Jammin By the River: Music Events + Venues + Vibes
The sounds of the river have their own rhythm and magic. It draws us in as we escape from the city life and head to the River Realm. As waves hit the shore, boat engines rev, campfires crackle and laughter fills the air, you may find yourself swaying to the beat of life of in our enchanted region. If you head to one of our favorite music venues, you’ll have an even harder time not tapping your feet and swinging your hips!
Local restaurants, outdoor amphitheaters and marinas welcome musicians from near and far. Throughout the year, you’ll find calendars full of concerts and special events that infuse soul into your River Realm experience. Let the music draw you in and help you escape. Stay for a night of fun at one of our favorite boutique hotels or camp out for the week at one of our many family friendly campgrounds.
Here’s a full list of our favorite music venues and what they have to offer:
213 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA
This eatery in Urbanna is well known for its in-house smoked meats, homemade barbeque, pies, and ice cream. Locals know more than just a good meal awaits here, though. Something Different regularly welcomes musical acts from near and far on the weekends. While you’re here, enjoy 11 craft beer selections and prosecco on tap! If you have a sweet tooth, you can also enjoy one of their homemade adult beverage ice cream flavors while you sway and groove to the music. No Cover Charge.
Music on the Half Shell Stage at Kilmarnock Town Centre Park
150 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA
This new addition to the River Realm kicked off with a bang last summer. This year, the stage will welcome touring acts and local artists alike. Funky soul and jazz sounds from bands including Soul Expressions, Good Shot Judy or The Original Rhondell’s will keep the crowd moving. Each concert opens with local talents that will cover genres ranging from old jazzy standards to modern radio and everything in between. So it’s two bands every concert.Local food trucks serve up fresh creations and sweet treats during shows and events here. Come early with the family to enjoy Waterworks, a funky water park for the kids. The Town Centre Park also hosts a regular Farmer’s Market and other community events.
287 Jackson Creek Road, Deltaville, VA
The Deltaville Maritime Museum hosts a wide variety of community events and festivals. The museum itself memorializes the boat building skills that made the Deltaville area famous. Outside, the Holly Point Nature Park is a haven for children’s play and natural inspiration with a nature trail walk, kayak launch, picnic tables and a pier walk. Every fourth Saturday during the summer, the Deltaville landmark transforms for the “Groovin’ in the Park” outdoor concert series. Artists like Tom Euler & the Memphis Blues Band take on the Waterfront Stage, which overlooks Mill Creek. In the event of rain, the concert is held in the Events Pavilion. Bring your own lawn chair, cooler and picnic. Come prepared to boogie during the outdoor dance party the whole family will enjoy. $10 advance/$15 door.
See a full list of artists on the Deltaville Maritime Museum website.
210 Oyster Road, Urbanna, VA
Come by boat or by land to sway to the beat by the river. Spend a summer night dancing under the stars next to the enchanting Urbanna Creek. This laid back, family friendly series welcomes a variety of music genres to the waterfront stage. As boats float in and out of the docks here, you can feel the breeze roll in off the water. Bring your own chair, blanket, coolers and pets! You’ll feel like one of the locals as you take part in the small-town charm of Urbanna. Urbanna also hosts “Movies Under the Stars” on a big projector screen in town. FREE
Check back for movie listings like Star Wars and new bands to love on the Music Under the Stars Facebook page.
327 Old Ferry Road, White Stone, VA
If the cocktails and private beach don’t draw you into this popular eatery in Lancaster County, then the music will. Willaby’s welcomes artists nearly every week at the waterfront restaurant. Expect a variety of easy and high energy waterside listening. Blues, folk, Americana and reggae are all part of the regular rotation here. Stuck on a Name is a crowd favorite. The reggae group is always full of energy and laid back vibes. Nothing beats watching the sunset over the river while slurping down oysters and other local seafood favorites. Visit the Willaby’s website for a full calendar of music.
632 Belle Isle Road, Lancaster, VA
Gather the family, pack a picnic, and head down to Belle Isle State Park each second and third Saturday of the month, May through August. Friends of Belle Isle State Park offer free popcorn and $0.50 drinks. The kids can enjoy ranger-led games while you lean back and enjoy the evening breeze off the Rappahannock River. The park welcomes local and regional bands to play water side. There is a park entrance fee of $4, but no extra event fee.
Check our events page for each concert.
Once-a-Summer Music Events:
Irvington Commons, 98 King Carter Drive, Irvington
Get ready to feel patriotic. This 40-member ensemble delivers a 90-minute celebration of musical Americana for River Realm locals and visitors. Check out the River Realm event calendar because the date changes based on the band’s availability. Enjoy the music with family and friends out on the lawn of the Commons in Irvington. Bring your own chair or blanket to kick back and relax.
Kilmarnock Town Centre Park
150 North Main Street, Kilmarnock
The Third Annual Rhythm and Brews by the Bay will feature three great bands: JJ and Company, Pressing Strings, and Cha Wa. Justin Burke and his buddies in JJ and Company are River Realm locals and bring their charming feel good music to the stage. Pressing Strings is an indie, soul rock group based in another waterside town, Annapolis, MD. They will share their original songs on the Half Shell Stage. Cha Wa will bring the power of their debut album “Funk N Feathers” to town. Expect contemporary riffs on the traditional music inspired by J’Wan Boudreaux’s upbringing alongside his grandfather Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Now “Spyboy” ups the ante by digging deeper into the sound of New Orleans culture and giving it a modern twist. Sponsored by Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce, this event always brings fresh talent to the party.
Historic Christ Church
420 Christ Church Road, Weems
We know a thing or two about craft beer here in Virginia! It’s best enjoyed to the sound of funky, soulful music. During the annual Raise the Roof Craft Beer Fest, we’ll welcome Good Shot Judy and Bobby “Blackhat” Walters on the grounds of Historic Christ Church, one of America’s premier examples of 18th century church architecture. Enjoy 12 Craft Beers, delicious BBQ (or vegetarian fare), and homemade ice cream. One of the River Realm’s Signature Events. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
Share Your Musical Memories
Discover a new favorite band? Catch a killer sunset while you danced the night away? We want to see! Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm and we’ll share your photos of your favorite boogie nights.