, the venue has hosted high-profile artists like Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, and Greta Van Fleet in the past.

  • Pros and Cons

– The National’s central location in Richmond makes it easily accessible, both for locals and tourists.
– The state-of-the-art sound system guarantees high-quality sound quality for guests.
– The venue has an excellent layout that ensures that everyone has a good view of the stage.

– The National has a capacity limit, which means act with a huge following may necessitate searching for an alternative venue.
– Alcohol prices may seem a bit steep for some guests.

In conclusion, The National is a must-visit for any music lover in Virginia seeking a memorable music experience. With its rich history, state-of-the-art equipment, and broad range of performers, The National has gained its place as one of the best live music venues in Virginia.

Experience Virginia’s Live Music Scene

Virginia has a vibrant and diverse live music scene that provides a platform for both emerging and established artists. Many genres of music have found a home in the state, with venues welcoming music enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether it’s a hip-hop club, a rock festival, a jazz bar or a classical concert, Virginia has something to offer to every music lover. In this article, we will explore how to experience Virginia’s live music scene and what makes it unique.

Exploring Different Genres

One of the highlights of Virginia’s live music scene is its variety. The state has a rich musical history that includes bluegrass, country, rock, blues, jazz, and classical music. It’s not uncommon to hear different genres being played in one night in some venues. Here are some examples of the genres that Virginia caters to:

  • Bluegrass and country: Virginia is the birthplace of bluegrass and home to many renowned bluegrass and country musicians. Many venues host traditional Appalachian music, including The Crooked Road, a 330-mile trail of music venues in southwestern Virginia.
  • Rock: Virginia has a thriving rock scene, with bands such as Dave Matthews Band and GWAR originating from the state. Venues like The National, The Norva and The Jefferson Theater have hosted some of the biggest names in rock music.
  • Jazz: Virginia has a thriving jazz scene with several festivals and jazz clubs. Richmond’s Chihamba Jazz Festival and Hampton Jazz Festival are two of the popular events that bring together jazz enthusiasts from across the state.
  • Classical: Virginia has a rich classical music history, with impressive venues such as the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Discovering Venues

Virginia boasts a diverse range of venues that cater to different tastes and preferences. Here are some of the best venues in the state:

  1. The Norva: This legendary music hall can hold up to 1,500 people and has hosted performers such as Eminem and Prince.
  2. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts: This outdoor amphitheater in northern Virginia has hosted over 300 performances each year, including pop, rock, jazz, and classical concerts.
  3. Hampton Coliseum: This arena has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Elvis Presley.
  4. The Jefferson Theater: This historic theater was built-in 1912 and has since hosted many legendary musicians, including Ray Charles and Elvis Costello.
  5. The National: This venue is located in downtown Richmond and is known for hosting some of the biggest names in music, including The Lumineers and Vampire Weekend.
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Attending Festivals

Virginia is home to many music festivals that showcase the state’s diverse musical heritage. These festivals draw in both local and international crowds and provide visitors with the opportunity to discover new artists and enjoy their favorite bands. Here are some of the popular music festivals in Virginia:

Festival Name Location Genre
Virginia Beach Funkfest Virginia Beach Funk and Soul
Lockn’ Festival Arrington Rock
Chihamba Jazz Festival Richmond Jazz and Blues
FloydFest Floyd Bluegrass, blues, and rock
MerleFest Wilkesboro Bluegrass and Americana

The Pros and Cons of Virginia’s Music Scene

Every music scene has its advantages and disadvantages, and Virginia’s scene is no different. Here are some of the pros and cons:


  • Virginia’s diversity means there is something for everyone in terms of music genres, venues, and festivals.
  • The state has a rich musical history, making it a great destination for music enthusiasts interested in learning about its heritage.
  • With so many events happening throughout the year, there is always something to do for music lovers who enjoy attending live performances.


  • Some music genres may not be easily accessible depending on where you live in the state.
  • While there are several music festivals to attend, the cost of the tickets can be high for some individuals, making it difficult to attend multiple events throughout the year.
  • Some venues may have limited seating or standing room, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

In conclusion, Virginia’s live music scene is vibrant and diverse, catering to a wide range of musical tastes. Whether you prefer to attend a music festival, discover new venues, or explore different genres, Virginia offers plenty of opportunities to experience its music scene. With so many talented musicians hailing from Virginia and so many exciting events happening throughout the year, the state is a music lover’s paradise.

The Different Genres of Live Music in Virginia

Discover the diversity of live music in Virginia, where you can enjoy various genres in its vibrant music scene. From jazz to soul, rock to country, Virginia has it all. Whether you prefer solo performers or a whole band, there are plenty of options for live music lovers. Here are some of the most popular music genres that you can find in Virginia.


