If you’re of the “celebrate life” mindset, welcome to your new happy place, Virginia Beach, where there’s a celebration or event going on every day this summer. OK, we’re exaggerating, but not by much. Visitors and locals come together to listen to music, create art, play beach sports and watch movies under the stars. The famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk – always a lively place – is at its best during the summer season, abuzz with concerts, cultural festivals, surfing competitions and all kinds of fun. Here’s a look at the top summer festivals and events in everyone’s favorite playground, Virginia Beach. And did we mention that many of them are free?


Group of friends with hands in air at Neptune Park during live music

Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Summer

May 24-26, 2024

There’s no better way to say “Howdy, summer!” than with a dance party. (Dancing is optional but we know you’ve been practicing your moves all winter.) Head to the parks on 17th, 24th, and 31st streets for free concerts featuring great local bands in a variety of genres. And check out the banners on the Heroes’ Walk along the boardwalk from 16th Street to the north, featuring essays composed by Virginia Beach students.

Artist: Matt Brass

VB Street Art Festival

May 30-June 2, 2024

Pick up some artsy vibes as you watch artists at work at the first annual VB Street Art Festival. The ViBe Creative District’s 18th and 19th streets come alive with creativity when 15 artists add 15 new murals to neighborhood-identifier sculptures in this art-bedazzled area. Admire student murals and skate deck artwork, and bring your own inner artist to the community mural painting event at the Garage VB.

Jackalope Festival 2023

Jackalope Virginia Beach

May 31-June 2, 2024

Experience this wonderful event when 500-plus athletes from eight countries converge on Virginia Beach for America’s top action-sports competition.  Think world-class competitors and demos from the adrenaline-filled worlds of skateboarding, bouldering, freestyle motocross, BASE jumping and skimboarding. This free event takes place at 31st Street Park and on oceanfront courses. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t want to miss!

Live! On Atlantic - Week Night Concerts

USO Experience Music Concert Series

June 1-2, 2024

Our brave military members and their families know how to get a groove on. For proof, pop over to the USO Experience concerts held at 17th and 24th street parks on the boardwalk and open to all. These free concerts feature a great line-up of local bands and are part of an event that includes kayaking, skydiving and other activities for military families.

point break festival announcement graphic

Point Break Music Festival

June 1-2, 2024

Reggae and the beach go together like, well, Jamaican rum and pineapple juice. The first-ever Point Break Music Festival brings the best reggae musicians to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Among 20 acts, headliners include Grammy nominee rock band Rebelution, alt-rockers Sublime, and performances by Wiz Khalifa, Steel Pulse and Stephen Marley (yes, Bob’s son) This ticketed event starts at noon and goes until late.

North American Sand Soccer Championship 2019

North America Sand Soccer Championships

June 7-9, 2024

Sand soccer is a thing? You bet. The sand will fly during the 30th anniversary of world’s largest celebration of beach sports culture. The main event is the U.S. Open of beach soccer, with 11,000-plus players and cash prizes. But wait, there’s more: 30 whole blocks of amateur soccer, volleyball, kickball and flag football, all played on the beach. Not to mention 50+ vendors, musical entertainment and a free kids’ clinic.

Beach Events Oceanfront Chalk the Walk Sidewalk ARTsplosion

Chalk the Walk

June 15, 2024

You can talk the talk, but can you chalk the walk? Skip the hopscotch, but otherwise, the sky’s the limit (and, in fact, the theme) at this chalk art extravaganza. Participants will create 4x4-foot chalk drawings on the boardwalk from 16th to 18th streets, inspired by the theme Flights of Fantasy. The event is open to youth, amateur and professional artists alike. Registration is required (and BYO chalk).

people clapping and dancing to music

Juneteenth at the Beach

June 15, 16 & 19, 2024

Celebrate unity in the community at Juneteenth at the Beach, hosted by the L.A.M.B.S. Foundation. Enjoy 30 original works of art along the Boardwalk at 24th Street Park, plus free yoga, African dance, a car show, a beauty pageant, a fashion show, poets and panel discussions. Nightly concerts feature artists WanBob, Duct, TheWordLyrik, TeezySoDope, Nicole Black, Legin, Yusha Assad, Lyriq Luchiano, FR33SOL, Dee-1Music, Mumu Fresh, KRS-One and more. 

crowd looking onto performers on a stage

Hampton Roads Pride at the Beach

June 23, 2024

Pride Week’s glorious finale is Pride at the Beach, a rainbow-hued party with beachside DJs, food trucks, vendors and live entertainment including fab headliner, The Lady Gaga Tribute. Neptune’s Park (the boardwalk at 31st Street) is the setting for this celebration of diversity, love and inclusion. This event is free (you can also choose to spring for a VIP lounge upgrade.)

Live! On Atlantic presents Latin Fest 2019

La Fiesta Virginia Beach

June 28-29, 2024

Even the colors of sea and sky can’t compete with the vibrancy of the Latin experience at La Fiesta, the city’s high-energy celebration of Latino food, culture and music. The 24th Street Park is the scene for dance lessons, fabulous food and performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexican Tradition of Julio Ruiz, Rossi Lopez, and Anthony Bachata. Events are free, except for a ticketed Saturday night concert by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.

Mount Trashmore

July 4th Stars & Stripes Celebration

July 4, 2024

Hooray for the red, white, blue – and gold, purple, sparkly silver and other spectacular fireworks colors that light up the sky over Virginia Beach on Independence Day. The waterfront is a stunning backdrop for star-spangled festivities. And instead of just one holiday concert, there are four, at the park stages at 17th, 24th and 31st streets. Performers include The Deloreans, the Tidewater Winds Concert Band and Buck Shot.

crowd of people on beach for a concert

Totally Tribute Music Fest

July 5-7, 2024

Party with tribute bands that span the generations at this free three-night bash. Go ahead, sing along, you know all the words. Held on waterfront stages at 17th and 24th street parks, the line-up includes Midnight Train (Taylor Swift), Last Fair Deal (Grateful Dead), Subliminal Doubt (No Doubt), Almost Gone (Blink-182 and Green Day), Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne) and Mostly Crüe (Motley Crüe.)


