Make it a musical summer with concerts large and small
When I can’t find my trusty pocket watch, my favorite way to keep time is by tapping my toe to the beat some great live music. Country, jazz, bluegrass, rock, folk—I like a variety of genres, and lucky for us all, you can find that variety, along with a range of venues sized to suit your tastes, at summer concert series around the Fredericksburg region this summer.
Here are a few you should check out.
Celebrate Virginia Live is in its sixth year of bringing big-name acts to an outdoor stage set in a vast field in Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia development. In recent years, this series, pictured above, has really found its niche as a way to bring big-name country acts to Fredericksburg. This year’s shows include Jamey Johnson (June 7), Montgomery Gentry (June 14), Joe Nichols (July 18), Alan Jackson (Aug. 23), Dierks Bentley (Sept. 12) and others. Local talent often opens for these national acts, allowing you to get a taste for the Fredericksburg music scene at the same time you get to see your favorite big-name band. These concerts are like big outdoor parties. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs to claim your spot with a general admission ticket, or reserve a seat in the Trivett’s/Ashley Gold Circle or Platinum section. Find information on tickets and dates here.
The Bluemont concert series offers a slightly smaller venue that still gives you that outdoor-amphitheater feel. Bluemont is a private nonprofit that has presented more than 5,000 high-quality and affordable performances to a combined audience of more than 2 million since 1976 in 68 communities in northwest and central Virginia. Fredericksburg’s concerts take place at Maury Stadium in the city’s downtown, a charming venue that offers the stadium viewing experience amid a vibrant residential and business district. Shows take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and acts include regional names in a variety of genres, including the Martinsburg Jazz Combo (July 20), Circa Blue bluegrass band (July 27), the Hula Honeys (Aug. 3) and many more. For a full schedule, click here.
The A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Spotsylvania County is introducing a new music option to the region this year. Its Music and Spirits program features old-time, blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk and Americana music in an intimate setting inside the red brick buildings of the A. Smith Bowman Distillery. The distillery is situated in a complex that is an important piece of the Fredericksburg region’s industrial history. It tells a story that you might not discover otherwise. The music kicks off May 31 at 7:30 p.m. with veteran blues and jazz guitarist Walter Parks and opening act Ashleigh Chevalier and Bruce Middle. For more information, click here.
Music on the Green at The Village at Towne Centre brings a different band to the outdoor green near Bravo! Cucina Italiana every Thursday from July 10 through Oct. 9. These free concerts run from 7 until 9 p.m. at this outdoor space within the Spotsylvania Towne Centre development. Bring your own lawn chair, and if you are one of the first 20 people to arrive, you will have access to the concerts’ VIP tent. Music includes a mix of jazz, country, classic rock, funk and more. Call 540-786-6660 for full details.
Sounds of Summer, presented by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, offers another chance to enjoy music in the great outdoors, in this instance in the historic surrounds of Market Square in the middle of downtown Fredericksburg. These concerts take place at 7 p.m. every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The big sounds of Elby Brass kick things off May 30, and the rest of the season offers a huge array of genres. Find a full listing here. Local food vendors will be on-site, and Museum members have access to the Members Tent, which includes refreshments. The concerts are free, but you may reserve a spot in the Premier Seating section for $10 ($5 for Museum members). For details on reservations, click here.
Music on the Steps is another popular local concert series that you can enjoy for free every Monday evening in front of the Headquarters Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on Caroline Street. Concerts, made possible by the Friends of the Library, run from 7 until 8 p.m. every Monday in June, July and August. Find a full listing of artists here. You’ll want to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of rain, the music moves to the auditorium inside the library.
Lake Anna Sunset Concerts at the Pavillion at Anna Point Marina offer the opportunity to enjoy live music with the backdrop of a spectacular lakeside sunset. The first of these free concerts takes place July 25 starting at 5:30 p.m. at Anna Point Marina in Mineral. Bring a lawn chair and take advantage of concessions selling water, soda, food and adult beverages. The July 25 concert will feature Burnt Orange with a beach party theme. Reunion will play Aug. 22 with a pirate party theme, and a third concert Sept. 19 is still to be announced. Find more information about Anna Point here.