Double the LAVA fun

Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things will heat up once again this year at the Suffolk Executive Airport, when the LAVA Music Festival returns to town for an engagement of twice the duration as the inaugural LAVA fest this year. The return engagement and the festival’s transformation into a two-day event are all good news for Suffolk.

Thousands of fans of indie rock music were on hand for the first LAVA festival, held in May at the airport. They enjoyed 10 hours of music on two stages, along with specialty food, craft beers and other family entertainment that ranged from free video games to a rock wall to a life-sized foosball game.

Everyone who was involved had good things to say about the day. Organizers were pleased with the turnout. City officials were pleased with the way the event was organized. Police were pleased with the crowd’s respect for the community. And revelers were pleased with the great mix of music and fun they were able to enjoy throughout the day.

Email newsletter signup

About the only complaint heard that day was that folks were sorry they’d have to go home when the day ended. Most wished there had been another day of music — or at least a night of camping before having to leave the next day. Even city officials said they could see a potential benefit to having folks stay over at the airport and leave the next day — perhaps stopping along the way back home for a bite to eat or something. And organizers said at the time that they thought they’d get more interest in the event if they stretched it to two days.

Everybody will get a chance to see whether they’re right this year, as promoters announced last week that they’ll hold the 2016 edition of Lava over the Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28.

“We want LAVA to become an experience and a destination, more than just a one-day event,” Justin Billcheck, the producer and promoter of the festival, said.

Last year’s LAVA festival was a big risk for its organizers and for the city of Suffolk. It’s great news to hear that the promoters and city officials were so pleased with the outcome that they’ve decided to turn up the heat by doubling the fun this year. We look forward to two great days and lots of new Suffolk visitors.