Favorite

Festivals! 

For when you want to commit to a few days of live music somewhere else.

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Opera

Ash Lawn Opera Festival, July 3-Aug. 9. Charlottesville's 2009 season features artist recitals, performances and lectures, including “Camelot,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Velveteen Rabbit.” www.ashlawnopera.org.

Castleton Festival, July 3-19. The only American festival that focuses on chamber-opera performances, it includes Britten's “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Beggar's Opera,” “The Rape of Lucretia,” and recitals, chamber music and master classes. Held in Rappahannock County. Read about it next week in Style. www.chateauville.org/festival.html.

The Staunton Music Festival, Aug. 21-29. Medieval music, folk-song arrangements, arias, sonatas and duets. www.stauntonmusicfestival.com.

Folk, Blues, Bluegrass and Gospel

Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, July 6-Aug. 2. Has it all: dance, theater, film, a scenic view of the Appalachian Mountains and a fantastic blend of American music. www.wintergreenperformingarts.org.

Wayside Bluegrass Music Festival, July 8-11. Held at the farmers' market in Stuart. Acts include Heather Berry and Tony, the Jeanette Williams Band, Virginia Sky, Rich 'n' Tradition, Locust Mountain Boys and Marcia Horne and Next Step. www.waysidepark.com.

Mineral Bluegrass Festival, July 16-18. Three-day fest that includes acts such as Lonesome Will Mullins and the Virginia Playboys, Goldwing Express and Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-press. www.aandabluegrass.com.

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, July 17-Aug. 8. At 47 years old, one of Virginia's longest-running outdoor music events. Acts include Travis Tritt and Jerry Douglas, BAcla Fleck with Toumani DiabatAc, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and other country, jazz and bluegrass acts. www.musicfest.org.

Bluegrass in the Blue Ridge, July 30-Aug. 1. There's more to Luray than Luray Caverns (and our editor's birthplace). Acts include West Wind Bluegrass, Milford Station, Dark Hollow and Mark Templeton. www.bluegrassintheblueridge.com.

FiddleFest, July 31-Aug. 1. Roanoke's fiddle convention brings together not only live bands but also workshops. Artists include Herschel Sizemore, Big Country Bluegrass, Sandy Ridge and Southern Depot. www.roanokefiddlefest.org.

Central Virginia Family Bluegrass Music Festival, Aug. 13-15. The family-friendly event in Amelia has countryside charm and loads of gifted musicians. Performances by Gold Wing Express, Code Blue, Bluegrass Brothers and Samantha Casey. www.ameliafamilycampground.com.

The Annual Blue Ridge Mountain Music Fest, Aug. 15. Wintergreen festival features a slew of innovative folk-playing folks, including Nothin' Fancy, the Deer Creek Boys, the New North Carolina Ramblers and the McKenzies with Kim and Jimbo Cary. www.wintergreenperformingarts.org.

Reggae

Reggae 2009! July 12. Vienna's chilled-out evening include Beres Hammond, Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill and Lenya Wilks, Harmony House Singers and Harmony House Musicians at the Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts. www.wolf-trap.org.

Rock

All Good Music Festival and Campout, July 9-12. The tranquil Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown, W.Va., gets a blast of sound in the fun-loving, four-day rock fest, drawing hippies to ogle Ben Harper and Relentless7, Umphrey's McGee, Keller Williams and Soldiers of Jah Army. www.allgoodfestival.com.

Vans Warped Tour, July 14 in Columbia, Md., and July 22 in Virginia Beach. Studded belts and angry tweens come together for a mix of classic acts such as Anti-Flag, Flogging Molly and NoFX as well as plenty of arbitrary emo-band names including Dance Gavin Dance, I Set My Friends on Fire, and Rosy Likes Red. www.warpedtour.com.

FloydFest 8, July 23-26. An eclectic mix of rock, blues, folk and world music with performances by Blues Traveler, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Peter Rowan and Forro in the Dark in Floyd County. www.atwproductions.com.

RockStar Energy Mayhem Fest, Aug. 6. Metal heads and goth kids unite at Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater featuring Marilyn Manson, classic-act Slayer, Bullet for My Valentine and All That Remains. The tour also makes a stop at Washington's Nissan Pavilion on Aug. 9. www.mayhemfest.com.

Hippiefest, Aug. 11. Wolf Trap in Vienna hosts another self-proclaimed concert for peace and love, featuring Leslie West and Corky Laing, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Flo and Eddie of the Turtles, Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, and Badfinger. www.wolf-trap.org.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Aug. 30: Braze your ears, because the news I'm about to reveal is quite shocking: Virgin Fest has gone free. You heard it right. That doesn't mean a good lineup is to be sacrificed, though: Chart toppers Weezer, Blink-182, Public Enemy, Franz Ferdinand and Girl Talk have signed on to perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. The two-ticket-per-person limit gives first priority to Virgin mobile customers and past festival attendees. Who knows, though, if you jump on the bandwagon early enough you might be one of the lucky ones. www.virginmobilefestival.com.

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