RIFF Founder Heather Waters on Her Journey To Get Here


We kick off our RIFF coverage this year with an interview with Heather Waters, founder of the Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF). She transitioned from performing to producing, sharing her journey in our recent interview. RIFF, now in its 12th year, is a significant cultural event in Richmond, Virginia, uniting global filmmakers, musicians, and artists. 

Christian Detres: The 12th Richmond International Film Festival is coming up at the end of this month. How did you come to this place in your life? Who thinks, “I’m gonna just start a film festival”?

Heather Waters: Crazy people think that. Haha. I never set out to start a film festival. I’m a creature of, if I see a need, the need inspires me. I grew up in a family where my mom was like, “Whatever comes to your head, if you feel like there’s purpose in it, get up and get it done—even if you may not know how to do it.”

So it didn’t really make sense to me when it came into my head, to not do it. Twelve years ago when I started RIFF, I had just moved here to Virginia. I had been visiting for a few months. I was dating a guy at the time that wooed me to the city.

CD: I swear to God, that’s like everybody’s move here.

HW: I know, that’s how they get you. I am sure I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for meeting him. On my visits here, I jumped in pretty quickly. I already had another company in the business. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was a teenager, so many, many years.

CD: You’re gonna have to expand on that.

Heather Waters, Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF)
Photo courtesy of Heather Waters and RIFF

HW: I started my other company, Creative World Awards, in 2008 where I mainly develop screenwriters. So on the visits out here, I was quickly introduced to folks like the Film Office, Women in Film & Video, and Virginia Production Alliance to participate in panels and things like that. Once in RVA, I would often talk to other creatives and ask them what they were doing with their music or films—because I came across a lot of really talented people here. But more times than not, it felt like a deer-in-the-headlights moment with their answers. It seemed they’d make a project but were unsure of what should come next or how to get it out into the market for audiences to see.

That was when I knew we needed an international or competitive festival to showcase that and develop the talent here, but also bring outside talent in to get them both at the table together. That’s how I believe we can build the Virginia production community—do it on both sides. So that was the start of it all. I started the festival the first week I moved to Richmond. And the inspiration was really the need for the state and the locals who needed more resources. Coming from my background in entertainment living in Atlanta and LA, I felt like I needed to share my experience and resources with Richmond.

CD: As you’re telling me this, I recognize something in you. You, like most producers, take those skills that you use in film or TV and apply them to everything. Anthony Harris could probably tell you how many events, parties, video projects that we just dreamt up and decided to just do—even though neither one of us had any clue how to do the thing. It’s a quality that I think I find in people that inevitably, inexorably get the thing done. And it’s not because they have a leg up on everybody else, but because they just trust themselves to figure it out. I’ve found there are so many new filmmakers that seriously just take a leap out of the lion’s head and decide to do the thing.

HW: Absolutely. Filmmaking is one of those unique crafts that requires all levels of thinking through both sides of your brain. Some people really enjoy doing abstract or creative stuff. Other people really enjoy crunching numbers, etc., but in film, you have to have both engines going. I think it takes a special kind of person. There’s a lot of us out there that like to straddle both of those things, and when given the opportunity, strive doing it.

CD: I think there’s an attenuation, a certain harmony, that needs to exist in a soul to really see both sides of the issue and be able to dig deep creatively. Then to see the world pragmatically and to build and shape and plan and plot as well.

HW: Yes, and bring people together. I find that both trails on that converging path feed me in very different ways. Without one or the other, I would probably be a miserable person to be around.

CD: Of course, of course. Sometimes I think those qualities make you the hub of a lot of situations, whether you’re looking for it or not. Like “oh, we’re gonna plan a trip.” You’re the one that actually ends up planning it. “We’re all going to do this, that, or the other thing,” and you’re the one who’s actually doing it. Most people would say that as a complaint, but I think for those of us that have the innate Producer gene, we would never have it any other way. Even if we complain about it verbally, inside we’re very protective of responsibility.

I’d been gone from Richmond, in Brooklyn, when you started the festival. I didn’t get to see it mature. The word from the local film community is that it has grown and improved every single year since you started it. It’s something they get more excited about being a part of every year. It’s in its ascendancy right now, which I think is beautiful. Just how many movies/projects are represented this year in the lineup?

HW: 195 films from 20 different countries and the U.S. This year we had a little over 1,200 submissions on the film side, and over 1,500 on the music side.

