The Only Richmond Juneteenth Bash You Need to Be At

by | Jun 18, 2024 | AMERICANA & BLUES, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, EVENTS, FESTIVALS & PARTIES, FUNK & JAZZ, HIP HOP & RAP, MUSIC, NIGHTLIFE, RHYTHM & SOUL

This June 19, 2024, in observation of Juneteenth 2024, Cassidy Snider brings together and curates her third annual celebration concert. Sharing the stage with a wide range of Richmond music artists of color each bringing diverse musical styles from Songwriters, MC’s, and Bands spanning from Hardcore, R&B, Dream Pop, Blues, Hip Hop, Rap, and her own Soul-Billy Roots infused Country Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Camel is hosting the event for this third year and it promises to be an eclectic and electric night of music and high-energy revival.

Cassidy founded her band Cassidy Snider and The Wranglers here in Richmond before the pandemic shut everything down, and then spent that time getting into the groove with her bandmates and her music, emerging from that time to become a force in the Richmond music scene and starting her annual celebration. I had the chance to hear what she had to say about this year’s Juneteenth concert, speaking to highlights of the past year’s program and this year’s bill.

Richmond Juneteenth Bash with Cassidy Snider by Todd Raviotta_RVA Magazine 2024
Cassidy Snider and the Wranglers at Gallery5 May 10th, 2024, photo by Todd Raviotta

Todd Raviotta: Can you talk about when you had an idea of this show and the genesis that leads us to now?

Cassidy Snider: I started doing the Juneteenth show because I feel like, for selfish reasons, there’s a lot of frustration that I had with being stereotyped into what kind of music I should do. I wanted to show that there are amazing people of color who are doing any type of music genre that they want. There’s no way to pigeonhole somebody. Music shouldn’t be one box for somebody. I was thinking to myself, “we need to celebrate all the people of color and the wide range of variety that they have.” And I was like, “I want to put together a Juneteenth show where it has people of color fronting a band or within a band of multiple genres. Hardcore, Hip Hop, RnB, Folk, Roots! And with this genre diversity I want to throw an amazing show.” And it worked out so well the first year and everyone enjoyed it. I think people really like having mixed bills, it keeps you on your toes and keeps things fresh. Who knows you may discover something new that you like. A lot of the artists just enjoy having the opportunity to play a big show alongside people that they deem to be bigger names than they are. 

TRav: Were there any special highlight memories from the first or second year in the performances or in the room that helped confirm it was a right path? 

Cassidy: IamI Collective played in the first year, and I really enjoyed that because one of the rappers in IamI Collective’s name is Marquis. He also goes by Logos The Poetic and his solo rap project is playing Juneteenth this year. He’s also the rapper for The Weekend Plans. So I’ve been watching Marquis perform and I’ve already shared the stage with him. The Weekend Plans couldn’t do it the first year and Marquis said, “Hey, look, I’ve got a rap collective like we would love to hop in.” And I was like, “Yeah, Of course!” I saw  their videos and listened to some of their music. “These guys are great. Why haven’t I seen them around town?” After they played they said that was their first Camel gig. That’s what I really love from each year I’m just like, “We’re playing a show together!” But they’re just so grateful.

Logos The Poetic with The Weekend Plans at  Richmond Music Hall February 24th, 2024, photo by Todd Raviotta

In Year 2 Neko playing on drums, I didn’t know what to expect. He hit the night in such a way just playing drums atop music, drumming along to these popular songs kind of turned the night into this dance party for a moment and then finishing off with a live band. All the things that are going along in the show and the different genres  it just blends and works together so well. It’s amazing.

TRav: For this year and pulling together the lineup, is there anything that you’d like to share about the performers and who you’re bringing on this time?

Cassidy: I try not to repeat acts as well as I can just in terms of it being the early years. I’m trying to not exclude any artists because there are so many artists that I don’t even personally know, but I know that they’re there. This year I was really trying to make sure that I wasn’t just staying within my bubble of musical friends. So a few people I have never seen perform, maybe I’ve listened to a song, maybe I’ve seen them perform, like as a blip, but not gone to a show. So that’s what I’m excited about for this year. I get to be the audience member who doesn’t know what to expect either. And there are some artists I haven’t seen in a while that I think are so beautiful. I’m excited for different artists for different reasons.

