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Organizers Put Finishing Touches on Lockn’ Venue

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NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Organizers of the Lockn Festival are getting ready to throw Nelson County's biggest party of the year.

There is no question the concert is going to be massive. Organizers say they expect around 30,000 people, but have accommodations for around 50,000 if needed. And to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, founders made a series of major changes to the venue this year.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on the venue that Lockn' founders Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro say will be around 20 percent bigger than last year.

“There's more of everything. There's more camping, parking, port-o-potties, showers, there's more community centers. We've got two general stores out there this year for people,” Frey said.

And besides the physical space, founders say the acts are bigger too.

"We're really excited to see the growth that we're seeing. Just the musicians - we have Tom Petty here to headline Saturday night, that the Allman Brothers are playing their last festival show before they stop - says a lot,” Shapiro said.

And staff members say this year, they're making a bigger commitment to buy local.

"We have barrels from Blue Mountain Barrel House. We have salvaged material from Old Cold Storage in Nelson. It's really just a team effort of the community and it lets people see who makes up this area,” said Ben Thompson, food supervisor for Lockn'.

County Supervisor Larry Saunders says the festival provides a great way for people to experience Nelson.

"We get a lot of visitors, a lot coming here, and they also turn around and come back later during the year just to visit,” Saunders said.

This year, the festival grounds are 385 acres larger, and feature new parking and camping areas as well as a new six-lane gravel road to alleviate traffic.

Founders say they have high hopes for the years to come.

"This really, we believe, is the best land and best area to host a major music camping festival in America,” Shapiro said.

On top of all of those new changes, organizers say the festival will have better security, a new traffic plan with police, and new VIP accommodations.

The fun all gets underway Thursday starting at 6 am.

Four-day and single-day tickets are still available.

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