CD: Oh wow. So how many people do you have helping you watch all of these movies? Christ.

HW: Haha, we do it all year round. In fact, I just opened up submissions for our 13th annual fest two weeks ago. It’s very time-consuming. We have preliminary judges who are either industry judges or they’ve been with me for years and trained with an eye of what to look for quality-wise, and I also jump in. So yeah, that’s ongoing year-round. A lot of people on the fest circuit or the West Coast are like, “Man, Heather, y’all plan so early at RIFF.” And it’s somewhat true. It’s because each year I’ve learned how to improve it, and I don’t like to be stressed the week of the festival. Fest week I’m usually smiling on the outside, but you’ll find me with my computer in the background quite often or putting out some kind of fire. I’m very hands-on each step of the way while also trying to be a great host to the artists and our visitors.

One day, though, I want to have other people take it over for me and then I may just be a consultant and cheer them on from the background. For the judging part, once they come across my desk, I often rescreen and help break ties. And then I handle all of the programming, which can be a bear. That’s probably the hardest, most challenging part of my year because it requires both sides of the brain like we spoke about earlier. You’re looking at things creatively and analytically, all at once. You’re also looking at “What would Richmond enjoy? What does the world need right now? What’s relevant? How do we want to position ourselves on the front lines and do something innovative and original this year?”

CD: I think the common impressions are, well, for people that bother to think of these things, that you just put your Roger Ebert hat on and take the best submissions and you show just those films, playoff style—final four brackets or something. But you know, I think each festival starts to have a personality. And those personalities become brands. Telluride, Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, etc. They each represent a different type of thing that might even be kind of hard to describe cogently. But when you’re building the Richmond International Film Festival, you have the benefit of not dealing with the weight and baggage of a New York or an LA, Milan, or Paris or something. You get to define what that local brand is. Where do you hope the Richmond International Film Festival fits in the world of festivals? What makes this one different?

HW: That’s a great question. Really great question. For me, I wanted to level the playing field and put the indie spirit and heart into it. We want to be the indie fest that’s the convergence of Oscar award-winning talent, emerging filmmakers (and all levels in between), and then put the audience right in the middle of that. The perfect trifecta. And to not have people sitting across the room staring at each other, too intimidated or proud to go over and strike up a conversation. It’s intended to be a warm, creative atmosphere where we really want attendees coming from all angles to engage and walk away feeling inspired to do their next project, or have an incredible experience as a spectator watching the entire process. Together, we can do much more than apart.

CD: Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve curated music festivals where I’m getting bands, like this band is gonna play and that band is gonna play. But the clear intention in the music festival world is to make a festival that people want to come to. You know, what’s gonna sell the most tickets? But what makes yours stand out from the other 80 music festivals that are out there? It all comes down to the choices you make—the things that you actually put up on the stage, or in this case on the screen. How that’s going to play with the audience that’s intended to view it. If you had to characterize the audience that you’ve been kind of “waiting on” for all these years, what would you say? How do you feel Richmond consumes its premium media?

HW: That’s hard. Because Richmond is complex, and I feel like there are all these silos within the overall silo here in RVA. And we’re all existing within them, and many are doing cool creative things, navigating our way through the farm. I would say though that our festival lends itself to that die-hard arts enthusiast that has a little bit of an edge and likes to see breakthrough talent. Our audience also likes to be more than a spectator. Some of them like to be in the mix and rub elbows, whether in the industry or not. They respect the craft, and people tend to come out with intention. We’ve been told ours is similar to how South by Southwest programs theirs, which is a compliment. And then there are those who just love films and music and really appreciate the entertainment side, and what we are doing.

CD: That’s a good answer for a very hard question. So I’m gonna make things a little easier right now. Do you want to give any shoutouts to anybody that you’re working with on this?

HW: Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but when I started this, my daughter was eight or nine. And she is now our Administrative Coordinator. I didn’t know how that was going to work out, doing this kind of intensity in business and working relationship, but man, she is impressing me so much. She’s got a very bright future.

CD: What’s her name? Shout her out for real.

Heather Waters, Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF)
Photo courtesy of Heather Waters and RIFF

HW: Jaika Mendieta-Waters. She’s amazing. And really, I’m putting, you know, a lot of pressure on her and responsibilities. The amount of emails that come in in a day alone would make people pass out. Between the talent, publicists, venues, techs that have to get films in or the backline people for musicians, our partners, and so many others, it’s insane. She handles a lot of those emails as my right hand and other projects.

