Second Place: RVA Music Festival
Third Place: Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont
Our readers love a free thing — they've proven that. But when the free thing in question is a weekend of the best musical offerings from around the world, who's to blame them for breaking national folk attendance records and voting for the experience en masse in our reader poll? Yes, the Richmond Folk Festival cops best fest again and, if anything, the show keeps getting better (last year's event offered things as varied as the original P-Funk, bluegrass and Jewish traditional music). But a couple of up-and-coming — and paid! — music events also left an impression on readers. RVA Magazine's music festival last fall made a splashy debut with Girl Talk, Best Coast and a bevy of noteworthy local indie-rock and hip-hop performers. And the Richmond Jazz Festival has served up a tasty smorgasbord of light jazz, R&B and even the likes of Los Lobos. Maybe we're not such cheapskates after all.