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Late-summer festivals feature variety of genres


The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — We’ve got two more solid months of summer, and if you’re OK with getting your sweat on, there’s a wealth of live music festivals of all stripes all over the region.

Here’s a look at just a few of the waves of festivals heading our way in July and August.

Some burning blues down on the farm

 At noon Saturday, July 22, head out to the Second Annual Huntington Blues Society Farm Party that takes place at Michelle and Grub Caldwell’s family farm located on the Left Fork of Merritt’s Creek Road.

There’s a smorgasbord of nine bands including C&S Railroad, The Monkey Punchers, Tom and Brenden Wintz, Moonshine Crossing, 5$Red, Blues Crossing, The Mutual Admiration Society, Creek Don’t Rise and Tony Harrah. Entry is a $10 suggested donation to the Blues Society that will go to help pay for its HBS Blues Contest to send area bands and artists to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

HBS founder and president Chris Sutton said about 150 folks last year for the first year blues-themed farm fest and are hoping to double or triple that number this year.

There will be food available for a donation, or folks can bring their own. Folks can also bring their own beverages, just no glass. Folks are also asked to bring their own chairs or blankets for the concert area.

The annual blues competition is set for September. The winner of the contest wins $1,000 and a trip to represent Huntington at the IBC, the world’s largest blues contest.

Go online at for more info about the Blues Society.

EDM at Barboursville Park

Looking to hit an EDM (electronic dance music) fest without a long drive? Roll out to Barboursville Park on Saturday, July 22, as Release will host Mix, a 12-hour electronic music concert at the Barboursville Park Amphitheater. Admission is $20 to see a steady stream of DJs and artists including DJ Tanner, The Flow, Salty Crankbait, T-Diz, Shagg-E, DJ Veil, DJ Tim Hoover, Keytone, Section 8, BW Stylz and Tripster.

Bring your blankets, chairs and picnic baskets. Contact Release for more information at [email protected].

Brandi Carlile headlines the Deep Roots Mountain Revival’s second annual music and arts festival.
(AP file photo)

Deep Roots Mountain Revival

Deep Roots Mountain Revival’s second annual music and arts festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, July 20-22.

Headliners Brandi Carlile, Dr. Dog and Lettuce will be joined by JJ Grey & Mofro, Moon Taxi, White Denim, Drake White and the Big Fire, TAUK, The Hip Abduction, Cabinet, Billy Strings, Sam Bush Band, Town Mountain, Larry Keel, Cabinet, and many favorite regional acts such as The Kind Thieves, Poor Taters, Qiet and Tyler Childers.

The festival takes place just east of Morgantown in Masontown, West Virginia, on Marvin’s Mountaintop, providing a picturesque setting for three days of camping, dancing and relaxing with friends. Patrons will be treated to Americana, bluegrass, rock and jam music with regional visual artists, craft vendors and family friendly activities. Children ages 10 and under will be admitted into the festival for free, and new this year, kids ages 11-15 can purchase tickets for $50 with proof of age presented at the gate including birth certificate, student ID, passport or report card.

Go online at for more info.

Peck Fest

The Kanawha River Campground, Charleston Road, Point Pleasant, presents the third annual Peck Fest, featuring two days of national and local country music entertainment with Tracy Lawrence and Donnie Baker Friday night and Aaron Lewis Saturday night. Local bands start at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 21-22.

Go online at for more information on the festival.

Rails and Ales

Revving up for its fifth year, Huntington’s Rails and Ales has grown into West Virginia’s largest craft beer festival.

Last year, the fest drew a sold-out crowd of 5,000 to Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington.

This year, the fest is set for Saturday, Aug. 12, broken into a more chill vibe with an afternoon and an evening session. The music stage has been moved up to near the beer tents. The afternoon session will include music by regionally traveling DJ Charlie Brown Superstar and a 75-minute set by regionally traveling indie rock unit Ona.

On the evening session, music includes a set by DJ Charlie Brown Superstar, as well as 45-minute sets by The Dividends, The M.F.B. and Ona.