And Ella Floyd. She’s been awesome to see grow and develop and contribute to our festival. She started as a volunteer last year and ended up getting Volunteer of the Year. Her passion and potential impressed me so much we accepted her for a fellowship on the institute side, and I’ve been working with her the last year to mentor her on that side of things. She’s a photographer about to graduate from VCU. She’ll surely be another one to watch.

I also got really lucky this year to have an amazing intern group with Breyana and Rebecca and a couple of others who come on seasonally when we run the internship program, which is very hands-on with some teaching. Believe it or not, unfortunately right now it’s mostly me outside of that who is keeping things afloat with the planning year-round. It’s kind of laughable, but I haven’t had a day off in eight months.

CD: Oh, damn, take a day. If you love what you do, but second of all, if you want to do something great—you know, we can all skate by if you have any amount of talent at something. You could get by doing half-assed, three-quarter assed. But when you want to do something great, sometimes it takes not taking a day off. It’s hard. It’s hard to do. A lot of times you wind up on the back end of it when it’s done, breaking down into a pile of tears because you just have to let everything go all at once. I speak from experience.

Besides that, I wanted to ask you a question for the benefit of the readers. This is a question I get asked a lot. And I want to hear someone else answer it. What does a producer do?

HW: They get everything done. I’m a creative and logistical producer, going back to what we were talking about at the beginning. There’s all kinds of different producers. I personally like to work through both creative and methodological processes. Being a producer is about getting stuff done, not about finding a reason why it didn’t get done. Or blaming someone for a failure to execute, because your buck always stops at your desk no matter what. We spent too much money, my fault. We didn’t get the shots that we needed to get that day, my fault. Hired the wrong Gaffer who didn’t show up, my fault.

But you also have to be a people person and intuitive. A visionary, and yeah, a problem solver. A connector. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my career. You have to be willing to learn pretty much everything about every job on set and off, plus the business side. You also have to learn to not sweat the small stuff. You have to be super positive and not burn bridges. You’re forging paths that just don’t exist. Yet. You’re often doing a lot of heavy lifting, but you have to find ways to cut through the brush to get to the destination.

CD: It’s so funny because to most people reading these phrases, “handle all this stuff, do the thing,” may not mean much. But yes, okay. A lot of what you’re describing is on the logistical producer side, which taxes my brain because it just requires so much attention that it messes with your sleep, the ability to pay attention to anything else. But there’s a beauty side, too. The creative production side is wonderful. Could you describe some of the processes of taking an idea, a treatment, pre-script, taking something that’s a book maybe that you read and said, “let me put a team together to make this film. Who has the rights? Etc.” Tell us what you think about the creative side.

HW: I develop, develop, then develop more. The development phase to me is as important, maybe even more important, than pre-production, production, and post. Obviously, they’re all important, but the development phase is probably the most challenging and where your logistical savvy and creativity can shine

CD: It’s like trying to build a house without a blueprint.

Heather Waters, Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF)
Photo courtesy of Heather Waters and RIFF

HW: Yes, you have to have the vision. You’ve got to develop the material and make it translate off the page and come alive. You’ve got to see the end result in your mind, from concept to fruition, in terms of getting the script completely polished and good enough to turn heads and attract investors. From there, you’ve got to package the product, look at financing trends, and do your projections. Not to mention, come up with a kick-ass marketing and business plan. So you’re crunching numbers, meeting with people, and raising funds—hopefully pulling investors to the table. If it’s a situation where people don’t have a lot of funding possibilities, then that requires a whole other approach. You’re looking at the budget and may be calling in favors and, in some cases, pulling in a skeleton or shotgun crew to pull off your vision. We’ve got one film at the festival that I absolutely love called Unpacking. It screens on opening night. The reason why I love it is that it’s fun, but it’s also made by a collective of women who, during the pandemic, raised and pooled resources together to shoot the film. And I think they shot it in Bali—not too shabby. They sacrificed to be able to make their movie. I really like those kinds of stories and filmmakers who push all the chips to the other side of the table and bet on themselves. It’s a fun, really cool film. One of the filmmakers was originally from Richmond.

CD: Any other insights on this topic you think would be good for upcoming filmmakers to know?

