sabrina barekzai

This past Sunday, hundreds gathered in Shockoe Bottom to listen and watch sets from thirteen bands performing in the first ever RVA Music Festival. With headlining acts ranging from the mash-up dance songs of Girl Talk to retro-pop California darlings Best Coast, as well as an array of local bands, the festival drew a diverse crowd.

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Organized by RVA Magazine, it was exciting to see my local favorites play on a big festival stage compared to the smaller venues I’m used to seeing them at around the city. After an opening set by Climbers, The Silent Age fronted by Myke Terry, brought smooth guitar rifts and alternative sounds to the main stage.

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With their melodic set of noise rock, White Laces sounded particularly at home on the festival’s main stage. The Diamond Center followed White Laces with an audience engaging set complete with beach ball eyeballs and makeshift maracas from the band themselves.

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Over on the second stage, Black Girls quickly got the crowd moving to their soulful style of rock before No BS! Brass Band’s set.

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The festival also included dance parties and sets throughout the weekend at locations like Balliceaux, The Camel and New York Deli. Having always been a fan of Richmond’s music scene, I hope that there will be more events like RVA Music Fest to draw more attention to all of the musical talent in our little city.

*Words by Sabrina Barekzai