Devils Backbone

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows, part of the Brew Ridge Trail, is tucked in the valley of Nelson County on 100 acres surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. (News & Advance file photo)

As the staffers at Devils Backbone Brewing Company began planning the brewery’s second Music in the Blue Ridge concert series, they decided to give it a slightly different spin.

There’s still an entire day packed with music and beer benefiting a good cause, but each of this year’s events, the first of which is planned for Saturday, has a different theme.

“There’s so many amazing festivals going on throughout Central Virginia this summer that we wanted to provide something that was going to really excite the local music fans,” says Marisa Black, marketing director of Devils Backbone.

Saturday’s event, called The Commonwealth Collective, will showcase the musical talents of Virginia through a lineup of six regional bands, including headlining duo Illiterate Light, which signed with Atlantic Records just last week.

The series continues on July 6 with We’ve Got You Covered — a lineup entirely of cover bands paying tribute to such wide-ranging acts as Sublime, The Allman Brothers Band and James Brown — before finishing out the summer season with “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” an event of up-and-coming, female-fronted bands on Aug. 17.

There’s “a little bit more diversity in the type of music that you’re going to be able to see,” Black says.

In addition to music, each event will feature a pop-up beer tasting featuring products from Devils Backbone and other local craft breweries.

There also will be children’s activities organized through Little Planets, a play space creation company based in Charlottesville, as well as a viewing area near the stage so parents can keep an eye on their kids while still enjoying the music, says Black.

“We really try to make the experience something the whole family can come out to and have a great time,” she says.

Devils Backbone took more than just its visitors into considerations when organizing Music in the Blue Ridge.

Like in 2018, a dollar of every ticket the brewery sells will be donated to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), which works to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail.

Last year’s Music in the Blue Ridge raised $2,043 for the ATC, says Rebecca Holland, communications coordinator for the brewery.

This isn’t the first time Devils Backbone has worked with the ATC. The Nelson County brewery has been donating a dollar of every case of Trail Angel Weiss beer it sells since 2017.

According to a news release announcing the partnership, Devils Backbone is located near Reeds Gap, “a major A.T. mile marker,” and has been welcoming trail thru-hikers for years.

“We try to be good stewards of the trail and supporters of the AT being right in its backyard,” Black says.

Emma Schkloven covers arts and entertainment for The News & Advance.

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