HW: I get projects submitted to me all the time outside of the festival—people interested in me as a producer or to develop their projects. I still do that on the side as a consultant and enjoy it. There’s a part of me that wishes I could do all of them, but we have to make choices. We work on one or two or three projects, which means we might have to say no to a fourth or fifth. Maybe that fourth or fifth offer is a huge deal, but you’re committed already. Having the intuition to be able to choose wisely and see how you can pull off a big creative task and turn it into something tangible—that will not just be a film that people will enjoy but will also get a return on—can be tough. But it’s important to wade through. Even though it’s the arts, we like and need to make money.

CD: Especially in an industry where making any money doing any of this, unless you just got real lucky, is a grinding process. It’s a long road. A lot of the people who do get to their happy place professionally—even if it’s early in their career because they just made some breakout film—have to get all that “luck” or “opportunity” on the screen. I don’t care who you are, how much money you started with, or who your parents are; it takes work and more work. But that’s just the start. To make something good actually takes a lot more than hard work. It’s one of the jobs that doesn’t conform to the aphorism “if you just work hard, you’ll succeed.” There are jobs within the film industry where you can just work hard—learn, remember this trick about the instrument or gear that you’re using, what lenses take what mounts, how much dolly track do I need, and so on. But really, that’s not fair because when you take a lighting crew and tell them, “I need to create a mood that has to feel like ‘this’,” and the light is late afternoon, and there’s a candle over here but obviously we need more light than that candle is actually giving—so give me an electronic situation that makes this mood. That’s art, not craft. Everyone on set has a math brain and a ballet brain. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about the industry as well. I could go down this rabbit hole forever, but I want to bring it back to you and the Richmond International Film Festival. Let’s get some background on you.

HW: I started very young as a performer. I began singing when I was about 8—first in church and then in community talent shows, basically wherever someone would take me. I sang on the Grand Ole Opry with Barbara Mandrell when I was nine. I grew up in Hendersonville, which is 15 miles north of Nashville, so it was music all around me. I continued with that and acting until I went on tour with a couple of bands in my early 20s and ended up having to give that up. I had been acting from about 12 years old on and began modeling too, which often paid my bills. I did that for a long time and loved it, but when I was on the west coast, I was going on a lot of auditions, and I felt like I was becoming a worse actress. They’re not always offering the meaty, great parts, and I didn’t feel like I was good at taking the sitcoms or more nondescript roles seriously. When I was 17, I got a scholarship to the American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York but turned it down to go on the road with a band.

CD: You were in a band?

HW: I was actually in a handful through the years in Nashville and in Atlanta. And earlier at 19, one in Michigan. What happened was I developed TMJ from a car accident I had at 16. For me to sing lead in my 20s slowly became near impossible. I ended up getting surgery on it. But eventually, I ended up just moving to some background singing— not quite as much pressure on the jaw there to carry a whole set on your own. Later, when I was out in LA, I started getting interested in writing and I would go out to Malibu. I’d just sit out there on the rocks overlooking the ocean, not knowing why I was really there. But I started bringing a pad and pen, and I just started writing. When I wrote, my whole world seemed to open up. It was nothing brilliant at the time, but this whole other world opened up to me of desire that I didn’t know I had. I enjoyed exploring and learned I wanted to be behind the camera and create.

CD: So you’re in Malibu, you’re writing, your world’s opening up for you in ways that you hadn’t seen before. And does this start you on a new path? How does this go?

HW: It did. I immediately started researching and learning everything I could about directing and writing while I was still performing and doing all that other stuff for several years. But as I was growing and developing, I ended up getting an opportunity to work in Atlanta to write a small television segment for the local Fox show there. So I did that, and soon I started the Creative World Awards. I love creating myself, but equally so, I enjoy working with and developing others. I love developing talent. I love promoting great talent, and then, I usually love sending them on their way once they launch.

At the time in Atlanta, I was just going with this internal compass, and I also had this international interest. I looked into Political Science because I enjoy ambassadorship, connecting the world, vision, and solving problems. I went and took one class and enjoyed it so much I went on to get my Master’s in Political Science with a specialization in the Middle East. I have no idea why I did it. I was just ready to learn more and wanted to. While I couldn’t really be bothered in high school or interested in college early on, by my late 20s I wanted to learn, and I liked that it was on my terms when I was ready. I remember being so frustrated at certain stages in my life. My life may look grand to some on the outside, but there were many seasons where I was just doing things I couldn’t really see an outcome to, and that was frustrating to me. There were many frustrating moments because the struggle was real. I was in one isolated silo myself, not knowing how to really exercise all of my gifts. I think the seeds were there; they just needed time to grow and develop.

