Shenandoah Riverside Festival 2012

Posted by  | July 3, 2012  at 1:23 PM  

From the first notes by Drymill Road to Holy Ghost Tent Revival's final (final) encore, the 3rd Annual Shenandoah Riverside Festivalset a standard that's going to be tough for the rest of this summer's music fests to follow.

Held June 15 & 16 alongside the Shenandoah River at Watermelon Park Campground in Berryville, VA, this venue was beyond perfect as it not only provided picturesque views and a place to cool down, but it also allowed festival goers to appreciate why this music fest was founded. The Shenandoah Riverside Festival doubles as a fundraiser to raise money for Earth Korps to help clean up the Shenandoah River. This year's event raised over $3,000 that will be invested in maintaining this natural treasure.

So what made this festival SO fantastic (besides my new Taj maTent)?

First, let's talk tunes. This festival wasn't just about a headliner or two. Every single band on the two-day lineup, left you wanting to hear more. Yes, headliners Iron Horse and Rhonda Vincent definitely deserved their names in the big print, but wow, words can't describe the consistency in the quality of artists showcased at this event. Yarn, out of Brooklyn, New York, may have been one of my favorite "new" bands from the weekend, I think, maybe, but it's a really tough call. All of the bands were so captivating that the only time you retreated back to your campsite was during breaks--you just didn't want to miss out on any of the music!

Since you really couldn't be bothered with too much campsite cooking, Jordan Springs Market was sort of a life-saver. This family-owned barbecue biz raises their own beef, uses as much local produce as possible, and makes all sides in-house. It may have been the best brisket and coleslaw that has ever passed my palate.

Last, but far from least, were the camping conditions. Prior to this fest, I had heard many great things about Watermelon Park , but I couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about; then I turned off Route 7, and it all made sense. As you wind back Lockes Mill Road, you start to catch a glimpse or two of the Shenandoah and quickly feel like you've been transported to a place much more than a few miles from civilization. While I camped right on the river, I don't think there are any "bad" spots. There's something for everyone whether you want waterfront, shade trees, or a combination of the two. As for the "facilities," they are spotless and there are SHOWERS! Say you have a friend that's a little afraid of camping and the concept of roughing it in the wild, Watermelon Park is where you want to take them. This was my first trip to Watermelon Park and I cannot wait to go back in September for the Watermelon Park Festival!
To keep up with Earth Korp's clean-up activities visit their blog at:

For more pictures from Shenandoah Riverside Festival visit Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook:


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