Hometown Celebration

Featuring an eclectic lineup, 804 Day to shake the Bottom again this Aug. 2. 

The organizers behind 804 Day admit that they won’t be reinventing the wheel with the sophomore installment of their August music festival, slated for Aug. 2. The goal, once again, is to be “a hometown celebration of all things Richmond.”

“We’re just using what worked from the first year and adding a VIP area,” says event curator Reese Williams, the communications director for the Shockoe Records label. “And praying for good weather.”

Last year’s inaugural 804 Day attracted more than 5,000 visitors to three performance stages in and around the 17th Street Farmers Market in Shockoe Bottom. The music on display came from local and regional performers in a diversity of styles. This year’s edition will similarly showcase an eclectic lineup that includes the indigenous hip-hop of Nickelus F, the freak folk of Høly River, Erin and the Wildfire’s indie-pop and the Latin-American styles of Kadencia and Los Hermanos Alacranes – a little something for everybody.

Williams says that the varied lineup is by design “if only to encourage commingling. We don’t have a singer-songwriter stage, we don’t have a hip-hop stage, the main goal is that each stage has a variety of genres, so that means that people who like all kinds of music are meeting each other.”

The one-day festival, co-sponsored by, among others, the City of Richmond and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, will also feature a variety of vendors, a kid’s play area and dozens of nonprofit organizations showcasing their services. One new feature will be a paid VIP area (at $80.40 a ticket) in the courtyard behind Shockoe Bottom Clay, where patrons will be treated to music from the Sugar Hollows and enjoy their own dedicated porta-potties.

Kadencia

This year’s 804 Day lineup will also include Ant The Symbol, Dead Billionaires, Flight Club, Knifing Around, Niiasii, Palmyra, Rein, Vexine, Weekend Plans and Weldon Hill. Some of the acts are affiliated with the sponsoring Shockoe Records label, which was started in 2022 by In Your Ear Studio’s Carlos Chafin, Craig Martin, host of the PBS series “The Good Road,” and Queon “Q” Martin of Soulidifly Productions. The stated goal of Shockoe Records is to sign and promote local talent and, in the process, recast the Bottom as Richmond’s creative epicenter.

804 Day is key to that effort, Williams says. “And it’s a way to bring Richmond together.” On that front, it’s working, she adds, citing a study that organizers commissioned which analyzed the cell phone use from last year’s festival. “The demographic was close to 50% white and 40% Black, with different income brackets and educational levels, so the event really drew a nice harmony of different ethnicities, which made us very happy. And I think it’s because of the way we curated the stages, with all of the musical genres and walks of life represented.”

Palmyra

The event will also kick-off the return of Richmond Music Week, which is now being shepherded by local music writer Andrew Cothern, director of communications for Virginia Tourism Corporation. The seven-day promotion of the city’s music scene will highlight performances occurring in venues across the region. “It will be similar to last year,” says Cothern, urging folks to stay tuned. “We will be promoting all the live shows happening that week along with a few other events that we’re working on.”

804 Day is free and will be held Aug. 2 in and around the 17th Street Farmers Market in Shockoe Bottom from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information and for tickets to the paid VIP area, go to shockoerecords.com/804day. For more information on Richmond Music Week, go to richmondmusicweek.com.

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