2018 Summer Festival Guide

2018 Summer Festival Guide

Compiled by Staff

Hampton Roads comes alive during the late spring and summer with festivals and outdoor events galore. We’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the best bets to attend with friends, family, or solo. 

Mark your calendar and get out and experience life in the 757. 



Norfolk Greek Festival

May 17-20

Annunciation Greek Cathedral/Granby Street


Under the big tent, enjoy Greek music and traditional dancers in costume as well as delicious Greek food, beer, wine, and shop in the Greek Bizarre. 


Chesapeake Jubilee

May 17-20

Chesapeake City Park


The Kiwanis Shrimp Feast kicks off the festival, which includes tons of food, drinks, fireworks, amusement rides and live music from Buckshot, Tailgate Down, Early Bynum & Mount Unity Choir, and others. 


Suds & Buds

May 18, 5:30-9:30pm

Norfolk Botanical Gardens 

Tickets include garden admission, food from area restaurants, craft beer, wine, a garden tram ride, and music by Lewis McGehee and Young Audience performers. Proceeds benefit Norfolk Botanical Garden, the Rotary Club of Norfolk, and Young Audiences of Virginia, Inc.

Tickets: $45


Beach Music Cruise-In

May 18-20

30th Street @ Oceanfront


Beach Music Cruise-In, combining bands on the beach and cars on the boardwalk, blends the best of the “oldies” with dancing under the stars in a jam-packed blast to the past!  Settle into the sand as the top Beach Music bands from up and down the East Coast descend on the Virginia Beach oceanfront in a nostalgic salute to the “good old days” of cool cars and hot tunes.  Stroll the boardwalk to view classic cars, hot rods, antiques, and more.


Virginia Beer Festival

May 19

2 PM to 6 PM

Town Point Park

www.vafest.org, www.festevents.org 

A collaborative effort by Festevents and the Virginia Arts Festival, the is the largest and longest running beer festival in Hampton Roads. This year’s event is one day. In addition to an expanded section of Virginia craft beers, be sure to check out some live music, get a bite to eat, and learn about some unique collaboration beers debuting at the Brew School.


Common Grounds – A Collaboration Beer Fest & Camp Night

May 19, 4-8 PM

Holiday Trav-L-Park, Virginia Beach


Enjoy 20+ authentic, small batch, one time only collaboration beers made by talented brewers from Virginia and around the country. Camping packages available.


World Arts Celebration

May 19

4 PM to 8 PM

City Center at Oyster Point

Headlining entertainment by Bob Marley’s band The Wailers. This event includes a global market, cultural art demonstrations, crafts for families, international food and seasonal brew. Free admission.


Inaugural Hampton Roads Country Music Festival 

Hosted by Chase Payne 

May 19 

Venue 757


Featured bands are local favorites Buckshot VB, Chase Payne, The Mullins Sisters, The Bill Miles Band, Laura Rice and Hickory Highway. This is a family friendly event held indoors at Venue 757 with food and drink packages available.  Put your cowgirl boots on and get ready to dance. 


Spring Stockley Gardens Arts Festival 

May 19-20

10 AM to 5 PM

Stockley Gardens/Ghent


Set in a tree-lined park in Norfolk’s most eclectic neighborhoods, the locals’ favorite art show features over 130 regional artists, plus kids activities, and live music. 


Pirate Party on the Beach

May 19-20

17th Street Park @ Oceanfront


Two rollicking days of music, mayhem, and more.  This family-friendly event features activities designed to bring out the “pirate” in everyone.  Pirate games, a treasure hunt, and pirate re-enactors all combine to celebrate those scallywags we all wish we could be: pirates. 


UMOJA Festival

May 25-27

Union Bank & Trust Pavilion (Portsmouth)


A celebration of African American culture, Brian McKnight, Shrisette Michele and K’Bana Blaq perform on Saturday night, while Gospel Sunday will feature Vashawn Mitchell. 


Salute to Summer

May 25-27

17th, 24th & 31st Street Stages @ Oceanfront


Three stages at the Oceanfront featuring local and regional bands get the official start to the summer season off to a great start. 


Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo

May 26-28

Virginia Beach Oceanfront


A surfing contest, 5K race, and student art show celebrating Virginia Beach oceanfront culture.


O’Connoroo Summer Beer Festival

June 2, Noon – 10 PM

O’Connor Brewing Company


One of the brewery’s biggest events of the year celebrates the release of Tart Tropicale (a passionfruit-infused golden ale) with live music from Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos, Superfang, The Framers, Opin, and Lewis McGehee. Free admission. 


Blackbeard Pirate Festival

June 2-3

Downtown Hampton


The downtown Hampton waterfront and Mill Point Park come alive the costumed pirates of all ages. 


Norfolk Harborfest

June 8-10

Town Point Park


Tall ships, fireworks, food vendors, and tons of live music are annual highlights of the region’s largest waterside party in downtown Norfolk. Concert headliners include classic rockers Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall and Pure Prairie League, plus funk from The Family Stone and Thomas McClary of The Commodores. Indie-rock acts American Authors and Norfolk’s own Super Doppler headline on Friday. Free admission.  


Seawall Music Festival

June 8, 6 PM

June 9, 2 PM

Olde Towne Portsmouth


Live music on the streets throughout the historic Olde Towne section. 


Boardwalk Art Show

June 14-17

18th Street to 35th Street on Virginia Beach Boardwalk


Voted one of the best outdoor art shows in America by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the festival features 300 visual artists from all over the USA. Live entertainment, food and craft beer are part of the mix. Free admission. 