Virginia has a rich history of jazz music, which can be traced to the thriving music scene during the 1920s and 1930s in Richmond and Norfolk. Some of the famous jazz musicians who hail from Virginia include Ella Fitzgerald, who was born in Newport News, and Charlie Byrd, who lived in Virginia for several years. You can catch jazz performances at venues like the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or the Tin Pan in Richmond.

  • Jazz music in Virginia has its roots in the early 20th century.
  • Ella Fitzgerald, one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, was born in Newport News.
  • Richmond and Norfolk are known for their vibrant jazz scenes.
  • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Tin Pan in Richmond are popular venues for jazz performances.


Virginia has a proud tradition of country music that dates back to the days of traditional Appalachian music. This genre is very popular in Virginia, with many legendary country singers like Patsy Cline and Roy Clark hailing from the state. You can catch live country performances at venues like the Birchmere in Alexandria or the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount.

  • Country music has a long tradition in Virginia.
  • Patsy Cline and Roy Clark are among the famous country singers from Virginia.
  • The Birchmere in Alexandria and the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount regularly host country music performances.


Rock music is another popular genre in Virginia, with venues like the NorVa in Norfolk and the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville hosting concerts by top rock bands. Virginia has also produced some famous rock musicians, like Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters, who was born in Warren, and Chris Daughtry from American Idol fame, who is from Roanoke.

  • Rock music has a huge following in Virginia.
  • Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and Chris Daughtry are among the famous rock musicians from Virginia.
  • The NorVa in Norfolk and the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville are well-known venues for rock music performances.


Soul music is also a popular genre in Virginia, with artists like Pharrell Williams and Missy Elliott making their mark on the music scene. You can catch live soul performances at venues like the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk, which has a rich history of hosting soul music shows.

  • Soul music is a popular genre in Virginia.
  • Pharrell Williams and Missy Elliott are among the famous soul musicians from Virginia.
  • The Attucks Theatre in Norfolk is a well-known venue for soul music performances.

Folk and Bluegrass

Folk and bluegrass music are genres that are deeply rooted in Virginia’s culture, with the state being the birthplace of the Carter Family, one of the most influential folk bands of all time. You can catch live folk and bluegrass performances at venues like the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, which is a tribute to the iconic band.

  • Folk and bluegrass music are deeply ingrained in Virginia’s culture.
  • The Carter Family, one of the most influential folk bands of all time, was from Virginia.
  • The Carter Family Fold in Hiltons is a venue dedicated to the iconic band and regularly hosts folk and bluegrass performances.
Genre Famous Musicians Popular Venues
Jazz Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Byrd Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Tin Pan
Country Patsy Cline, Roy Clark Birchmere, Harvester Performance Center
Rock Dave Grohl, Chris Daughtry NorVa, Jefferson Theater
Soul Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott Attucks Theatre
Folk and Bluegrass The Carter Family Carter Family Fold

In conclusion, Virginia’s music scene is diverse and offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer jazz, country, rock, soul, or folk and bluegrass, you will find plenty of options to enjoy live music in Virginia. With its rich musical history and vibrant venues, Virginia is a must-visit destination for music lovers.

Virginia’s Live Music Scene: A Guide to Festivals

Every year, Virginia sets the stage for music lovers and festival-goers alike, offering vibrant and diverse live music festivals. From the Shenandoah Valley to the beaches of Virginia Beach, these festivals cater to various genres of music and artistic expressions. This guide provides insights into Virginia’s most popular live music festivals, what to expect, and how to make the most of your festival experience.

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Virginia’s Live Music Festival Scene

Virginia offers a wide range of music festivals and concerts targeting all ages, interests and styles. These festivals offer much more than just music, but also food, art, and social activities. Some of the most popular festivals include:

  1. Lockn’ Festival – This festival brings together the world’s most celebrated jam bands for four days of music, art, and community-driven activities. It takes place in early August at Infinity Downs Farms in Arrington, Virginia. Here, you will enjoy interactive installations, delicious food, craft beer, and a wide range of artists such as My Morning Jacket, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and many more.
  2. Virginia Beach FunkFest – One of the biggest free music festivals on the East Coast, this event brings the best of classic funk hits for two days over Labor Day Weekend, along the picturesque Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Here, you can expect energetic funk bands, vendors, and sand sculpting competitions. Bring sunblock and a towel and have a great time.
  3. Richmond Jazz and Music Festival – This festival brings together some of the world’s most renowned Jazz musicians for a weekend of music, art, and culture in Richmond. It offers various stages, with a wide range of artists, from jazz to soul, and blues to hip-hop. There is a wine and beer garden, food offerings, and scenic views of the James River.
  4. Shenandoah Valley Music Festival – Every weekend in July and August, this festival offers diverse music styles for all ages, spread over two stages at the picturesque Orkney Springs. It offers an intimate and cozy atmosphere, with community-driven activities and high-quality artistry. Bask in the fresh mountain air, listen to great music, and enjoy an ice-cold beer.

