Lynchstock Music Festival: Building a Music Hub From the Ground Up

This piece was originally published in Issue 11 of Heart Eyes Magazine (page 44).

Traditionally held in the spring, Lynchburg Music Festival took a risk by moving the event to October. Not only does this change the feel of the festival completely, but the dates of the festival fell at the same time as Liberty University’s homecoming festivities, doubling the risk of this decision, considering that a large portion of the festival participants and artists are Liberty students themselves.

Unfortunately due to the amount of events going on that weekend, I wasn’t able to attend the entire festival, but regardless of the risk, Lynchstock 2018 seemed to go off without a hitch. You can tell the Lynchstock team cares deeply about art and community as they make every effort to prove those wrong who deny Lynchburg, Virginia as a hub of music and culture. In fact, many artists have found a start and a solid support system in Lynchburg. Case in point: Vacation Manor.

This indie pop group traces their roots and a growing loyal fanbase to Lynchburg. I had the privilege of watching part of their set at Lynchstock this year. Seeing aspiring artists bring a fresh energy to a stage warms my heart. Strangers and friends enjoying the same music together, share an experience that creates bridges and bonds that would not exist outside of the music industry. This realization becomes clear as you watch groups of friends dance and sing, losing themselves in the music of their favorite artists like Vacation Manor and COIN.

As always, COIN put on a stellar show. Chase Lawrence’s consistent hair flips make me wonder if his neck hurts after every show. But I respect the dedication and I love seeing artists get lost in their own music, just basking in the energy of the crowd and vibing off their own bandmates. COIN has mastered the art of performance, leaving me with a new appreciation for the music community every time I see them live.

Whether you’re an OG fan or hearing a song for the first time, Lynchstock Music Festival and its artists welcomes you with open arms. On the surface, Lynchburg looks like a tiny college town with little to do outside of a cozy coffee shop. But that’s not necessarily the case — you just have to dig a little deeper. When you start to build relationships and invest in the community, you realize that Lynchburg is full of beautiful souls and a culture you can’t find anywhere else.

Lynchstock Music Festival succeeds in bringing this community together, creating bonds between aspiring artists and those who have gone before as well as creating fans that will follow bands from this tiny stage to the blinding lights of Madison Square Garden. No matter where these artists and music fans go, Lynchstock will always be there to welcome them home.

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