Surf, sand, and Stuart—it’s the 2018 Beach Music Festival at Wayside Park in Patrick County, Virginia.
OK, so maybe it’s not ocean surf, but whitewater on the waterways of the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains. Sand is trucked in, and there’s something about the beautiful backdrop of Virginia’s Blue Ridge that makes it the perfect location for an otherwise-coastal music. This year marks the festival’s 37th year. Over those three-and-a-half decades, the Beach Music Festival has become one of the Dan River Basin’s most loved events.
The idea originated in 1981 with Hawaiian shirt-wearing, music-loving Wayne Craig. Nearly a decade later, the festival was recognized by Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder as Virginia’s premier beach festival. The event since has been picked up by SRC Productions, Inc. a division of Rotary Club of Stuart, which has turned it into a largely volunteer-run event, with all proceeds going to the organizations the club supports, improvements at Rotary Field, scholarships awarded to teens, and youth activities.
This year’s line-up is:
Thursday, June 7: Pizazz
Friday, June 8: Silk Groove, The Entertainers
Saturday, June 9: Silk Groove, The Entertainers, The Embers, Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot, and The Band of Oz
Camping is available on-site at Wayside Park, so you never have to leave the festival.
Plenty to Do in Patrick
If you do decide to venture out, however, there’s plenty to explore in Patrick County.
Start by heading up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and taking in the panoramic views. Explore Rocky Knob and—if you are feeling adventurous—take a hike on the tough-but-gorgeous 10.8-mile Rock Castle Gorge Trail.
Tour and taste at the county’s unique wineries, Stanburn and Villa Appalaccia. Don’t forget to pick up some sweets at Nancy’s Candy Company in Meadows of Dan. Enjoy a sun-filled day at the Gordon Trent Golf Course or Fairy Stone State Park. History buffs can browse the local museum, visit Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge, or step into the Victorian era at the Reynolds Homestead or at the Civil War Reenactment at Laurel Hill, the birthplace of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.
Visit a variety of restaurants and local stores. And if you’re not the camping type, relax in luxury at Primland Resort, or settle in at one of the county’s many cabins or a locally owned bed and breakfast.