Interlocken Festival: Neil Young, Furthur, String Cheese Incident, Black Crowes, Zac Brown and More
Interlocken, a 4-day music festival, with an emphasis on world class music, locally sourced food and sustainability, will take place September 5 – 8 at Oak Ridge Farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Arrington, VA. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Furthur, Zac Brown, The String Cheese Incident, and The Black Crowes will perform. Many of the artists will be performing at Interlocken over multiple days, and will be featured in unique and exciting artist pairings – with additional artists to be announced soon. Pre-sale tickets will be available at 10am EST on Wednesday, May 22, and general “early bird” tickets will go on sale Thursday, May 23 at 10am EST.
Interlocken was created by industry veterans Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro. Frey founded the HORDE Festival while Shapiro owned New York City’s historic rock club, “Wetlands Preserve.” He also produced U2’s award-winning film U23D and currently publishes Relix Magazine, as well as being the proprietor of Brooklyn Bowl and The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. With the pedigree of these two producers, Interlocken is set to be one of the country’s most unique and dynamic events. Frey and Shapiro’s sense for innovation and creativity together with the backdrop of this beautiful setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains is certain to make for an unforgettable weekend.
Interlocken was named for traditions central to both Frey and Shapiro: The inter-locking performances presented at Wetlands and the continuous uninterrupted music featured between the two stages at HORDE. Interlocken’s conceptual theme will touch all elements of the event: “when something ends, another begins.” This simple yet powerful ethos of sustainability will be integrated into camping, lodging, food, drink, transport offerings as well as specialized onsite activities.
“Most festivals these days are trying to be everything to everyone — very eclectic with an emphasis on a large number of artists in various genres,” says Shapiro. “With Interlocken, we want to break away from that mold and create something more identifiable and distinct.”
Interlocken’s two main stages will feature full two-hour sets that will run seamlessly from one to the other without breaks between performances, giving the audience a unique and singular experience as the music will be continuous throughout the weekend. The emphasis will be on quality over quantity, as fewer bands will be playing longer sets and many of the featured artists will perform multiple sets on different days.
After looking at several sites around the US, Frey and Shapiro decided upon Oak Ridge in Nelson County for its majestic beauty, size, and proximity to Charlottesville. Its infrastructure and acreage allow it to naturally accommodate mass gatherings. The estate has 4,800-plus-acres and is privately owned; it was originally deeded to two Bristol merchants by the King of England. The most well known owner was Thomas Ryan, a Wall Street financier, who used the property as a rural retreat and built a professional sized steeplechase racetrack for his horses and a private railroad station. After the Holland family purchased Oak Ridge in 1989, John C. Holland, Jr. placed high priority on restoring the Oak Ridge racetrack using reclaimed building materials. The festival will take place on that racetrack, which is the length of six football fields. The town of Arrington in Nelson County has a stop sign, a post office, a general store and a recycling center. Over the past 10 years, local craft breweries and, most recently, local hard cider distilleries, have joined several local wineries — some dating back to the Thomas Jefferson era. Nelson County is a well-known destination for the outdoor recreation enthusiast and is becoming a hotbed of locally made small-batch craft spirits. The festival will offer general camping in the stunning surrounding Blue Ridge area as well as VIP camping inside the concert site.
“We are very excited to welcome the Interlocken Festival to Oak Ridge,” says Oak Ridge owner Rhonda Holland. “Several concert promoters have approached us in the past about using the track. We have always been concerned about the impact that this would have on the surrounding community and the land. Dave and Peter have a history of caring about the communities and land where they produce events. We look forward to working with the Interlocken team for many years to come.”
Since both Frey and Shapiro have a strong history of running environmentally conscious organizations, Interlocken will be a particularly green undertaking, utilizing carbon offsetting, locally sourced food, recycling programs and many more initiatives. The festival has engaged a person closely associated with the property who is a local sustainable food provider to help Interlocken source food, beverages and services from the Central Virginia.
“As a life-long concert goer, Peter has a fan-first approach to the events he produces and I think his audiences respond to that as they feel his respect and generosity,” says Frey. “He creates events that he would want to attend himself, and that really sets them apart from everything else out there.”