Festival featuring 20 bands draws music fans

Roots music fans gathered over Labor Day weekend at Skyline Ranch Resort near Front Royal for the third annual Appaloosa Music Festival. Ashley Miller/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Music fans alike came out by the hundreds despite unpredictable weather to attend Appaloosa Music Festival 2017 over the Labor Day weekend at Skyline Ranch Resort.

Allison and Todd Young, of Pennsylvania, said they wouldn’t miss it, rain or shine.

“It’s all about the tunes, and company,” Amy Young said. “This is our second year attending. We stumbled upon Scythian a few years back; then traveled to Ireland with them, and here we are.”

Virginia native Will Overman, lead singer of the Will Overman Band said it is incredible to see such a musical  line-up come together for one weekend.

“This is our second year here, but it’s been great. The staff is great, the music is great; it’s all just great,” he said.  “Since we’re all [entire band] Virginia based, it’s cool to play local festivals.”

From left, Stephenie Long, 12, of Westchester, New York, Christina Cuddleback, 12, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Aurelia Finch, 12, of Woodstock, serve up cotton candy and freshly squeezed lemonade. Ashley Miller/Daily

This year’s headliners for the festival included Scythia, Eddie from Ohio, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Humming House. With 20 bands on three stages, fans enjoyed  listening to Grammy Award winners, and critically acclaimed emerging artists from around the county, including The Gothard Sisters, Runa, The Brother Brothers, the Will Overman Band and more.

“It’s all about entertainment” said Brain Lohmann, festival press manager. “For the entire family” he added.

Festivalgoers enjoyed musical workshops throughout the weekend, exclusive late-night music sessions, on-site camping, local food trucks, and a beer garden featuring Starr Hill Craft Beer, Bold Rock Cider and Rappahannock Cellars wine.

Robert Hall, owner of Blue Wing Frog, said he supports Appaloosa because “this is simply awesome” he said. “I’ve never heard music like this – that gets me 2 feet off the ground and keeps me there.”

Something many music fans appreciated was the fact that the festival gives back to its local community. Ten percent of the profit from this year’s festival goes to charity, with beneficiaries including The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1860 in Front Royal,  and the Appaloosa Blue Ridge Arts Foundation. Active duty as well as veterans received festival discounts upon entry.

The Will Overman Band performs Saturday morning at the festival. Ashley Miller/Daily

“Coffee in the morning, beer in the afternoon” joked Allison Young. “As long as we have those and good music, the party will commence.”

Correction, the name Amy Young was changed to Allison Young.

Bobby Weber, 11, of Middletown, enjoys cotton candy with his family at the festival. Ashley Miller/Daily

Enjoying the third annual Appaloosa Music Festival at Skyline Ranch Resort on Saturday are, from left, Pete Breeden, of Ranson, West Virginia; Janet Breeden, of Ranson; Mary Spinks, of Stephens City; Mary Shaffer, of Inwood, West Virginia; and Barbara Anderson, of Ranson. Ashley Miller/Daily

Forlorn Strangers, a Nashville, Tennesee-based folk-pop band known for their American roots music driven by foot-stomping percussion and harmony, perform. Ashley Miller/Daily

The Gothard Sisters perform on the Main Stage. The group, from Seattle, Washington, are known for their Celtic music and choreographed Irish dance. Ashley Miller / Daily

Dancers from the Boyle School of Irish Dance perform at the festival. Ashley Miller/Daily

Umbrellas, mini tents and beach chairs were spread across the grounds at Skyline Ranch Resort for the music festival. Ashley Miller/Daily

Music fans listen to the Godard Sisters perform. Ashley Miller/Daily

Jessica Starr, of Warrenton, and her son soak up the sun and tunes at the festival. Ashley Miller/Daily