How to Dominion Riverrock 2016

It’s everyone’s favorite sports/music festival! Also the only one we can think of!

It’s springtime slacklining time! And it’s also dogs flying through the air time! And, FINALLY, it’s G. Love & Special Sauce time! This is shaping up to be the best Riverrock yet?

What’s new this year

Let’s start with the shiny new stuff in the lineup, and then we’ll move onto established favorites. And that’s mostly because I want to talk so badly about…

G. Love & Special Sauce

Unhurried bluesy electric guitar from the 1990s–like you’re sweating on the porch of your old Park Avenue apartment, wondering when your takeout is going to arrive and also when you’re supposed to be at work–G. Love is a classic.

If you’re of the uninitiated (or if you’d just like a really awesome day of music), start with the crowd-pleaser, Baby’s Got Sauce and then move onto Cold Beverage and then get a little crazy with Stepping Stones.

Our intern uses the word “sauce” to mean “looking good” or something, and we’re now convinced that G. Love may be vintage-cool and influencing young 2016 culture somehow. Anyway, check it out.

  • Saturday, May 21st
  • 8:00 – 9:30 PM
  • Free!

Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass

Grateful Dead fan? Bluegrass lover? Wish the two would merge into one glorious hour of jam-picking? Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass is here to blister their fingers just to make your dreams come true.

Just look at all those people blending genres!

  • Friday, May 20th
  • 8:00 – 9:30 PM
  • Free!

dART: The Mural Scavenger Hunt

Well, this certainly sounds like a whole lot of fun. This city-wide scavenger hunt of murals lets you both compete and appreciate street art at your own pace.

You’ve got all weekend (beginning Friday) to go take selfies in front of each mural with the chance to win prizes and the certainty of seeing some of the best art in town. You also get a “cool event T-shirt and a beer or soda,” which is prize enough.

Registration online has closed, but there are lots of opportunities to sign up in person.

Bust the Banks: Trail Half-Marathon

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the banks of the James River! Those things need to be busted! JK, they need to stay right where they are because that would literally destroy our city. But “busting” in the sense of “conquering” is OK, right? This new half-marathon gives you the chance to trail-run like a boss–skirting tree limbs and getting muddy. Registration is $80.

Riverrock Classics

Various ways for you to compete and/or watch people braver than you compete

There’s so much mildly X-treme stuff in one place–many of them are no longer accepting registrants, but draw crowds just for the sheer spectacle of it all. I don’t know about you, but watching someone acrobatically semi-drown themselves while they’re stuck in a tiny boat is definitely something more exciting than sitting at home.

The Adventure Run engages both the mind and body in a way that terrifies me, as does the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, but I know there are those of you out there who are frothing at the bit to get out there and prove something!

Freestyle kayaking (the near-drowning experience) is something to watch, as is slackline (performing bouncy tricks on a wide non-tight rope), SUP or bouldering (clambering up giant rocks with no lines to protect you). And, because we’re a city that really wants to love bikes (here’s hoping one day the infrastructure will catch up!), let’s not forget freestyle bikes.

These are all real things! If you just want to some of the above, there are lots of opportunities to do so at Riverrock’s Interactive Village. Be careful slacklining though, that ish makes me nervous for your skull. See the full list of events online.

Various ways for you to engage without getting (too) dirty

Not an outdoor adventure-seeker? I feel you–one time I got a rock in my sandal as I was crossing the street and I was all “Ugh.”

You can still enter the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s photography contest and have your photo featured in Outside magazine. You’ve also got a video contest with cash prizes to enter.

Or, limber up with two mornings of yoga by the river. Registration is $30, and you’ll need to bring your own mat, otherwise your “let’s not get too dirty” plan will be for naught.

OK, fine, Air Dogs

The real draw of Riverrock, let’s be honest, are dogs jumping very far into a pool with nothing but the desire to please their master.

See you there

It all starts this Friday at 5:00 PM on Brown’s Island. See the full event schedule here.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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