Need a dose of live music to cure your winter blues? Try the West Virginia Winter Music Festival on Jan. 28 in Lewisburg, about a four-hour drive from Washington D.C. The small historic city is in the Allegheny Mountains of Greenbrier County in the southeastern part of the state.
Bands from eight West Virginia counties, many with a strong regional following, will play eclectic genres of music, from blues to rock ‘n’ roll. In all, there will be 50 acts performing at seven venues in downtown Lewisburg.
The venues include Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Irish Pub, The Sweet Shop, Lewis Theatre, The Asylum, Hill and Holler, and the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center. (The visitors center is designated for middle school and high school musicians to play since it doesn’t serve alcohol.)
The music starts at 6:00pm and continues to midnight. Tickets are in the form of $20 wristbands available in advance or at the door of every participating location. The wristband covers admission to all seven venues.
Kristi B. Godby, who promotes Greenbrier County, says a trip to the festival is worthwhile.
“First of all, $20 for a wristband for seven walkable locations is a deal,” she says. “If you are not feeling the vibe at one place, walk to the next. With so much variety, you will certainly find your groove.”
Godby suggests making it a weekend getaway. “The Fairfield Inn and other nearby hotels offer shuttle services, so no need to try to find a parking spot. You have a guaranteed designated driver and everyone in your party can party,” she says.
“Come to downtown early. Lewisburg has 14 places to eat within a three-block area, with everything from a rice bowl at Thunderbird Tacos to a high-end French restaurant, The French Goat.”
The festival started in 2013 as a fundraiser for a musician family that suffered a devastating house fire and has continued as a way to support musicians in times of crisis.
Check the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau website (greenbrierwv.com) for information on the festival, hotels, packages, and restaurants.
What: West Virginia Winter Music Festival
When: Jan. 28, 6:00pm–midnight
Where: Seven locations in Lewisburg, W.Va.
Tickets: $20 per wristband