The Lockn’ festival will soon draw thousands to Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington. The weekend campout, August 24-27, is the mid-Atlantic region’s largest Jam Band Festival.Since the very first Lockn’ festival was held in 2013, the four-day event has drawn the best headlining jam band and improvisation acts, as well as thousands of attendees every year. Regular Jam Festival headliners such as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, and The String Cheese Incident have all graced the Lockn’ stages, while bigger names such as former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and his band the Spaceshifters, former members of Jefferson Airplane, The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Black Crowes have made the festival an even bigger draw. This year’s festival is no exception. The lineup includes Jam Fest headlining acts Umphrey’s Mcgee and Widespread Panic, as well as classic rock legend John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, while a near countless list of supporting acts performing throughout the four days make the festival worth attending all on their own. [gallery ids="2271,2270"] As usual, Lockn’ 2017 will feature special guest collaborations. Bob Weir will join the Avett Brothers on stage while Heart’s Ann Wilson will perform with Gov’t Mule, and Moonalice welcomes Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen. More sit-ins and special guest collaborations are possible as the weekend transpires. Meanwhile, the event’s organizers have made some changes and improvements from previous years’ festivals -- last year was the first time a turntable stage was used as a way of connecting artists’ sets without wait times. As one band performs, the next band’s gear is being set up on the rotating stage so that when the performing band has finished its set, the next band starts their set immediately afterwards and fans do not have to wait or make their way to other stages. The venue grounds also have been shifted off the horse track to help reduce dust levels and make the weekend a more enjoyable experience. Redesign of the venue grounds also will take advantage of trees on the property to provide more shade while the stages will be significantly closer to the camping areas. Lockn’ will also house misting stations this year, to help patrons stay cool and comfortable in the August heat and remain energetic while dancing to the music. They've also promised that traffic routes to the festival will be more direct and efficient so that getting in and out is much easier and devoid of traffic congestion.
Part of the uniqueness of Lockn’ is Garcia’s Forest. This year the wooded area will house a replica of Terrapin Station where Morning Piano Porch Performances will take place, with bands performing at night. Garcia’s forest will also host yoga sessions daily. Other activities include swimming, biking, food and handmade goods shopping, a campground area, a fellowship tent, and meetings designated for patrons wishing to remain sober during the event. Impromptu drum circles and camp area jam sessions are a certainty. The full list and schedule of performances, rules, ticket prices and packages, and other info can be found on the festival website. Tickets and packages purchased in advance are cheaper than gate prices and are recommended as the venue is expected to reach near full capacity. “Glamping” packages are also available -- two- and four-person deluxe tents equipped with mattresses and sleeping bags, tables, chairs, sheets, lights, rugs, chairs, and power. Nearby lodging packages and shuttle service will also be available throughout the weekend. Four-day tickets start at $299, while one-day passes start at $64. The available VIP and lodging packages can get quite expensive (in the thousands), however, everything included in the individual prices is more than fair, given the abundance of well-known performers, activities, and amenities provided with each ticket and package type. If you have never experienced Lockn’, this year’s festival is as good an opportunity as ever. Lockn’ 2017 kicks of Thursday, August 24, and concludes Sunday, August 27.