What to Expect at a Music Festival

Attending a music festival, regardless of the location, requires planning, preparation, and patience. Here’s what to expect at any live music festival:

  • Long Days: Festivals can last all day and often long into the night. Expect to be on your feet and moving from stage-to-stage for hours on end.
  • Weather Elements: Virginia summers can get hot and humid, so dress appropriately and be prepared for rain or shine.
  • Food and Beverages: Most festivals offer a wide range of food and beverage choices, but prices can be expensive for these services.
  • Crowds: Festivals typically attract large crowds, so be prepared to join a sea of people and camp out on a lawn or parking lot. Pack sunscreen, extra water bottles, and snacks.
  • A Wide Range of Music Genres: Festivals cater to different music styles and genres, so keep an open mind, and explore new sounds.

How to Make the Most of Your Festival Experience

To make the most out of your festival experience, consider these tips:

  • Arrive early to get the best spot and avoid the crowds.
  • Bring a backpack with essential items such as sunscreen, hats, extra water bottles, and snacks.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are suitable for both the weather and the music styles.
  • Create a schedule and prioritize the acts that you plan on seeing, but don’t be afraid to go off-schedule and explore new acts.
  • Meet new people, engage in community-driven activities and immerse yourself in the festival culture.
Festival Location Date Known Artists
Lockn’ Festival Infinity Downs Farms, Arrington, VA Early August My Morning Jacket, Tedeschi Trucks Band
Virginia Beach FunkFest Virginia Beach Boardwalk, VA Labor Day Weekend George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Richmond Jazz and Music Festival Maymont Park, Richmond, VA Early August Common, Robert Glasper, PJ Morton
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival Orkney Springs, VA Every Weekend in July and August Del McCoury Band, The Steel Wheels

In closing, Virginia boasts a vibrant and diverse live music scene, hosting some of the most exciting festivals in the region. Be prepared for a unique and unforgettable experience, whether you’re a die-hard festival-goer, or just looking to enjoy great music, food, and exciting activities. Plan ahead, pack smartly and immerse yourself in the world of Virginia’s Live Music Festival Scene.

How to Enjoy Live Music on a Budget in Virginia

Virginians’ love for live music is demonstrated by the myriad of concerts, festivals, and outdoor music performances that take place across the state. However, enjoying live music can be an expensive affair, and concert tickets, transportation, and accommodation can quickly eat into one’s budget. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With the following tips, you can enjoy live music in Virginia without breaking the bank.

1. Research Shows and Concerts

One of the best ways to enjoy live music on a budget in Virginia is to research shows and concerts. By staying up-to-date with upcoming events, you can take advantage of early bird tickets and discounts. You can also look for free concerts or events with nominal entry fees.

To keep abreast of shows and concerts, you can follow popular music blogs, subscribe to music newsletters, check various event calendars or download apps such as Songkick, Bandsintown, and Fanburst, which can alert you of upcoming events.

2. Explore Local Musicians

Virginia has a vibrant music scene with an array of local musicians who perform at small venues, bars or open mics. Exploring local musicians, therefore, presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy live music on a budget. It’s not only inexpensive, but also a great way to connect with the local community and unearth new talent.

One way to discover local musicians is by browsing through social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, or by searching on YouTube or Soundcloud. Additionally, some community centers or public parks organize free summer concerts that feature local artists.

3. Attend Festivals

Festivals are a great way to enjoy live music at an affordable price. Virginia is home to some of the largest music festivals in the country. For instance, the Virginia Beach FunkFest, which is held at the oceanfront and features a fusion of funk, R&B and jazz music, is free to attend.

Other festivals, like the Richmond Jazz Festival, offer early bird tickets and discounts, which can save you money.

4. Take Public Transportation or Carpool

Transportation expenses can add up quickly when attending live concerts or shows. Therefore, it’s essential to plan and budget for transportation costs. One way to reduce transportation costs is by taking public transport, such as buses or trains, which have affordable pricing options.

Alternatively, you can carpool with friends or join car-sharing services, such as Zipcar or Turo. These services allow you to rent a car for a short period, which can be cost-effective, especially if you split the rental cost amongst friends.

