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Planning a getaway to Virginia Beach? Packed schedule announced for season

Crystal Graham
Virginia Beach oceanfront concert
Photo courtesy IMGoing

The City of Virginia Beach and Beach Events have announced a packed line-up of concerts, festivals and entertainment coming to the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

From art and cultural experiences to family shows and activities, the schedule includes signature events like Funk Fest, La Fiesta presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Coastal Virginia, the Oceanfront Concert Series and Bayport Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach as well as the all-new Beach Blanket Film Festival and an expanded three-day VA Beach Jeep Fest.

The season officially kicks off with the first-ever Bulls and Barrels Beach Rodeo on April 15-16.  Bulls and Barrels Beach Rodeo will bring traditional American rodeo to the Virginia Beach oceanfront as cowboys and cowgirls from across the country compete in extreme bull riding, barrel racing and mini bull riding.

The Oceanfront Concert Series returns for a third year in a row, bringing free musical performances by nationally recognized artists to the oceanfront. Award-winning bands such as Everclear, Blue Oyster Cult, Cracker, Gin Blossoms and Michel Franti have graced the Oceanfront Park stages in years past and the lineup for 2023 will be announced in the coming weeks. Starting the first Wednesday in June and running through the third week of August, these shows will rotate between 17th Street and 24th Street parks each week.

Building on the success of the weekly Beach Blanket Cinema Series, the new Beach Blanket Film Festival will take place every evening from Tuesday, July 18, through Saturday, July 22, on the beach at 29th Street. The “Galactic Greats” themed, week-long event will include fan favorites like “Star Wars” and “E.T. Extra Terrestrial”. This event starts nightly at 8:30 p.m.

Every August for 14 years, the Virginia Beach Funk Fest Beach Party has brought the “funk” to the oceanfront with two full days of electrifying music, great food and unique vendors. Funk artists like James Brown and George Clinton not only inspired numerous musicians and influenced other genres like disco and hip hop, but their special brand of music also led to the creation of this local festival, which has become the largest annual music concert Beach Events produces. The festival takes place from Aug. 25-26.

The VA Beach Jeep Fest returns for an expanded three-day weekend on Nov. 10-12. Celebrating Jeep Heritage and the 4×4 lifestyle, the weekend includes daily sunrise beach cruises along with multiple opportunities to traverse a beach sand course, where registered Jeeps can test their skills on through a specially designed course of hills, dips, mounds and obstacles.

“The team at IMGoing is honored to work closely with the City of Virginia Beach for the 28th year in a row to provide unique and family-friendly entertainment along the oceanfront for visitors and locals alike,” said William Younce, director of beach events. “From local historical short stories played out along the boardwalk to major weekend-long music festivals and everything in between, this year promises to offer a ton of great opportunities to come enjoy some amazing entertainment along the Virginia Beach oceanfront.”

The Beach Events program is sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach and produced by IMGoing.

For the latest calendar of events, visit BeachEventsVB.com.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.