Our state is known for its vibrant Appalachian folk music and bluegrass. Even if that’s not your scene, there is a live music event this summer near you whether you jam to rock, pop, folk, hip hop, or anything in between. Here is the go-to guide to the best music festivals for every fan in the state.
(Some of these are in neighboring states, but we wanted to include so nobody misses out if they’re down for a drive.)
Mountain Music Festival—June 3-4
The adrenaline-packed festival is perfect for those who like to combine their love of music with their thirst for thrills. Held in the New River Gorge, Mountain Music Fest combines outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, mountain biking, zip lining, and rock climbing with an eclectic blend of funk, jam, and electronic music. And if that isn’t enough, there is even a “West Virginia beach party” located on the bank of ACE’s Adventure lake which consists of a zip line, a water trampoline, a floating climbing wall and a 40-foot tall waterslide. Boredom is impossible at this festival. Camping is available. Tickets range from $80-$295 depending on the number of days and events included.
When: June 3-4
Where: New River Gorge, WV
Who’s Playing: Lotus, Trampled by Turtles, Galactic, and more.
Firefly Music Festival—June 16-19 (Delaware)
Firefly Festival is unique in several ways. First, it brings together music lovers from a wide range of genres, including alt rock, indie rock, pop, electronic, hip hop, and folk. Second, it has a plethora of exciting activities in addition to the music, such as a brewery, an arcade, a headphone disco, and a market, all on the festival site. Third, it manages to combine the big-name acts of a big-name music festival with the smaller acts and close community feel of a local festival. Tickets are $129 for a single-day and $319 for a four-day pass. Camping is available and encouraged.
When: June 16-19
Where: The Woodlands, Dover, DE (2-4 hour drive from northeastern areas of WV)
Who’s Playing: Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons, Florence & The Machine, Deadmau5, and more.
Mad Tea Party Jam—June 16-19 (Pennsylvania)
The Mad Tea Party is something of a lifestyle for many of its devoted attendees. This is likely due to the magical combination of art and music the festival strives for. In addition to the bands, the festival is full of visual art and performances, including aerial acrobats, a hula-hoop troupe, and painters painting live at every set. There is even a daily costume theme for anyone who feels like breaking out of the ordinary and becoming a part of the art themselves. Tickets are $135 and include all four days.
When: June 16-19
Where: Four Quarters Farm, Artemas, PA (2-3 hour drive from northern WV)
Who’s Playing: Papadosio, Tauk, Desert Dwellers, and more.
Buckeye Country Superfest—June 18-19 (Ohio)
It isn’t called “Superfest” for nothing. Buckeye Superfest attracts music fans from all over the country every summer by consistently landing some of the biggest names in country music. With all the best country all in one place, Buckeye is a truly all-American experience. The festival is held in a stadium with seating, so ticket prices range from $70-$500 depending on the seat, with middle-level seats averaging around $150.
When: June 18-19
Where: Ohio Stadium, Colombus, OH (2-4 hour drive from most middle and western areas of WV)
Who’s Playing: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, and more
Music in the Mountains Bluegrass Festival—June 22-25
The 36th annual Music in the Mountains Bluegrass Festival showcases a number of bluegrass artists known both locally and nationally, making it a great place for true fans of bluegrass to gather and appreciate the music the mountains are known for. Camping is available. Tickets are $45-50 per day for adults.
When: June 22-25
Where: Summersville Music Park, Summersville, WV
Who’s Playing: Dailey & Vincent, The Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, and more.
DC 101 Kerfuffel—June 26 (Maryland)
Anyone who lives in the Eastern Panhandle has probably listened to DC 101 at some time or another. The famous rock radio station is known for hosting festivals and events in the DC area that bring together all types of rock music fans, such as the music fest and chili extravaganza, The Chili Cook Off. As their newest event, Kerfuffel, is sure to be just as loud, rambunctious and exciting. Tickets are $55-95.
When: June 26
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
Who’s Playing: Blink-182, Cold War Kids, Silversun Pickups, Violent Femmes, and more.
All Good Presents: Merryland Music Fest—July 9-10 (Maryland)
All Good Music Festival was a West Virginia staple that drew crowds from all over the country year after year, combining fans of rock, funk, bluegrass and jam music at different locations in the state. The festival is now retired, but the spirit of All Good will live on with All Good Presents. They’re producing a two-day festival at the famous Merriweather Post Pavilion called the Merryland Music Fest. It combines music, art and community as it always has.
When: July 9-10
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (1-3 hour drive from northeastern WV)
Who’s Playing: String Cheese Incident, Ben Harper, Grace Potter and more
Appalachian String Band West Virginia Music Festival—Aug. 3-7
The name doesn’t lie. This music festival brings together performers and appreciators of Appalachian string music from all over the world. With camping, contests, dancing, movie showings, and even yoga in addition to the concerts, it’s no wonder that the event is known as one of West Virginia’s best—there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Tickets run from $45 for single adults to $80 for families.
When: August 3-7
Where: Camp Washington-Carver Complex in Clifftop, WV
Who’s playing: An assortment of bands from WV and beyond
Heritage Music Blues Fest—Aug. 12-14
Before 2001, Wheeling’s blues scene was nearly nonexistent. That didn’t stop Bruce Wheeler from creating the annual Heritage Blues Fest to showcase the best blues music in West Virginia. Since then, the festival has become a staple of the area and attracts blues fans from all over the country. If you love blues, this is the place to be. Weekend passes are $85.
When: August 12-14
Where: Heritage Port Amphitheater, Wheeling, WV
Who’s Playing: Keb Mo, The Lowrider Band, Walter Trout, and more.