Music fest coming to Suffolk

Published 7:53 pm Friday, December 26, 2014

A local man hopes to bring the atmosphere of a large music festival to Hampton Roads, and he’s chosen Suffolk to make it happen.

Josh Coplon, who’s from Hampton Roads and worked in Suffolk a couple of years ago, said he started brainstorming about what he could accomplish to bring something new to the area.

“We’re just really excited to do this,” he said. “I think a lot of people are going to be excited by our lineup.”

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The LAVA Music Festival will take place on May 16 in Suffolk. Coplon won’t reveal the location, the lineup or other details yet, but he did say it will feature national acts in the indie-rock and alternative genres.

“We’re expecting a few thousand people,” he said.

Coplon is founder and creative director of the festival. This is the first festival he’s coordinated, but he’s working with his father, who has “been there from the beginning with me,” and others.

Coplon said there’s no big music festivals near Hampton Roads, which was his motivation for organizing LAVA.

“Firefly (in Dover, Del.) is one of the closer ones,” he said. “We’re not going to be nearly as big as Firefly. There’s nothing very close, but we have a large music market here.”

Coplon expects the festival to draw people from the Richmond area and beyond.

The event will be a single-day festival this year. Coplon wouldn’t reveal any plans for future years, but expansion is possible.

“It’s definitely not off the list, but it’s not set in stone by any means,” he said.

Though the festival will feature mostly national bands, there will be a mix, he said.

He also said he is working closely with Theresa Earles, the city’s tourism manager.

Official announcements of location and lineup will come in January, he added.

“It’s something the area hopefully needs,” Coplon said.

The festival has a website at, but there’s nothing on it as of yet, except for the opportunity to sign up for a mailing list.