7 can’t-miss acts at Lockn’ Festival 2016

By Amber Donoghue

August 21, 2016

Everyone throws music festivals. For the most part they are all the same; mirror images of other parties in fields with girls wearing foil temporary tattoos and flower crowns. Over the years there has been a trend of less music, community and art in cities nationwide. In place of this culture we tend to gather in streets, farms and parks to party rather than appreciate music, scenery and the people around us.

Courtesy of Lockn’

Lockn’ Festival started in 2013 in Arrington, Virginia on the breathtaking Oak Ridge Farm and follows none of the formula stated above. A four-day jam band-based music celebration, Lockn’ is a festival for artists to come and play in front of people who really want to hear them. Legends perform hits from a catalog of songs everyone remembers fondly from a time before mediocrity. Collaborations are put together and festival goers experience the privilege of seeing friends make music– real music– together. Leave your “Here to get weird” T-shirt and that beer pong table at home and come to fill your soul up with why we started gathering outside under the stars to hear these people play. Come to Lockn’. Also, don’t miss these acts….

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

An American funk/soul/r&b circa early ‘70s sound. Solid gold. A lot of artists are trying to mimic the old soul sound that Charles Bradley naturally has. The Brooklyn-raised Bradley was taken to The Apollo in 1962 to see James Brown and fell in love. Eventually Bradley would make money impersonating James Brown under the stage name “Black Velvet.” After much hardship in his personal life he was reborn under the direction of Gabriel Roth,  co-founder of Daptone Records. Charles Bradley is an authentic resident of the kind of music that explains why we are here.  

Gary Clark Jr.

Austin, Texas-born guitarist Gary Clark Jr.’s sound is a mix of blues, jazz, soul, country, as well as hip hop. The influence of legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan running through his fingers as he pulls the strings of his Epiphone Casino. Clarks smooth vocals float on top of the instrumentals and the sound seems to find its way into that place that your brain recognizes as something familiar. Groovy classic vibes.

Brandi Carlile

Singer/songwriter, Brandi Carlile reminds us all that we don’t hate Country music– it’s just been dead for so long. An honest exposed vocal, Carlile says all the things girls think about and are maybe too afraid to speak into reality. This Seattle area high school dropout knows all the words printed on your heart.


The new cool. This uncomplicated raw groove sound is clean. Vulfpeck takes you back and into the future with their tracks. It’s the sound of walking around the city. It’s happiness. Vulfpeck is like nothing else. Think Stevie Wonder meets Sam Cooke. I smell a collaboration in the air with this band at Lockn’. I also predict it to be one of the dopest shows of the weekend. Tell your friends!

My Morning Jacket

This is the band no one has to say anything about. MMJ is on the lineup, you go. Period. Jam, alternative country, indie roots Southern psychedelic rock mash up. Who knows what to call this sound. It’s everything you never knew your ears always wanted. Jim James’ voice is sweet and the men who play behind him are among the best in the business. I’m not entirely certain these guys are even human. They are perfect. Recently touring with Ray LaMontagne having played the instrumentals on his most recent album Ouroboros, My Morning Jacket is a huge pull for Lockn’. One has to wonder what LaMontagne will be doing with his time while MMJ plays the stages of Oak Ridge Farm.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

First there was Aretha Franklin, then Bonnie Raitt, and now Susan Tedeschi. Susan Tedeschi will make the hair on your arms stand up when she sings. She and Derek Trucks merged their band together in 2010 and they have been dropping jaws and shutting stages down ever since. They play with everybody, slaying jams and claiming Lockn’ as their own when they are on the stage. This is music bone marrow. The best of what we love about real talent.

Moon Taxi

This American indie progressive rock band out of Nashville has been on the circuit for a while. High energy shows that really stick in your bones, Moon Taxi has the music that plays in your mind when you feel really good about life. Dancing in the grass barefoot is suggested. Sing at the top of your lungs and dance around like an idiot. Your adult sellout suit needs it to remember that you are still human. Pray that they cover “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.  


Formed in 1994 this organic New Orleans funk sound is always the answer. Brass, bass, beats. Galactic was doing cool when cool was sleeping in the early 2000s. The sound just gets in your body and makes your limbs move. Influenced by world music, jazz, blues, hip hop and a hint of electronica these cats love to play with other artists. With the lineup of insane talent at Lockn’ who knows what these guys are going to bring. The nasty funk for sure.

Keller Williams Gospel

And on the seventh day Keller Williams brought us all to the funkiest soul washing service a wayward wanderer could imagine. Playing on Saturday and Sunday afternoon this year Keller Williams brings a calming sound to the people with gospel-inspired jams and hymnals at the Blue Ridge Bowl stage. I suggest a morning beer and a blanket for these kids. I am not religious most days of the year but Keller Williams sings the faith into your soul.

Lockn’ is special. There are lots of festivals to choose from to fill up your summer schedule but Lockn’ is one of the few not to be missed. Virginia is for music lovers and Lockn’ is a brilliant gem. Interlock with good people, music, food and jam on friends!

More on Lockn’ 2016


Lockn’  Festival in Arrington, Virginia is only 3 and a half hours from Charlotte, NC!


Check out the Official Lockn’ Festival map!


Read our 2016 Lockn’ Food Preview 



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