Beyond Monet

July 5-September 5, 2024

Step away from the beach, and into the largest immersive art experience in the country, Beyond Monet. Held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Wednesdays through Sundays, this interactive exhibit features more than 400 works of the Impressionist master Claude Monet, projected across 50,000 square feet and enhanced with music and sound effects.


Beach Blanket Movie Series

July 16-29, 2024

Beach blanket? Check. Snacks? Check. All you need are the kids (or yourself, a kid-at-heart) to enjoy free movies under the stars at 29th Street on the beach. Shows begin at 8:30 p.m. The family-friendly line-up (rated G to PG-13) includes Dinosaur, Jurassic Park, The Land Before Time, The Good Dinosaur and Jurassic World. Who can resist dinosaurs at the beach? (Please pass the Twizzlers.)


SonRise Music Festival

August 17-18, 2024

Don’t miss the biggest Christian music festival in Hampton Roads. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the SonRise Music Festival features worship, live music, beach games, special guests and lively fellowship, all on the oceanfront at 24th Street.

ECSC Surfing.jpg

Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships

August 18-25, 2024

This is the big kahuna – the world’s longest-running surf competition, now in its 62nd year. More than 850 surfers will compete for titles and prizes, sharing the love of surfing as they carve up the coastline from the 1st Street jetty to 11th Street. This crazy-cool celebration of beach culture includes beach volleyball, a 5K race, street skate and ramp contests, and a live concert series on the beach.

Live! On Atlantic presents Funk Fest 2019

Virginia Beach Funk Fest Beach Party

August 23-24, 2024

“Ain’t it funky now,” sang James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, in 1971. Things will get “way funky” on the beach at 26th Street when the Funk Fest Beach Party comes to town. Funk – music evolved from R&B, jazz, gospel and the blues, and greats like Brown and George Clinton – will provide a soulful soundtrack, enhanced by great food and vendors galore. The event is free (or pay a fee for preferred viewing).

Beach Events Oceanfront Beach Events Craft Beer Festival Oceanfront

Neptune’s Coastal Craft Beer Festival

August 24, 2024

Beer and the beach are the perfect pairing for a brew fan. Sip the suds, including local Virginia beers, ciders and seltzer, as well as regional and national craft beer brands, at the 9th annual beer-lovers’ festival at Neptune’s Park. Choose among more than 60 beers from 30 brewers, including a limited edition 50th Anniversary Beer, brewed in collaboration with New Realm and Back Bay brewing companies. There will be live music and food trucks, too. This is a ticketed, age 21-and-over event.


Labor Day Weekend

August 30-September 1, 2024

It’s the unofficial end of summer, but no need to cry into your Orange Crush. There is still plenty of fun to be had. Say “See ya, summer” with like-minded souls and lots of free live music at 17th, 24th and 31st Street parks at the city’s Labor Day Weekend fest. Go ahead, let loose: Jump into the surf, have a huge plate of oysters, and dance in the sand.

Live! On Atlantic - Week Night Concerts

Oceanfront Concert Series

Most Wednesdays from June 5-September 25, 2024

Live music with a backdrop of ocean – it doesn’t get better than this! Virginia Beach delivers with the free Wednesday night summer concert series, held at 17th Street and 24th Street parks along the Boardwalk. Bring a beach blanket, towel or chair (but no alcohol, please) and settle in for some great music. The line-up includes Parmalee (June 5); The 502s (June 12); Burning Spear (June 19); Flipturn (July 10); St. Paul & The Broken Bones (July 17); Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (July 24); Iam Tongi (August 7); Five for Fighting (August 14); Digable Planets (September 18) and Guster (September 25.)

ynot wednesdays? summer concert series

Town Center’s Ynot Wednesday

Every Wednesday, June 12-August 28, 2024

The outdoor plaza at Sandler Center for the Performing Arts transforms into a lively scene of live music, food and drinks on Ynot Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. A local band performs live each week; genres represent a range of music, from big brass to Motown to alt rock. A craft corner will keep the little ones occupied. And it’s free! Food and drinks are available for purchase.


Beach Blanket Movie Series

Every Thursday, June 20-August 22, 2024

Catch your favorite stars under the stars at Beach Blanket Cinema, on summer Thursdays at 29th Street on the beach. The schedule of free flicks, screening at 8:30 p.m., includes Soul, The Little Mermaid, Wonka, Elf, Migration, Barbie, Holes and Frozen II. For kids who weren’t born in the drive-in movie era, this is a fabulous outing.

purple sunset with Symphony by the Sea Neptune Festival

Symphony by the Sea Concert Series

Thursdays July 11, July 25, August 8, August 15, August 22 and Tuesday, September 3, 2024

The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival presents its 13th season of free summer concerts at 31st Street Park on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Six concerts will feature the renowned Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Symphonicity Orchestra. Pro tip: Arrive early; concert-goers fill the park quickly. Or pony up for a VIP membership with reserved seating privileges.



About Our Writer:

East Coast-based writer D. Chérie Bair covers travel, food, and outdoor recreation for newspapers, magazines, and online travel sites. She has contributed to several guidebooks for Fodor’s, Michelin, Lonely Planet, and Frommer’s. A global traveler, Bair admits she is “besotted” with Virginia Beach. Her favorite things to do there include paddling with dolphins in Rudee Inlet and loading up on taffy at Forbes Candies.