Published on Charlottesville Tomorrow
Massive Outdoor Free Concerts Feature Diverse Genres in Downtown Charlottesville, April 15-17
The 5th Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival returns to Charlottesville this April for a downtown music festival with dozens of free, outdoor concerts. Genres range from r&b to bluegrass, jazz to funk, indie rock, blues, reggae, and everything in between. In 2015, the block parties drew over 15,000 attendees.
“April is my favorite time to be in Charlottesville. As the Spring begins, everyone’s ready to get outside. What better way to bring the community together than a Festival? By activating under-utilized sections of town, closing down streets, and filling them with eclectic creativity, residents not only see our City in a new way, but they also get to know one another. And for tourists, they are left with an incredible impression of Charlottesville,” commented Festival Director, Paul Beyer. “At Tom Tom’s core are the ideas of community and creative placemaking—and we showcase that in all of our events.”
Interviews available with Festival Director Paul Beyer and select performers. Please contact Lucas Czarnecki for more information.
FRIDAY NIGHT BLOCK PARTY Lee Park, 5-11pm, April 15th Tom Tom’s signature Friday Block Party returns to Lee Park this April. Following the Founders Summit—a day of talks from the nation’s most innovative founders—the Block Party kicks off a weekend of celebrations in the heart of Downtown. This free, outdoor bash will feature funk, r&b, dance rock, and soul, a craft beer garden, and children’s activities, alongside a technology mixer with 100+ regional startups.
Gang of Thieves are nationally touring Vermont funk-rockers fresh off Vans Warped Tour.
The Deems are Richmond stalwarts for improvisational rock, funk, and reggae.
Sam Reed is a Richmond soultress blazing the trail for female funk, soul, R&B artists.
What Up English is a Nashville 4-piece playing high energy dance rock with catchy hooks.
SATURDAY PICNIC DAY Lee Park, 12-6pm, April 16th The Fourth Annual Picnic Day is a free, all-day throwdown in Lee Park. Activities extend along Charlottesville’s pedestrian mall and throughout the Farmers Market, including iron chef competitions, business showcases, pitch competitions, art performances, and a mid-atlantic arts and crafts fair.
Major and the Monbacks are a Norfolk 8-piece ensemble that deftly merges retro 60’s rock n roll, psychedelic twang, and horn-laden southern soul.
Murphy’s Kids is a Richmond based outfit pumping out memorable rock anthems with reggae, punk, and ska grooves.
The Dawn Drapes are an alternative indie rock trio based in Harrisonburg.
New Boss is a Charlottesville based tweeboogie and power-pop quartet.
Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine play a high-energy mix of jazz rock and rock and roll.
SUNSET CONCERT IN THE PARK Lee Park, 6-9pm, April 16th This year, Tom Tom is expanding its musical lineup to include a headlining Sunset Concert to cap off the Picnic Day.
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds shot into the spotlight with their unique variety of “hard soul.” With three full albums and an EP under their belt, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have received praise by The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Boston Globe, Glamour, USA Today, and The New Yorker, among others.
The Big Takeover is led by Jamaican singer, NeeNee Rushie, who brings striking vocals and a crisp background to her original reggae. This New York band has played more than 500 shows along the East Coast, and are working on their third studio album.
SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY 12 – 6pm, April 17th Join friends and neighbors for public art, live music, and top notch food. Tom Tom’s final block party closes the week with all-local bluegrass, indie rock, and country.
Erin and The Wildfire play rock, blues, and folk, with an award winning frontwoman, Erin, has won accolades both as a singer and songwriter. The band has recently played Lockn’, Floydfest, and Festy.
Second Draw is a local favorite playing a genre they call “Blue Jam,” combining banjo and accordion with electric guitar and bass.
The Hogwaller Ramblers are an alt-Country and Americana band from Charlottesville. With a shifting cast of characters, the Ramblers have been a hometown favorite since 1991.
Born Crooked This Charlottesville brother-sister rock duo channel the Delta Blues through powerful vocals and thundering drums.
Post Meridian, is a Charlottesville quartet playing danceable indie with dreamy synths.
The WeedEaters are a Charlottesville based bluegrass quartet.
PORCHELLA Various Locations, 6 – 8pm, April 17th Charlottesville’s historic Belmont neighborhood hosts acoustic concerts on front porches throughout Graves St, Monticello Rd, and Goodman Ave.
ABOUT TOM TOM FOUNDERS FESTIVAL
The 5th Annual Founders Festival is a week of concerts, talks, competitions and public art that connect hundreds of bands, startups, and visionaries, this April 11-17 in Charlottesville, Va. Tom Tom is a nonprofit that hosts dozens of events each year to celebrate and empower the founders of creative, civic, and entrepreneurial ventures. In 2015, Tom Tom had attendance of over 26,200, showcased over 400 community organizations, and had an economic impact of $1.5M on the community of Charlottesville.