Lockn’ 2020 To Feature Phil Lesh, John Mayer, Brandi Carlile, More

Jay Blakesberg
– Lesh Fest
Lockn’ regular Phil Lesh performs with The Terrapin Family Band at Lockn’ on Aug. 25, 2017. The Grateful Dead co-founder will headline all three nights of Lockn’ this year.

Virginia festival Lockn’ announced late last year that its eighth edition would honor the 80th birthday of Grateful Dead founding member Phil Lesh, and the event has now detailed its 2020 lineup.

Naturally, Lesh will headline all three nights of the event, which takes place June 19-21 at Infinity Downs and Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Va. Phil Lesh Quintet, with a lineup comprised of Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco and John Molo, tops the bill on June 19 and 20, with the latter performance featuring David Crosby.

On June 21, Lesh will close out the fest by collaborating with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and John Mayer.

Courtesy of Lockn’
– Lockn’ lineup
The lineup for Lockn’ 2020.

The lineup extends well beyond Lesh. Jam legends including Electric Hot Tuna and Gov’t Mule will play, as will genre newcomers Goose and Garcia Peoples. There’s also plenty of Dead-adjacent programming, including Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel, Grateful Shred, and Railroad Earth featuring Peter Rowan, who will honor Old & In The Way, the bluegrass group that included Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.

The lineup additionally includes Grammy-winning artists Brandi Carlile and Leon Bridges, and Black Pumas and Yola, both nominees for Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammys. (Yola appears on the cover of Pollstar‘s current issue.)

A special “Steal Your Thursday” night of programming on June 18 will feature The Marcus King Band, Dark Star Orchestra, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer and The Jerry Dance Party.

“I am honored that Peter and the Lockn’ family are throwing me the most special kind of birthday bash this year!” Lesh said when the 2020 Lockn’ theme was announced in November. “It’s perfect because I’ve had so much fun there over the years – not just playing, but also getting to hang out and spend time with good friends and collaborators, some of whom I have just met and others whom I have been playing with since this all began. We are going to have a lot of fun.”

In 2019, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trey Anastasio Band and Joe Ruosso’s Almost Dead topped Lockn’s bill.

“It’s taking some of the best of what was done in festivals and just taking that spirit and trying to layer our own version on top, now in this beautiful area, the Blue Ridge Mountains,” Lockn’ co-founder Peter Shapiro told Pollstar in a cover story about the festival. “I’m a fan. A lot of the time, I’m like, ‘What do I want to see? What do I want to do?’ And then I try to execute that.”

The event has become a hub for the type of music Shapiro champions and broadly defines as “blues-infused improvisational jam rock.”

Three-day Lockn’ passes begin at $259, with several VIP and camping options available.