By Diane Catanzaro and Chris Jones
The Lovibond scale, used to measure the color of beer and the grains used to brew it, was developed by brewer Joseph Lovibond in the 1870s. The brilliant hues illuminated by sunlight streaming through stained glass at the gothic Salisbury Cathedral in his British homeland provided Lovibond inspiration to use color as a quality-control reference. His eponymous Lovibond beer color scale ranges from the pale “jack straw” shade of the light American lager and Berliner weiss to the inky, almost-black imperial stout. “Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” Lovibond’s epiphany foreshadowed Grateful Dead songsmith Robert Hunter’s lyrics to Scarlet Begonia by 100 years.
If a gothic cathedral isn’t part of your plans this summer, music, beer, and dance are other methods humans have used since time immemorial to open the doors of perception and see the light. One place where the light may well be revealed is Lockn’, a four-day, sun-drenched concert extravaganza featuring craft beer, a luminous musical lineup with a healthy dose of jam bands, and friendly fans. Lockn’ will incandesce at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia from August 24-27. Be prepared for a selection of fine craft beer, mead, and cider, kind and colorful people, and a rotating stage where the music never stops.
The craft beer tent at Lockn’ will boast a range of Lovibond hues to satisfy every palate’s palette. Straw and golden-hued pale lagers and wheat beers, amber and copper-toned ales, brown beers with ruby highlights, and seductively dark stouts will beckon “like a angel, standing in a shaft of light.” With an emphasis on local and Virginia beers, meads, and ciders, this is a music festival that pays homage to all the senses. Black Heath Meadery in Richmond will bring their passion fruit mead and at least one other example of their fermented elixir brewed from honey. There will be ciders from Bold Rock, just down the road in Nellysford. Their beautiful cidery tasting room and restaurant on Route 151 is a great place to visit while you are in the area. Starr Hill, Blue Mountain, South Street, and Champion are some of the breweries you can expect to see at Lockn’. Perhaps your colors shine more brightly with a non-alcoholic fermented beverage? There will be a variety of refreshingly sour thirst-quenching kombuchas at Lockn’. Diane loves blending a hoppy beer with kombucha to make what she’s calling the IPK (India Pale Kombucha).
In addition to the beers, the festival attendees will be a colorful lot as well. A sea of of rippling tie-dye, handmade batik, flowing Indian-print skirts, Hawaiian shirts, face glitter, florescent glow sticks, trippy tattoos and iridescent windsocks will “light the song with sense and color, hold away despair.” Yes, another Robert Hunter quote, this one from “Terrapin Station,” which brings us to the best part! Bob Weir and Phil Lesh will light up Friday evening with a performance of one of the Grateful Dead’s most iconic albums.
Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead has played at every Lockn’ since its incarnation in 2013. This year he will be joined by former bandmate Bob Weir and the Terrapin Family Band, which is the house band at Phil’s Terrapin Crossroads club in San Rafael, California. Together, they will play the entire “Terrapin Station” album on Friday night to mark this landmark album’s 40-year anniversary. Terrapin Station is one of the bands most beloved albums, arguably their finest studio recording, and this promises to be a solid hour of inspiration. Be forewarned that their version of “Dancin’ in the Streets” will raise the Dead and the Lockn’ crowd will form a transcendent tapestry of spiritual swirling bodies throughout Infinity Downs. Let it shine!
There will be many other noteworthy musical acts including John Fogerty, Margo Price, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits, Brandi Carlile, and collaborations such as Moe with Phil Lesh, Moon Alice with Jorma Kaukonen from Hot Tuna, The Avett Brothers with Bob Weir, and just to blow your mind, Government Mule with Ann Wilson from Heart! And, in “Garcia’s Forest,” past the main car camping lot, there will be special shows in the morning and late evening by artists such as Melvin Seals and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on the porch of Terrapin Station. Yes, Garcia’s Forest features a replica of Terrapin Station from the album cover. Musicians jamming on the porch of Terrapin Station is a Deadhead dream-come-true. Ladies, bring your fans!
Check www.locknfestival for details regarding which acts are scheduled each of the four days. Regular ticket prices range from $64 for single-day tickets, to $239 (students and military with ID)/$299 for all four days. For the high rollers, there are VIP tickets with many amenities to the tune of $999. Super VIP single day ($799) and 4-day ($2049) include things like special private concerts by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh (Saturday) and Jorma Kaukonen (Sunday).
Where to stay? There is on-site tent, car, RV, and sober camping, and glamping options. There are also various packages for off-site lodging at nearby Wintergreen, with shuttles. See the Lockn’ website for information about camping, lodging, and shuttles.
Suggestions to have the best time at Lockn’: (1) Read the FAQs and other info on the www.locknfestival.com website. Pay attention to what you can and cannot bring into the festival site. There are different guidelines for what you can bring to your campsite verses the show field. Read up! (2) Bring a refillable water bottle or better yet a thermos to take advantage of the free water on site, keep your beer cold, etc. Hydrate continuously with water or non-alcoholic beverages. Drink at least as much water as you do alcohol, preferably more, and pace yourself. (3) Wear super-comfortable sandals or shoes that will let you walk miles, dance like a whirling dervish, and get a bit muddy or dirty. (4) Hat, sunscreen, dress for the weather. Most years have had very hot weather, so light clothes and air circulation are key. (5) Bring a lawn chair and/or thin picnic blanket you don’t mind getting a tad soiled or standing on. Be sure you remember what your lawn chair looks like, or tie a ribbon or glow stick to it so you will recognize it among the hundreds of other similar-looking chairs. (6) Day glow sticks and connectors. Pure gold. (7) Small but bright flashlight. Those porta-potties are dark at night, and unless you are VIP you are going to be using them. Also when it is dark and you need to navigate the crowd, or walk on uneven terrain, a flashlight is great. Your phone won’t have enough juice left. (8) Tissues and hand sanitizer or wet wipes (see number 7 and be aware of number 2!). (9) Put your phone in low power mode to save battery life. (10) There is a lot of tasty food available for purchase. Be sure to eat as well as stay hydrated.
Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia