One of the oldest forms of human expression is music. It has the power to evoke a range of emotions and bring people from all walks of life together. This is especially true of the Appaloosa Music Festival, held every Labor Day weekend at Skyline Ranch Resort outside Front Royal.
Founded by touring musicians Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka, the Appaloosa Music Festival will bring together more than 20 bands playing bluegrass, Americana, Celtic and Indie Folk for full days of music on Saturday and Sunday.
Gates open at 11 a.m. both days.
In addition to performances by the host band, Scythian, this year’s festival will feature music from Carbon Leaf, Christian Lopez and the Shenandoah Valley’s own Low Water Bridge Band, 16-year-old Jake Kohn from Stephens City and many others. Music, food, local wine and even a signature beer and cider brewed by local brewery Vibrissa will be offered.
There will also be clogging, songwriting, guitar and mandolin workshops as well as a Catholic mass on Sunday morning.
For kids, there’s an extensive area that includes bouncy houses and even a kid’s workshop hosted by the festival’s nonprofit Appaloosa Blue Ridge Arts Foundation (ABRAF).
“We see the ABRAF as a tangible way to invest back into the community that has given back to so many. Our long-term objective is to establish a heritage school in the Shenandoah Valley, where there is so much rich bluegrass music history — offering education and formation to young musicians and scholarships to students in need,” said festival representative Brian Lohmann.
Lohmann said that the success of the festival, now in its eighth year, can be attributed to the truly grassroots nature of the event.
“A big piece is our focus on beauty and hospitality. Beauty not only in those who come to celebrate in our little village of Appaloosa, the beauty in the families who gather, the children running around, the old friends reuniting, and the new friends made.”
Advance sale tickets, which are available through Friday, are $95 for single-day admission or $140 for both days. At the gate, single-day admission is $115 or $160 for both days. Family tickets for single days are $120 in advance and $140 at the gate. Two-day tickets or families are $175 in advance and $200 at the gate. Kids 12 and under may enter free of charge. Parking is $10 per day.
Skyline Ranch Resort is at 751 Mountain Road. To get to Skyline Ranch from Front Royal: Take U.S. 340 South through the town past Skyline High School and then take a right onto Route 619. Go for about five miles and Skyline Ranch Resort is on the left. Follow signs for Appaloosa Festival parking.
To buy tickets in advance or find out about camping options, go to appaloosafestival.com