Summer music festival slated to kick off this Friday

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival will start the summer off at Orkney Springs with some flashback favorites from the ’90s this Friday and continue through the summer weekends with something for everybody.

Festival President Dennis Lynch said this year’s entertainment is a blend of returning acts and new sounds.

“We try to get a nice mix of music, a little something for everybody,” he said. “We know that the way music tastes have splintered over the past several years, it’s tough to find one thing that everybody’s going to like.”

At 8 p.m. Friday, Toad the Wet Sprocket will celebrate its new LP and Smash Mouth will blast some well-known jams.

The Hot Strings and Cool Breezes MiniFest at 6 p.m. Saturday will feature the banjo talents of multiple Grammy winner Bela Fleck with Abigail Washburn, opened by Bourbon Barrel Congress, The Honey Dewdrops and Save the Arcadian.

The Fairfax Symphony Pops Orchestra will bring back some classic ’60s favorites with singers Mary Michael Patterson and Hilary Morrow on July 24.

Five years after her breakthrough on “America’s Got Talent,” 15-year-old Jackie Evancho will perform songs from her new album “Awakening” on July 25.

Skip a week to Aug. 6, and the 20-man United Air Force Strings will perform a free show with a selection of music from multiple genres. Male vocal trio The Lettermen will give audiences a smooth serenade on Aug. 7. To round off the weekend, dual The Beatles and Rolling Stones tribute group Gimme Abbey will play a list of hits on Aug. 8.

Country and bluegrass will close out the music fest in September, with The Oak Ridge Boys playing the hits that recently earned them Country Music Hall of Fame attention on Sept. 5. The Bluegrass MiniFest on Sept. 6 will feature Seldom Scene along with openers Grand Ole’ Ditch, Shenandoah Alley, The Barefoot Movement and Springfield Exit.

Lynch said the festival acts are high energy with sound that really sings in the outdoor venue.

“It’s a great season we have lined up: some very popular acts, artistically some very strong acts,” he said.

Tickets for the festival are available online, by phone and at the gate. A convenience fee will apply for phone ticket orders and tickets will cost $4 at the gate. Group discount tickets are available.

Find out more about the festival, performances and ticket options at http://musicfest.org/.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com