Tiara & Andrew at Grimalkin Fest, Studio Two Three October 15th, 2023, photo by Todd Raviotta

Tiara & Andrew the two of them together they just have such great harmony. Watching them perform is kind of so angelic. I’m so excited for that. Niiasii, is from Suffolk, Virginia her music is a blend of pop, R&B, and alternative influences.

Duct Tape Jesus at The Garage March 8th, 2024, photo by Todd Raviotta

Duct Tape Jesus has allowed himself to create this community and has a following of people that get so hyped up for him. Logos the Poetic I enjoy his flow so much and I love that he’s coming out with solo stuff. Qing Richy they used to be the rapper before Marquis for The Weekend Plans and I haven’t seen them do their solo stuff as Qing Richy before, I’m excited to kind of be unaware as well. 

Armagideon Time is bringing Hardcore. Each year we have a hardcore band. The first year was Rail Gun the second year was it was Cause, It’s fun having something that is really hard that people don’t expect. We’ll always have a Blues or Delta Blues kind of sound with Andrew Alli this year.

Logos The Poetic with The Weekend Plans at  Richmond Music Hall February 29th, 2024, photo by Todd Raviotta

TRav: Do you have any special surprises that you’re preparing with the Wranglers for the night, specifically?

CS: Yeah, we don’t do many covers, but it’s actually going to be humorous for me, and for my band, (they don’t even know yet.) But we’re going to do Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, I thought it was fitting for Juneteenth, fitting for where we are right now with everything going on. My band’s going to find it very humorous because I don’t like Reggae. I needed to change our original name from Cassidy Snider and Friends, I thought “everyone is going to think we are a jam band”. So a lot of time in practice it’s a running inside joke  “we can’t do that it’s too Jammy” Or “we can’t do that cause we’re not a Reggae band”. But the song is so beautiful and I actually sang the song when I auditioned for the Voice years ago.That’s our little surprise. And some featured guests will hop on stage and do a couple songs with us.

Todd: Is there anything you wanted to share about the artists that made your poster?

More information can be found HERE

CS: Every year when the flier is made, it’s highlighting a different person of color who has created the poster and they are also vending their artwork. This year’s featured artist is Jered Fykes their art is already being featured at the Camel on display for the month and in a happy coincidence he made the poster. Like a collectible, I’m going to have all the posters printed out at this year’s show. Normally I try to do a raffle bundle of artists CDs, and posters.

Next year actually we already locked in Alfred the Creature who is on the bill this year. There’s so many amazing artists in town  I’m even already thinking about the lineup for next year.  

TRav: Has it been at The Camel for all 3 years? 

CS: The Camel as a venue and the people, they have made me feel my worth and always made me feel like they’ve always had my back. So trying to think of any place to throw an event or to give money to a business I support, the Camel is my first thought. 

Cassidy Snider at The Camel June 10th, 2024, photo by Todd Raviotta

TRav: For Juneteenth and the importance of it as a celebration and observation in Richmond.  Is there anything important to mention about this day and the anniversary going back to 1865, and 1866, that is specifically important for 2024?

CS: I keep going back to stereotypes and being pigeonholed. We were emancipated. We have not been fighting for years of freedom for it to be taken away in any sense. I feel like when you are telling someone how to be, how to be Black, how to be an artist, how to be a musician, how to be a citizen, you’re taking away how to write, how to perform.  You’re taking away a piece of freedom that has been fought for, for decades. And I think it’s just important to recognize the freedom that we have, especially in 2024, especially because it’s always constantly being tested and trying to be taken away or modified. So that’s what this whole event and this whole day is to me about holding tight onto our freedom and freedom of expression.

TRav: And to get back to just the specific time and place,  it’s Wednesday June 19th, at  The Camel, doors open at 7pm Music starts at 8pm?

CS: Yes. There’s just so many different types of artists and this night is about recognition of all of them. 

You can find more information on the show HERE

Main photo Alexander Kent

Todd Raviotta

Todd Raviotta

Artist in many forms. Sharing love for cutting things up as editor and fine art collage media mixer, love of music as a DJ, and love of light in photography and video. Educator of Film Studies and Video Production for over two decades. Long time RVAmag contributor and collaborator.




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