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The 6th Annual Tomtoberfest Starts Today

Charlottesville, VA (September 22, 2017) —Tom Tom Founders Festival announced today highlights for the first day of the 2017 Fall Festival and Tomtoberfest, which include the sold out Fall Forum, a block party headlined by No. 1 Billboard Top Reggae Album artists, New Kingston, and a public awards ceremony to honor the nine recipients of the 2017 Founding Cville award.

Fall Forum, The Haven, Common House, and CitySpace, 9am-5:30pm – A sold out convening of 600 of Virginia’s business executives, policymakers, and civic innovators discuss, policy, place and industry in “The New Virginia.” Fall Forum will feature over 60 speakers in 17 keynote panels and breakout sessions. Featured speakers include Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Todd Kennedy, Senior Vice President of Capital One, Michael Chapman, EVP and Chief Strategy Office of the Martin Agency, Katharine Bond, Senior Policy Advisor of Dominion Energy, and founders of dozens of startups. For the complete list of speakers and schedule visit

Downtown Street Fair, The Downtown Mall, 12-6pm – Local restaurants and business set up pop-up shops for a sidewalk sale. Over 45 participating restaurants and retailers, featuring special sales & refreshments for customers.

Tech Mixer, Emancipation Park 5-8pm – Over 45 of the region’s hottest firms and most innovator companies mix with investors, entrepreneurs, and top talent from across the Mid-Atlantic

Tomtoberfest Friday Night Block Party, Emancipation Park, 5:00-11pm – In addition to free concerts, the Friday Night Block Party will feature a craft beer garden and a food truck rally. Free concerts will showcase Americana music, funk, soul, and headliners, Hamish Anderson and New Kingston:

  1. 5:15PM: VIRGINIA MAN – This up-and-coming indie rock group from Fredericksburg has a magnetic presence on stage. Recent college grads, this quintet is one to watch, appearing on lineups with The New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, Frightened Rabbit & Valerie June.

  2. 6:40PM: AZTEC SUN –  This upbeat and groovy DC ensemble is steeped in 70’s Funk and Soul, Jazz, Afro-funk and Motown-era pop. They’ve recently shared the stage with Allen Stone, Chromeo, and Lee Field & The Expressions.

  3. 8:10PM: HAMISH ANDERSON – This critically acclaimed blues rock artist from Australia has made a splash in the US, playing at SXSW, Telluride Blues Festival, and Firefly since being named one of Yahoo! Music’s Top 10 “Best New Artists in 2016.”

  4. 9:40PM: NEW KINGSTON – Best described as an Urban Conscious Reggae family, the Brooklyn-based band of father and sons have a No. 1 Billboard Top Reggae Album and a sound inspired by their New York home and Jamaican roots. Their concert at Tomtoberfest is part of a larger international tour this fall.

Founding Cville Awards Ceremony, Emancipation Park, 8pm – Our fourth annual Founding Cville project culminates with an awards ceremony recognizing Charlottesville’s leading founders. The nine founders to be honored this year are:

  1. Martin Burks III, A Founding Visionary of the Jefferson School City Center

  2. Martin Chapman, Founder, Indoor Biotechnologies

  3. Alice Handy, Founder, Investure

  4. Bebe Heiner, Founder, The Women’s Initiative

  5. John Hunter, Founder, The World Peace Game

  6. Emily Morrison, Founder, The Front Porch

  7. Michael Prichard, Founder, WillowTree & Metis Machine

  8. Larry Sabato, Founder, UVA’s Center for Politics

  9. Alison Webb, Cofounder, The Virginia Institute of Autism

Official Afterparty with Devon Gilfillian, Rapture, 11:30pm – Nashville-based blues and soul singer  Devon Gilfillian will headline the official after party for Friday at Rapture on the Downtown Mall.


To read more about the Festival and the see the full schedule, please visit:


All Tom Tom Fall Festival events are open to the press. Contact Whitney Kenerly at if you have any questions.

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The Tom Tom Foundation is a nonprofit organization that celebrates entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and creators who are shaping cities and communities across the nation. Tom Tom’s signature event is a weeklong festival of ideas and culture that takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia, each April in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. This cross discipline, multi-venue experience transforms the historic downtown and empowers the innovators, who are envisioning a brighter future. Since its inception in 2012, the Foundation’s Spring and Fall programming has showcased over 700 speakers and 280 bands to 172,000 program attendees, and has channeled $2.8 million to new ventures and projects. Learn more:


The Tom Tom Founders Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, American Evolution, the Quantitative Foundation, and the i.Lab at UVA. It is also generously underwritten by a number of leading organizations, including the University of Virginia, Ting, C-Ville Weekly, New Belgium Brewing Company, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Charlottesville, UVA’s Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at the McIntire School of Commerce, UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, UVA’s Curry School of Education, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

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