Confidence and faith helped me get through those times when I wasn’t able to see what I was doing while I was doing it but still knowing I was supposed to do it. So I just did it. And cried some occasional tears along the way. Several years later, when I came here, I decided to start the festival the week I got here. Because I could see the bigger picture and how things needed to connect better. Yet even though I created the festival, everything in it, I couldn’t see necessarily how all those other seasons in my life and skills I had learned were going to come together under one giant umbrella and be useful to where I am now.

CD: That’s how that works, though. Isn’t it wild? Like the Hero’s Journey movies where the hero goes out and he does all these seemingly unrelated things that you later learn develop the skills he or she needs at the crucial moment—like the Karate Kid and “paint the fence/wax the car.” I can be a very impatient person. I like to get things done, and I like when teams come together to get things done. When I was young and going through, you know, those 15, 20 years, I remember that frustration of being impatient and going, “Why am I doing this?” That impatience serves us well because it makes us have to learn how to do things ourselves. It is exposing yourself to these situations and allowing yourself to absorb information, and if you’re the type of person that would be suited to this profession, you can freestyle this job. I’ve pushed my way into learning things that I probably never would have gotten the opportunity to just by being insatiably curious and, sometimes foolishly, confident.

HW: Yes, and over time I realized I definitely am a producer. I also recognize now that I am a very curious person. I like trying what others think can’t be done, and what needs to be done. With this industry, you’re teaching yourself how to do certain things, but then that other side that likes to get things done is always stomping on the gas pedal, making you jump out of planes and chasing your parachute and opening it before you hit the ground.

CD: It is like learning how to skydive after you’ve jumped out of the plane. Scary, yeah, but when I brought that image to my head, all I could think is that sounds freaking exciting. Well, I wouldn’t probably do that on purpose. I wanted to get that across because, you know, I love what I do. I know you love what you do, but the “it” that we love is so opaque, nebulous. It’s such an omnivorous position to be in; you have to consume everything. From the soul of a film to the nuts and bolts of which craft services company to hire—there’s a bit of the orchestra conductor in a Producer’s veins.

To wrap up, tell us about the festival itself. How will people experience the festival from opening day to the closing day? What are the highlights of each portion of it?

Heather Waters, Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF)
Photo courtesy of Heather Waters and RIFF

HW: The overall goal for the festival is to provide an experience for filmmakers and musicians that inspires them and creates a way for them to connect with audiences. Also, ultimately, to be able to finance their films, albums, and projects. To help do this, in addition to the festival, the same day I started it, I started another company called The Media Industry Xchange, or The MIX. It’s a platform that helps artists do what they do best: create. From there, artists can get the support and financing they need, along with guidance on project management. We are relaunching this in a huge way at this year’s festival. The Indie MIX application we’re building with my brother is going to allow artists to level the playing field even more. My brother Matt and his wife Kate are handling the tech side, as they are talented developers, while I put together the vision of the platform and create the deliverables and services to back it up. Services that will help artists get financing through crowdfunding and equity financing as we team up with a local company here in Virginia on the tech side of their Round Here platform for that portion.

I feel like it’s the perfect time for independent artists to rise through the ranks and leverage their work in new innovative ways. The Indie MIX will be an all-in-one platform to help them do it. That excites me. I like to take the DIY model and amplify it 1,000 times, yet keep it connected strategically to others, so that everyone wins. That was part of the vision from year one at RIFF, and we’re going to be bringing The MIX and RIFF together in that agenda this year.

For other highlights during festival week, we start Tuesday, September 26, and it kicks off with a VIP opening rooftop party at the Quirk Hotel. Richmond loves to have fun, and we’ve got a ton of that going on all week with parties, live music throughout the week, and also at Licks, Flicks, and Love with RIFF and HearStrings Friday at Hardywood. Then, tons of incredible film premieres all six days happening at the Byrd and Bow Tie Movieland Cinemas. Over 200 filmmakers, I think, will be traveling in to take part in Q&As with the audiences following their premieres. The public has a lot of genres and variety to choose from. For industry folks, we have several panels, pitch sessions, and industry talks happening through our FLOW Collective Conference fest week. Everyone is welcome to attend those, too, no matter what kind of creative or business professional you are. But the point is, people have to choose because often times there are several things happening at once all around town. Some people get frustrated by that. But when you go to the larger festivals, that’s part of it; you gotta choose between some really cool stuff sometimes. For ours, someone could go catch a film and then head over to Vagabond or New York Deli or In Your Ear Studios to catch two hours of live music, and then head back to the late-night show at Bow Tie or the Byrd. We have some fun things happening between filmmakers and musicians as well, which is one of our specialties at RIFF. Musicians pitch songs to filmmakers as they are always on the lookout for that next great title song. That one will be held at In Your Ear Studios.

