WILLIAMSBURG — One of Southeastern Virginia’s most popular outdoor music weekends, Williamsburg Live, returns June 17–19 on the Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
Co-presented by the City of Williamsburg and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, presented in partnership with Visit Williamsburg and funded in part by the City of Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, Williamsburg Live welcomes thousands of fans every summer to enjoy three nights of music in the unique, tree-shaded, open-air venue in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.
Around the corner and down the street there’s plenty of shopping and centuries of history to explore in the early summer warmth of Williamsburg.
The weekend is filled with compelling artists, inspired fresh local food, regional craft beers, seltzers, wine — the perfect staycation or getaway trip to kick off the summer season.
Fans can enjoy many options of locally-sourced food trucks and craft beverages before settling in for performances by Mandy Moore and AHI on Friday, June 17; Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Waxahatchee on Saturday, June 18; and Martina McBride on Sunday, June 19.
Tickets are available at www.vafest.org, by phone at 757-282-2822, or in person at the VAF Box Office at 440 Bank St. in Norfolk, and the Williamsburg Municipal Building, 401 N. Boundary St. in Williamsburg.
Headlining the Friday, June 17 evening is Emmy-, Grammy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress, singer, and songwriter Mandy Moore, whose most recent album In Real Life has drawn critical acclaim. Moore first came to national attention with her platinum-selling 1999 debut album So Real, followed by her 2000 album I Wanna Be with You, and her self-titled third album released in 2001. She starred in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s A Walk to Remember in 2002, winning an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance. Over the next decade, Moore appeared in a dozen films and released a series of celebrated albums: 2003’s Coverage, 2007’s Wild Hope, and 2009’s Amanda Leigh. Since 2016, she’s starred on the critically acclaimed NBC series “This Is Us,” earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as matriarch Rebecca Pearson. Moore was seen alongside Woody Harrelson in Roland Emmerich’s 2019 feature film Midway.
Special guest of Mandy Moore is AHI, a Canadian singer-songwriter with a captivating, immersive sound that showcases the raw power of his gravel-on-silk vocals. AHI blurs the lines between roots, folk, pop, and soul, grappling with pain and healing, faith and resilience, connection and identity. He is a two-time Juno Award nominee for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year: in 2019 for In Our Time and 2022 for his latest album, Prospect. “AHI’s gruff but sweet voice and openly honest words were my gateway to this young Ontario-based singer… It was powerfully moving, without a note that felt clichéd or overly nostalgic.” — NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series 2018.
Four-time Grammy Award-winning Americana music icon Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit headlines Williamsburg Live on Saturday, June 18. Widely acclaimed as one of the best songwriters performing today, Isbell possesses a devoted audience who have pushed his albums to the top of the charts, and drive sell-out attendance at his appearances from Nashville’s fabled Ryman Auditorium to festivals across the U.S. His newest album, Georgia Blue features collaborations with such iconic artists as Brandi Carlile, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile and more. Isbell’s songs are rousing anthems that have stadiums singing along, lyrical standouts showcasing an artist at the height of his powers.
Americana/Indie music project, Waxahatchee is special guest of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Waxahatchee was formed in 2010 by singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield. The band is named for Crutchfield’s beloved creek behind her childhood home in Alabama and was listed as Number 7 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart of April 2020. The singer songwriter takes fans on an intimate journey to the places she’s been through her music. Pitchfork wrote of “Katie Crutchfield’s sharp, gorgeous songwriting”, and “immersive” band sound. Her latest album Saint Cloud won the American Association of Independent Music’s Libera Awards 2021 Best Country Record.
Headlining the Sunday evening show, June 19 will be country music legend Martina McBride. With 14 Grammy nominations, McBride has sold over 18 million albums to date, including 20 Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits. She has been awarded 14 Gold Records, nine Platinum honors, three Double Platinum Records, and two Triple Platinum Awards. Her 15 music awards include four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist; a longtime passionate advocate for women, her top songs include such empowerment anthems as “Independence Day,” “Broken Wing,” and “This One’s For the Girls.” In addition to her music, McBride has won new fans for her cookbooks and has her own show on the Food Network, “Martina’s Table.”
- Avocargo — Caribbean Southern Fusion Food, specializing in plant based meals and a variety of chicken options
- Cast Iron Catering Co. Southern Provisions — Nashville hot chicken, beefy burgers with bacon & pimento cheese, hot honey & funnel fries. Also offering vegan & vegetarian options
- Dominion Dogs & Kettle Corn — Gourmet hot dogs, Carolina-style BBQ, hand-popped kettle corn
- Food-A-Tude — Pulled Pork, Brisket, Soft Shell Crabs, Seafood
- Hungry Hungry Arrow — Unique homemade fry bread entrees and desserts
- Matchsticks BBQ — Mobile authentic wood smoked BBQ cooked low and slow!
- Moto Crepes — Fresh, made-to-order from homemade batter sweet and savory crepes
- Seafood City — Fish tacos/Po-boys, Shrimp tacos/Po-boys, Crab Cakes, Scallops, Chicken Tenders
Colonial Williamsburg Hotels will offer special Williamsburg Live hotel packages. Visit colonialwilliamsburghotels.com or call 1-877-568-8225 for more information.
The Virginia Arts Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2022. The largest and most prestigious performing arts organization in Southeastern Virginia, Virginia Arts Festival has transformed the region’s cultural scene, presenting great performers from around the world and making this historic region a cultural destination for visitors from across the United States and around the world.
Over the past 25 years, the Festival has welcomed visitors from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 25 foreign countries. The Festival has presented over 1,438 performances, free community events, and student matinees and workshops reaching over 1.2 million attendees.
Each season, millions more are reached through international broadcasts of Festival performances on American Public Radio’s Performance Today, nationally on PBS TV, and regionally on WHRO-TV.
Over 32% of ticket sales come from outside the region, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to local museums and attractions and filling regional hotels and restaurants. The estimated annual economic impact of the Festival exceeds $25 million.