LOCKN’ Festival is coming up on August 25-28, and we are beyond excited to get to Virginia for what should be one of the best weekends of the summer. On top of incredible headlining sets from Phish, My Morning Jacket, Ween, Phil Lesh & Friends, Gary Clark Jr., and Tedeschi Trucks Band, the festival has a ton to offer, from amazing food to awesome outdoors activities, and of course some of the best up-and-coming bands on the scene.Let’s take a look at everything we’re excited about at LOCKN’ this year, and get pumped to head to Virginia in just a few short days!1. WheelhouseBring your bike with you to LOCKN’, and you shall be rewarded with 15 miles of beautiful trails to ride on Oak Ridge Farm’s lush and expansive property. There will be guided tours provided by CAMBC and Red Bull athletes with beginner and intermediate options, and three ride times per day to choose from. The festival is encouraging bicycle use in general, and will also be providing bike racks around the concert site for convenient parking. You’ll even be able to rent your own bicycle for the weekend from Respect Cycles. Save your legs, hop on a bike, and enjoy the outdoors that LOCKN’ has to offer.2. Participation RowParticipation Row calls LOCKN’ its home, and, while it has moved on to have a presence at other events, the original incarnation lives on as the essential gathering of non-profit, non-partisan organizations who want to inform and engage voters in the festival world. This year, Participation Row will feature HeadCount, Conscious Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, NORML, Love Hope Strength and more, with 20 different organizations in total.The festival is once again partnering with Qello Concerts and HeadCount to bring Participation Row to LOCKN’. In an interesting move, the festival will hold a raffle that you will automatically be entered into if you complete four of the activities located in the Participation Row area. You could win a D’Angelico guitar signed by the festival’s headliners, or a free scoop of ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s, and all people who finish four activities will win a free 30-day subscription to Qello Concerts. In a highly divisive election year, we need Participation Row to inform the masses and educate people as much as possible.HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein had this to say about Participation Row: “This is a chance for fans at LOCKN’ to get in touch with their powers as voters and what their votes really mean. But it will all be in a fun setting with no partisan agenda.”HeadCount is hoping to register over 500 voters at this year’s festival, so, if you need to register to vote, please make sure to stop by their booth at Participation Row while at LOCKN’!3. Circles Around The Sun’s Debut PerformanceThis Neal Casal-led project took everyone by surprise at last year’s Fare Thee Well celebration in Chicago. The Grateful Dead-inspired music was created specifically to be played during the show’s intermissions, and fans loved it so much that the project will now make its debut live performance at this year’s LOCKN’ Festival. Deadheads will be excited to hear these groovy instrumentals in the live setting for the first time, with the show fittingly taking place late night on The Woods stage. Casal will also be playing with Hard Working Americans on Saturday and Chris Robinson Brotherhood & Phil Lesh & Friends on Sunday, so he will be all over the festival, but if you want to see something truly special, make sure to stay up late Friday night to hear the psychedelic sounds of Circles Around The Sun.4. WaterLOCKN’Let’s face it. Summer music festivals can be really hot! With a full weekend of camping in the August heat ahead, LOCKN’ provides festival-goers with the ultimate opportunity to cool down: WaterLOCKN’. You can buy a relatively cheap $20 ticket to take a shuttle from the Trinity Church, located just across the street from the festival’s Main Stage grounds, to the Tye River for an hour long session of swimming and hanging with your friends. All proceeds go to local charities that help feed hungry children, and the program is 100% volunteer driven. Buses leave on the hour, every hour, but fans are encouraged to sign up at least one day early because the shuttles do fill up. The shuttles run from 11:00am to 4:00pm Friday and Saturday, and 11:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday.5. Garcia’s ForestDo you like Jerry Garcia? Do you like to dance all night long? Well then, you’re in luck, as Garcia’s Forest will be a new addition to LOCKN’ Festival this year. The festival has described Garcia’s Forest as “a late-night dance party featuring endless good vibes and a kaleidoscope of energy” that will feature the music of Jerry Garcia 100% of the time. This stage sounds destined to be a hit, and seems to be an early favorite for the best place to finish your night at LOCKN’. We can’t wait to get to Garcia’s Forest and dance to the sweet, sweet sounds of Jerry all night long!6. Local Virginia Food and Beverage VendorsLOCKN’ will feature tons of delicious local Virginia food vendors at this year’s festival. Blue Ridge Pizza, Got Dumplings?, Shenandoah Joe, and Carpe Donut are all from Charlottesville, Crazy Cakes is from Harrisonburg, Richmond Grapevine is from Richmond, The Southern Way Cafe and Gryffon’s Aerie are from Crozet, and those are just a few of the local options that you can expect to find. Make sure to stop by The Rock Barn, which is actually from Arrington, the town where LOCKN’ takes place, for some truly local meat products. Worry not, non-meat eaters, as Priya’s Now Serving will be on-site providing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. There are a few other fun additions as well that come from out of state, including the awesome looking Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co., festival-veterans Peace Love Tacos, and the absurdly fun dance party that is Ice Cream Disco.7. Festival DebutsLOCKN’ is all about big-time collaborations and unpredictable improvisation, but one thing the festival also does is break up-and-coming artists on the regular. This year’s festival has a bunch of great bands making their first appearance at LOCKN’, as the festival continues to keep a keen eye on what people are listening to. Besides Circles Around The Sun, Turkuaz will bring their brand of power-funk to the stage on Friday afternoon, and relative newcomers Khruangbin will play a set of their smooth grooves in The Woods late night on Saturday. The festival also has two of this year’s top buzz-bands, Vulfpeck and Twiddle, playing two sets each over the course of the weekend. The festival lineup is stacked, but these rising stars will all have huge moments at this year’s LOCKN’ festival.8. The LocationNestled deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, LOCKN’ offers a jaw dropping setting that enhances the festival’s vibe and atmosphere. LOCKN’ patrons will experience the ultimate natural high on LOCKN’s awe-inspiring farm with incredible views and natural wonders. On your way to the festival, you can even adventure through the Blue Ridge Parkway, offering magnificent mountain views, or sip and savor wine or beer at one of the award-winning wineries and breweries conveniently situated on the drive. Natural beauty goes a long way at festivals, and there’s no shortage of that at LOCKN’.9. Unexpected CollaborationsNo matter what, the most exciting part about LOCKN’ are the unexpected musical collaborations. With so much talent on site, and so many musicians that respect one another, the possibilities are endless, and has fans salivating at the prospect of seeing several of their favorite musicians play together. Will Mike Gordon or Trey Anastasio or Phil Lesh play with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead? Will Phish and Ween play “Roses are Free” together? Will Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman reprise his role as Billy Joel and perform “The Stranger” with Umphrey’s McGee? Will Derek Trucks sit in with My Morning Jacket? Will Jim James sit in with Phil Lesh & Friends?….Simply put, the LOCKN’ lineup is loaded with potential, and we cannot wait to see how it all plays out!10. The CommunityLOCKN’ has all the ingredients to be one of the best weekends of the summer. The positive vibes are undeniable as people prepare to make the trek to Virginia, and we can only imagine that we’ll have all the feels once everyone is on Blue Ridge Farm for a weekend of musical bliss. The community element is palpable at LOCKN’, and with Phish, My Morning Jacket, and Ween–all bands that have devoted and hardcore fanbases–joining the frey this year, we can’t wait for the melting pot of fans that only a festival like LOCKN’ can provide. Whether you are going to the festival with your best friends, or are attending the event solo, remember that every single person at the festival is there because they love music. In that sense, you’ll never be alone at LOCKN’!Check out more information about LOCKN Festival on their official website here, and scope the full music lineup below!