Go online at and for more info and a link to get tickets.

Rally on the River

Running Aug. 17-19, take a ride on the wild side of Ironton as the nonprofit group The Friends of Ironton hosts the 14th annual Rally on the River in downtown Ironton.

Last year more than 30,000 bikers from all over the United States descended upon Ironton, where organizers had a wealth of events, vendors and full slate of national and regional act rock bands including such tribute acts as The Four Horsemen (Metallica tribute), Halen, (Van Halen tribute), Thunderstruck (AC/DC tribute), Meccadeth (Megadeth tribute), as well as Facing Fire and Torch’s Rock and Roll Inferno. There’s also a bunch of scheduled rides, bike contests, bike vendors and national traveling motorcycle attraction shows that have in years past included stunt riders, freestyle Motocross jumpers and even the famous Wall of Death. Although located in the city, the Rally does have lots of nearby camping near the new marina and renovated riverfront in Ironton.

Go online at for more info.

Huntington Music and Arts Festival

Last year, the Huntington Music and Arts Festival expanded to include a week-long fest with 10 diverse and eclectic events all over the city – from Old Central City and The Wild Ramp to West Edge Factory, Pullman Square, Heritage Station, Ritter Park and some of the city’s music venues.

The Labor Day weekend fest closed out with 23 young indie musical acts from around the region at the festival’s signature concert, along with a marketplace featuring artisans, crafters, local food and craft beer.

This year HMAF is set to run Aug. 27 through Sept. 3 at venues around the city including Heck Yeah Fest (a rock and punk fest) at the V Club, HMAF Appalachia at Wild Ramp, Art on the Edge at the Huntington Museum of Art, as well as live music and comedy at pubs and places around the city from Heritage Station and Pullman Square to Black Sheep Burritos and Brew.

Go online at for more info on the fest and how you can get involved.

Fly-In Festival

One of the most unique natural settings for a festival is the Fly-In Festival.

Located at the Robert Newlon Airpark, 6090 Kyle Lane, Huntington, on W.Va. 2 (just north of Huntington and a neighbor of the YMCA Kennedy Center), the Fly-In Fest is a picker’s paradise on the banks of the Ohio River and set on the grounds of one of the last grass-runway airports in West Virginia. It is also home to the WV Skydivers, The Fly-in Cafe and a full-service RV and primitive campground on the river.

Set for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27, the Fly-In Festival will feature Bing Brothers and Jake Krack, String Therapy, Black Mountain Bluegrass, Don Rigsby, Kentucky-fied Pickers, Schultz Creek and many more.

Tickets are on sale now. Weekend passes are $40 while daily tickets are $25. Children 12 and under are free with paid adult admission. There are a limited number of full hookup campsites available for $35 per night. Call 304-733-1240 for reservations. There are plenty of sites for primitive RV and tent camping also available for $20 for the weekend. Boat docking is also available with access to the festival from the Ohio River. The gates open Thursday, Aug. 24, with a potluck dinner and jamming.

Diamond Teeth Mary Blues and Art Festival

Set for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27, at Heritage Station in downtown Huntington, the annual Diamond Teeth Mary Blues and Arts Festival honors the late Huntington native blues singer Diamond Teeth Mary Smith McClain. The fest is put on by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District in conjunction with the Huntington Blues Society and kicks off with a blues-themed Party on the Patio concert with a set by C&S Railroad, led by Chris Sutton, the award-winning bluesman who has toured, India, Nepal and Europe, followed up with Columbus blues man Willie Phoenix. Saturday is a full day of music featuring national and regionally traveling blues artists such as Larry Whitt and Blue-Eyed Soul, Tony Harrah and the Putnam Prohibition, Diamond Teeth Mary’s backing band Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues from St. Petersburg, Florida, and special headline guests Roy Bookbinder and Veronica Jackson. There will be food and drink vendors, and folks can visit the Shops @ Heritage Station. Inside the CVB, check out the weeklong Billy Scott Memorial Art Exhibit with a spotlight artist.

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