Nelson County Prepares for Lockn’ Festival

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Preparations are underway for the Lockn' Festival Preparations are underway for the Lockn' Festival

With more than 25,000 people expected to descend on Nelson County for this week's four-day Lockn' Festival, school's been cancelled, extra security has been added and traffic shuttles are expected for miles around. Now everyone's hoping it all works.

The stage is set and risers and tents are up for the festival that covers 700 acres in Arrington. The Nelson County Sheriff's Office calls it a logistical nightmare, covering so much space in a remote area. The county promises a heavy police presence to make sure ticketholders have a safe and fun first Lockn'.

But festival Cofounder Dave Frey says of the location, "It's out of the way, but it's close." Frey is expecting 25,000 to 30,000 people over the four-day festival.

Twenty bands will look out at a sea of music fans.

"We have some world-class talent here. We've booked it in a unique way where we'll only have one band play at a time. We'll have bands playing multiple nights also, and they play a significant amount of time," Frey said.

Lockn's founders selected Nelson County over locations in other states for this first festival.

"One of the things, also, we're really hoping to showcase is central Virginia and how beautiful it is here - all the great food, wine, beer," Frey said.

The Nelson County Sheriff's Office is coordinating a team of law enforcement to keep the crowd in control. Two-hundred-fifty police and private security will be on hand at Oak Ridge Farm during the festival. They're warning anyone attending to prepare to have cars, campers, and bags searched.

"The main things we're looking for is to keep illicit drugs out of the facility. Hopefully, if we can do that, everything will run smoothly and everyone will have a great time," said Nelson County Investigator Billy Mays.

Signs start miles away along Route 29 to direct festival traffic into turn lanes. Heavy traffic is expected starting Thursday morning when gates open for campers. The concerts continue through Sunday night. The rush out should bring heavy traffic again Monday morning.