Second Place: Friday Cheers
Third Place: Groovin' in the Garden
The people have spoken and they're digging the shows held out at the big dirt field also known as Innsbrook. Some might think this series only books reunion bands attempting to recapture their glory days in the fading sunset with one or two original members. But really, where Innsbrook kills it is with new country artists. Concert promoter Laurin Willis says the top-grossing concerts of 2011 were ex-Hootie Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Friday Cheers features a smart lineup and a scenic view of both the city skyline and the James River from Brown's Island. Also with beautiful surroundings is Groovin' in the Garden. Its stage is nestled among the flora of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (and Maymont sometimes) — and its mellow, wine-and-beer vibe is nestled in the hearts of NPR lovers everywhere.