Updated: Lockn’ adds to its infrastructure and allure

Lockn' co-founder Dave Frey looks forward to a bigger festival with more options.  staff photo Lockn’ co-founder Dave Frey looks forward to a bigger festival with more options. staff photo

Updated: Due to a powerful storm, the opening of  Lockn’ campgrounds has been delayed until further notice and Thursday performances have been canceled.

When gates open to the show field  on Thursday, returning campers and daytrippers will find what should be an improved experience at Lockn’ Music Festival, the four-day music bash on Nelson County’s Oak Ridge Farm.

“We are hoping to get to being a [festival] where ‘You gotta go,'” says Lockn’ Music Festival co-founder and promoter Dave Frey.

In a media reception on Wednesday, Frey went through a punch list of items that he’s been working on since 2014. Frey says he has purchased an adjacent property that allows for traffic improvements, increased options for power supply and a quicker turnaround on septic transfers.

Nelson County Supervisor Larry Saunders indicated that it’s been easy working with Frey and his staff in the lead up to this year’s massive event.  “The county is fully behind it,” says Saunders.

In three years the festival has become a big draw for fans of the jam scene, as well as legendary artists.  The current lineup includes appearances by classic rock demigods Carlos Santana and Robert Plant among a long list of contemporary heavies in the genre.

There’s also a strong local presence through the food vending. The Rock Barn’s Ben Thompson curates the food and beverage offerings, and Frey says local food accounted for one-third of last year’s sales, a number he expects to exceed  in 2015.

The 25,000 patrons expected over the span of the festival will find options provided by area wineries and breweries as well as an expanded biking and outdoor activity program. Even the staff has upped its game by trading in a portion of the traditional golf carts for bicycle rickshaws.

It’s the overall experience that means most to Frey, who says the goal for Lockn’ is to be “more than just music.”