LYNCHBURG -- Neil Young & Crazy Horse are listed among many top-name bands coming to Central Virginia in September as part of a new four-day music festival in Nelson County.
Already months into the planning process, the Interlocken Music Festival is scheduled to take place at Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington from Sept. 5 to 8. Producers have said they expect a turnout in the tens of thousands.
In addition to Neil Young & Crazy Horse, producers have said some of the confirmed bands are: Furthur, made up of Phil Lesh and Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead along with five other members; Zac Brown from the Zac Brown Band; The String Cheese Incident; and The Black Crowes. Event publicist Ken Weinstein said in an email that they are planning to announce more bands Monday or Tuesday.
According to a news release for the festival, the bands will play in "unique and exciting artist pairings."
"Interlocken's conceptual theme will touch all elements of the event: 'when something ends, another begins,'" the release states. "This simple yet powerful ethos of sustainability will be integrated into camping, lodging, food, drink, transport offerings, as well as specialized onsite activities."
Another part of this theme will be captured by an emphasis on quality over quantity, as there will be fewer bands that will play in continuous two-hour sets on two main stages so that the music never stops. Several of the bands will play multiple sets on different days.
While Oak Ridge Estate will serve as the site for the event, the creators and producers are Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro, both of whom have been involved in the music industry in multiple ways.
Frey, who moved to Nelson County about five years ago, founded the HORDE Festival. Shapiro used to own a New York City rock club, Wetlands Preserve, and now is the publisher of Relix Magazine, as well as the proprietor of Brooklyn Bowl and The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y.
On April 25, Reagan Thompson, from Oak Ridge, and Frey presented information at the Nelson County Board of Supervisors meeting to advise them of plans for the festival.
The impact on the area will be large, as Frey anticipates a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 people. He expects that some of those will stay in local lodging or general camping in the surrounding area, and others will take part in the VIP option of camping inside the concert site.
At the meeting, Frey said he wanted the event to showcase not only the music but also the food and beverages of Central Virginia.
Frey and Shapiro previously considered other venues for the festival, including ones in Washington state, Colorado and Florida, before settling on Nelson County. The 4,800-plus acres at Oak Ridge, along with its infrastructure, "allow it to naturally accommodate mass gatherings," the release stated.
The festival will take place on Oak Ridge's racetrack, which is the length of six football fields.
"We are very excited to welcome the Interlocken festival to Oak Ridge," Oak Ridge owner Rhonda Holland stated in the release. "Several concert promoters have approached us in the past about using the track. We have always been concerned about the impact that this would have on the surrounding community and the land. Dave and Peter have a history of caring about the communities and land where they produce events. We look forward to working with the Interlocken team for many years to come."
At the supervisors meeting, Frey said if the event is successful, they plan to work toward a long-term contract with Holland.
"Hopefully, this will become the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival of Central Virginia," Frey said at the meeting. "That's our goal."
The biggest challenge will be coordinating traffic so there is not a bottleneck on U.S. 29.
"We've put a lot of time and energy and resources into putting together a traffic plan," Frey said, noting that they already are working with the Virginia Department of Transportation, local EMS providers, state police and county law enforcement to ensure that there is the lowest possible impact on U.S. 29 and side roads.
Frey also noted at the meeting that they are working with Amtrak to arrange for visitors to come into Charlottesville and Lynchburg en route to Nelson County, and they are working with Wintergreen Resort to sell a festival-lodging package.
Want to go?
When: Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 5-8
Where: Oak Ridge Estate, 2300 Oak Ridge Road, Arrington
Details: Artist pre-sale tickets will go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday and general early-bird tickets go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Thursday. They can be purchased via the festival website.
More info: www.interlockenfestival.com