Other new or interesting highlights are this year’s first annual Global Visionary Summit that will be held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. It’s cinema and panel series also come with a live exhibit and powerful interactive dance performance by Company E out of D.C. On the cinema portion, we’re drilling down on topics like women and equity, environmental sustainability, and how to navigate tech and innovation. Several embassies will be participating this year.

At the Friday, Sep 29 event that we’re teaming up with HeartStrings on at Hardywood, it will be fun for the whole family with 15 live music performances including Jon Russell of the Head and the Heart and Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie, plus yoga, tattoo and drum stations, and film. I partnered up with Jason Farlow and ShowX on that one this year, and it will be something unique for Richmond.

We’re also teaming up with the Poe Museum this year for a film and mixer event on Wednesday night. Love the idea of joining these two audiences. Rodney the Soul Singer will be performing that night. In addition to the 195 films, the fest has about 40 bands performing this year.

CD: One thing I love about this city is that it hasn’t been completely commodified, not in the same way as South by Southwest. I mean, no disrespect to SXSW, but years ago, anyone that has gone for many, many years will tell you it was different. When you get to a point where you can’t go around the corner without seeing some temporary new neon 3D billboard from Nissan, it’s a bit depressing for the participant or attendee trying to cultivate an artistic environment. Richmond is doing a great job in terms of harnessing and cultivating the arts without tripping over its own ambition. It’s not all about big corporate dollars. Corporate dollars are good, yeah, we love you too, but at the same time, please sit down in the back row. Richmond has always kept its cool over the span of time I’ve been here or around it. That’s my love letter to Richmond today.

HW: Mine, too.

Find out more about the Richmond International Film Festival HERE
Give Heather Waters a follow @rvadelight

Christian Detres

Christian Detres

Christian Detres has spent his career bouncing back and forth between Richmond VA and his hometown Brooklyn, NY. He came up making punk ‘zines in high school and soon parlayed that into writing music reviews for alt weeklies. He moved on to comedic commentary and fast lifestyle pieces for Chew on This and RVA magazines. He hit the gas when becoming VICE magazine’s travel Publisher and kept up his globetrotting at Nowhere magazine, Bushwick Notebook, BUST magazine and Gungho Guides. He’s been published in Teen Vogue, Harpers, and New York magazine to name drop casually - no biggie. He maintains a prime directive of making an audience laugh at high-concept hijinks while pondering our silly existence. He can be reached at christianaarondetres@gmail.com

more in music

Oktoberfest at Maymont! A Friend and a Stein is Mighty Fine

This year’s autumn equinox was ushered in with cool temperatures in Richmond. The weather app and sky spoke in cautious portents as they told a story of Tropical Storm Ophelia’s coming rain. Ophelia had not yet arrived to crash the party by the time that I had decided...

Wild Love, John Prine Memorial & Desert Beagles: Sound Check

No matter the tastes of music lovers in this city, there is something for everyone this week. An overwhelming amount of pop music will be passing through (and additionally is on my mind as I will talk about later), so I'll be bringing you the information on my...

On The Streets Of Downtown RVA: Hip Hop Henry

We dispatched our hometown photographer, CJ Payne, to the heart of the city to capture a snapshot and engage in some casual conversation. Consider it our local twist on the acclaimed Humans of New York series that we hold in high regard. Our aim is to foster a sense...

Richmond’s Underground EDM Scene Gains New Ground

For those already hip to electronic dance music, and all it's extreme sub-genres, we know that there aren't that many venues around town hopping on to host your shows. With the addition of Ember Music Hall to the lineup of performance spots in town who have been...

Teddy Swims, Benét & Kidz At Play: This Week’s Sound Check

I'm really feeling all the r&b and hip hop out in the city these days, and there's enough of it across the spectrum to satisfy anybody with the hint of a craving to check some out. On this week's SOUND CHECK we take a look at Tuesday at The National, where rising...

Pin It on Pinterest