5. Consider Camping or Airbnb

Accommodation costs are another significant expense when attending live music shows or festivals. Consider if camping or Airbnb is a cheaper alternative to hotels. During festivals like Lockn’ Music Festival or Bonnaroo, camping is often the preferred accommodation, and camping options range from basic to luxury.

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Airbnb is another cost-saving option, and depending on the location and the time of the year, you can find excellent deals. Airbnb also allows you to stay with locals, which provides a unique perspective on the area and the event.


Attending live music events in Virginia doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By researching shows and concerts, exploring local musicians, attending festivals, taking public transportation or carpooling, and considering cost-saving accommodation, you can enjoy live music without worrying about overspending. With proper planning and budgeting, you can make the most out of Virginia’s vibrant music scene without breaking the bank.

Option Pros Cons
Early bird tickets -Cheaper tickets
-Assured entry
-Limited availability
-Early purchase commitment
Local Musicians -Affordable
-Unearth new talent
-Limited to small venues
Festivals -Several performances in one place
-Discounts and early bird tickets
-Can be crowded
Public transportation/Carpool -Cost-effective
-Reduces carbon footprint
-Inconvenient routes or times
Camping/Airbnb -Cost-saving
-Unique experience
-Not ideal for everyone

FAQs about Live Music in Virginia

What cities in Virginia have live music?

Several cities in Virginia have live music venues. The most popular cities for live music include Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Roanoke. In these cities, music lovers can find a variety of music genres to enjoy, from rock to jazz, country, and even reggae.

Where can I find live music events in Virginia?

You can find live music events in Virginia by checking out websites such as Bandsintown, Songkick, or Eventbrite. These websites provide you with a list of upcoming live music events in Virginia, including concerts, festivals, and gigs. Additionally, you can check out local newspapers, music magazines, and social media pages of local bands and music venues for updates on live music events in Virginia.

What kind of music scene does Virginia have?

Virginia boasts a diverse music scene that caters to different tastes and preferences. The state has produced some notable musicians across various genres, including Dave Matthews, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and Bruce Hornsby. Virginia’s music scene is a blend of different styles, such as rock, blues, jazz, and country, among others.

What are some popular music festivals in Virginia?

Some popular music festivals in Virginia include the Richmond Jazz Festival, SweetWater Music Festival, FloydFest, Lockn’ Festival, and the Cape Charles Beach Fest. These festivals feature a mix of local and national acts across different genres, including jazz, country, blues, and rock.

Are there any live music venues in Virginia Beach?

Yes, Virginia Beach has several live music venues, including The NorVa, Elevation 27, and the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater. These venues host national and local acts across different genres, including rock, country, and hip-hop.

What is the age limit for attending live music events in Virginia?

The age limit for attending live music events in Virginia varies depending on the venue and the event. Some venues allow people of all ages to attend their events, while others have age restrictions, primarily for events that take place in bars and clubs. Typically, the minimum age to attend live music events in Virginia is 18 years, and some events may require a valid ID.

What are the best places to catch live music in Virginia?

Some of the best places to catch live music in Virginia include The National in Richmond, The NorVa in Norfolk, The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, and the Roanoke Performing Arts Center in Roanoke. These venues offer great acoustics, intimate settings, and a variety of music genres for an unforgettable live music experience.

What is the dress code for attending live music events in Virginia?

The dress code for attending live music events in Virginia varies depending on the venue and the event. Some venues may require a certain dress code, such as no shorts or sleeveless shirts, while others have a more relaxed dress code. It’s always best to check the venue’s website or contact them directly to know the dress code for the event.

Can I bring my own drinks to a live music event in Virginia?

No, it’s generally not allowed to bring your own drinks to a live music event in Virginia. Most venues have strict rules against outside food and drinks to avoid losing business. However, you can purchase drinks and snacks from the venue’s bar or concession stands during the event.

What is the cost of attending a live music event in Virginia?

The cost of attending a live music event in Virginia varies depending on the venue, the event, and the performer. Typically, the price range for live music events in Virginia is between $10 to $50, with some events costing more for VIP tickets or seats closer to the stage. It’s always best to check the venue’s website or the event organizer’s website for ticket price information.


In conclusion, Virginia has a rich music scene that features an eclectic mix of genres and artists. From live music venues, festivals, and events, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, country, or hip-hop, Virginia has it all. After reading this article, you can check out websites such as Bandsintown or Songkick to find live music events near you. You can also follow local music magazines, newspapers, and social media pages of local bands and music venues for updates. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check out our other interesting articles on a variety of topics!