Latin Fest

June 22-23

24th Street Park @ Oceanfront


Latin Fest possesses the key ingredients of good food, family participation, and first-rate Latin music. National performers electrify the diverse audience with high-energy tunes that move the crowd to dance under the stars. Local and regional Latin acts take the stage and unite festival-goers with the rhythms of salsa, Merengue, and jazz.


Bayou Boogaloo 

June 22-24

Town Point Park


A slice of New Orleans culture is transplanted in downtown Norfolk for a weekend of authentic cuisine (crawfish, jambalaya), art (artists from NOLA), and live music featuring Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Funky Meters, Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, Marcia Ball, The Iguanas, New Orleans Swamp Dogs, and New Breed Brass Band. 


51st Annual Hampton Jazz Festival

June 22-24

Hampton Coliseum


The region’s longest running jazz festival takes place inside the iconic Hampton Coluseum and features a mix of jazz and R&B greats. This year’s lineup includes The Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson, saxophonist Kenny G, Maze, Boyz II Men, and Lalah Hathaway.


Funhouse Fest

June 22-23



Alison Krauss and Bruce Hornsby perform on June 22. Hornsby, backed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, headline on the Saturday with Amos Lee and The Wood Brothers serving as opening acts. 


Hampton Roads Pride Fest 2018

June 30

Town Point Park


The region’s longest-running LGBT festival include a rainbow boat parade, concert, food, beverage, vendors, and lots of community pride and unity. 


Sandstock — A Tribute to Rock & Roll

June 29 — July 1

24th Street Stage @ Oceanfront


A beach tribute to the vibe of the past, official tribute bands covering the music of Aerosmith, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen, Guns & Roses, and Motley Crue entertain from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. 


Ocean View Brews on the Bay

July 13, 6-9:30pm

Ocean View Beach Park, Norfolk 


Sample a wide variety of summer beers from a selection of local, regional, national, and international breweries and enjoy live music by The Fuzz Band.


18th Annual Norfolk Latino Festival

July 28, 5-10 PM

Town Point Park


The sun goes down, the stars come out, and the largest outdoor, waterfront dance floor in Hampton Roads heats up with the hottest salsa, meringue, and guaguanco dancing on the East Coast. Live explosive Latin music by local, regional and national recording  artists will fill Town Point Park and keep you moving all night long.  This cultural celebration not only features great music, it also serves up mouth watering Latin cuisine and libations.


Whistle Belly Pub Craft Beer Festival

August 4, 6-11pm

Merchants Square, Williamsburg 


Featuring 35+ breweries, 8 non-alcohol vendors, multiple food stations, and live music. Tickets are inclusive of food and beverages. Proceeds benefit Junior Women’s Club of Williamsburg.


Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival

August12, noon-6pm (VIP); 2-6pm (GA)

Hunt Club Farm, Virginia Beach


60 beers on tap, 40 bourbons, great BBQ, education seminars, and live music.


Virginia Beach FunkFest Beach Party

August 24-25

24th Street Stage @ Oceanfront


A dynamic weekend of old school funk music recording artists from the 1970s. Schedule to be released soon. 


36th Annual Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival

August 24-25

Town Point Park


Two late summer evenings of hot jazz including Dave Koz & Friends, Norman Brown, Bonney James, Marcus Anderson, and more. 


Neptune’s Coastal Craft Beer Festival

August 25, 1-6pm

Tickets: $30 in advance; $35 day of

31st Street & Oceanfront, Virginia Beach


Enjoy over 65 beers, live music, food trucks, and more!


Busch Gardens Bier Fest

Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays, Aug. 17-Sept. 3


More than 200 years of Oktoberfest traditions come to life this fall! Sample traditional German food and listen to live music. Plus, enjoy some of Virginia’s finest brews!


48th Annual Seawall Art Show

August 25: 10am – 6pm

August 26: 10am – 5pm

This juried arts and fine crafts show on Portsmouth’s High Street Landing waterfront in Historic Olde Towne has been a highlight for more than 45 years.  The Outdoor art show features artwork by a selected group of 80-90 artists.  Offerings include photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and painting.


American Music Festival

August 31 — September 2

Virginia Beach Boardwalk/Oceanfront


A mixture of local bands and big-time headlining acts perform on multiple stages at the Oceanfront. Schedule is not yet available. Past performers included Culture Club, Train, B52s, Heart, Steve Miller Band, The Wallflowers, and other recording artists. 


10th Annual Opera in the Park

September 8

Town Point Park


The “greatest hits and arias” of opera as well as Broadway classics showcase the Virginia Opera upcoming season. 


6th Annual 757 Battle of the Beers

Sept. 15, 12-6:30pm 

Camp Pendleton, Virginia Beach


Featuring every local 757 craft brewery as they battle it out to win in different beer categories. 100% of the proceeds go to local charities! Also, enjoy live music, food, and games.

Commonwealth Coastal Classic

September 15, 12-5pm 

Town Point Park


Enjoy a delicious variety of chefs’ tables, Virginia wines, spirits, crafted beers and ciders for tastings, artisan works for sale, chef demos, live music by Virginia’s Crooked Road Tour, and much more!

Growl Fest

September 15, 6-9:30pm

Virginia Zoo


Tour the Zoo while enjoying your favorite brew! Local breweries, food trucks, yard games, bounce houses, and more!