May 23, 2007 News & Features » Cover Story


10 Reasons to Get Off the Sofa This Summer 

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1) 26th annual Vintage Virginia Wine Festival (June 2-3).

Boasting 50 wineries and 250 award-winning Virginia wines, this festival has a new home at Bull Run Regional Park Special Events Center in Centreville. Musical guests include some familiar names: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Soulive, DJ Williams Projekt and American Dumpster, among others.

2) Grand finale of the 2007 Festival of the Photograph (June 9).

This three-day festival (June 7-9) celebrates world-class photography with numerous exhibitions, outdoor projections, master classes, interviews with world-famous photographers and more. The grand finale, "Works" will feature a closing performance at the Charlottesville Pavilion by hometown bluegrass faves The Hackensaw Boys.

3) Son Volt plays Groovin' in the Garden (June 14).

It's another interesting lineup this summer for the Thursday-evening concert series at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Alt-country favorites Son Volt, with Jay Farrar from Uncle Tupelo, should draw a good crowd.

4) Drive-By Truckers play Friday Cheers (June 22).

You can't beat the deal offered by Friday Cheers, because all shows are free! Check out the best that Southern rock has to offer with favorites Drive-By Truckers from Athens, Ga., featuring Patterson Hood.

5) Mary J. Blige comes to the Richmond Coliseum (July 17).

One of the biggest summer concerts in the city features the reigning queen of neo-soul/R&B and hip-hop, the one and only Mary J. Blige — performing at the one and only local coliseum straight out of the '70s.

6) FloydFest (July 26-29).

No, this is not a heady tribute to Pink Floyd with flying pigs hovering over Virginia farmers. But if you're looking for a music festival set in the great outdoors, featuring world, bluegrass, folk and Appalachian music, try the sixth annual FloydFest in Floyd County, along the pristine Blue Ridge Parkway. The theme is diversity ("It's All in the Mix"), with Sam Bush, North Mississippi All-Stars, The Duhks, The Hackensaw Boys, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Toubab Krewe.

7) The Virgin Music Festival in Baltimore (Aug. 4-5).

One of the hottest music festivals on the East Coast isn't too far a drive. The Virgin Music Festival at Pamlico Race Course in Baltimore has its usual mix of superstars and up-and-comers. The first day features twin headliners, The Police and The Beastie Boys. Other bands over the two days include Amy Winehouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, M.I.A., CSS, and, yes, local favorites the Bad Brains.

8) Neko Case and Rufus Wainwright come to the Charlottesville Pavilion (Aug. 15).

Two of the hottest singer-songwriters in the last couple of years for the price of one. Not to mention that the Charlottesville Pavilion is a great place to see any show: a friendly outdoor amphitheater right at the end of the mall walk, with easy access to amenities such as Porta-Potties and many well-placed bars, restaurants and tea shops.

9) Slick Rick visits Toad's Place (Aug. 16).

Shows are still being lined up at Richmond's newest downtown music venue, Toad's Place on the Canal Walk. Check out its Web site to see if anything catches your fancy. Fans of old-school hip-hop may want to catch a legend in August, when Slick Rick (he of the famous '80s classics, "La Di Da Di" and "The Show") hops onto our new indoor lily pad.

10) Erykah Badu plays Fridays at Sunset (Aug. 17).

Yes, Ms. Badu is for real. Another neo-soul/hip-hop singer sure to ignite the crowd with her funky, strong-willed music and African queen presence. Call Tyrone and tell him. S

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