The Shack Band’s annual music festival is back at The Broadberry this weekend with a lineup specifically chosen to excite the Richmond local scene.
This weekend, The Shack Up is hitting The Broadberry for the fifth time in as many years. On Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28, your hosts The Shack Band will close out the month and the summer with a handpicked lineup of musicians from around the region.
Formed in 2008, The Shack Band relocated from their native Blacksburg to Richmond several years ago. After they arrived, bassist Mason Owen and The Broadberry co-owner Lucas Fritz began throwing around the idea of hosting an in-town festival in Richmond.
“There’s all these cool festivals, and tons of them are in Virginia,” Owen said. “But there weren’t so many in town where you can come for the day, come and go as you please, take a break, get a bite to eat, and sleep in your own bed at the end of the night.”
Finally, after The Broadberry opened in 2014, they had a venue option. It was a prime location with a parking lot large enough to hold a stage, and also provided indoor amenities like air conditioning, a full bar, places to sit, food options, and indoor restrooms. The Broadberry is also adjacent to The Fan and Scott’s Addition neighborhoods, with easy walking access to those that live in the area. All of this made it an ideal spot to host the first Shack Up in 2015 — and The Broadberry’s been hosting it ever since.
This year, eleven bands will play on two stages — one indoors and one outdoors — over the course of the weekend on Friday night and all day Saturday. Jouwala Collective, Mo Lowda & The Humble and The Northerners will play Friday, while Saturday will feature a myriad of local and regional artists headlined by The Shack Band and People’s Blues of Richmond.
The organizers explicitly sought out acts that weren’t necessarily in the mainstream, or well-known by the general public. Instead, they booked bands that they believed brought out the best Richmond and its regional music scene has to offer.
This made it easier to seek out bands that they already knew personally, but they also sought out bands they didn’t know as well, but had seen before, and that thought they fit in with what they were looking for. Occasionally, they even chose bands they had never heard of before, but who sounded great when they came across the organizers’ desks.
“The lineup is pretty diverse,” Owen said. “We always wanted to be diverse. It has never been our goal to book a giant headliner and a bunch of support acts. We want more quality than just one name that might draw people that don’t go to shows very often. We want this to be a party for the Richmond music scene and its fans.”
One of the regional acts that event organizers secured for The Shack Up is Bennett Wales. Wales is from Virginia Beach and has played with his band since 2016, performing a mix of roots, rock n’ roll, and progressive rock.
Wales has performed before in Richmond at locations like The Camel, and most recently The National. There, he opened for The Wallflowers along with Landon Elliott — another artist performing at The Shack Up.
“Richmond folks are more perceptive to original music than Virginia Beach audiences,” Wales said. “That’s one of many reasons why we jumped at the opportunity to perform at The Shack Up. Everyone is super friendly, and I’m looking forward to sharing our music with those who haven’t heard of us before, and having a good time with friends.”
The Shack Up has been planned since the beginning of 2019, starting with deciding the date and getting a general sense of what bands they wanted to perform at the festival. They also hired a production company for the staging, and secured all the permits needed to perform in the parking lot between The Broadberry and the Exxon gas station next door.
“The first two years, The Shack Up was in the parking lot behind The Broadberry’s patio, and not in view of Broad Street,” Fritz said. “In 2017, we went much bigger and moved it into the adjacent lot to the Exxon, sourced a much larger and more legitimate stage, and took it from there.”
This included bringing in outside vendors and food trucks, such as New Belgium’s Fat Tire beer, PBR (the beer, not the band), and this year’s nonprofit sponsor, Keep Virginia Cozy. Along with selling food and alcohol, vendors will also be providing stations with different activities and giveaways to give The Shack Up a more festival feel, according to Erin Brennan, The Broadberry’s marketing director.
“We do work with nonprofits and other brands to make The Shack Up super engaging and fun, because all day Saturday is a long time, and having incentives will help make people want to stick around,” Brennan said. “We will have stuff for everyone to walk away with at least a koozie, and people like free stuff.”
Doors open Friday at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. with The Northerners. On Saturday, doors open at 2 p.m. and the first set begins at 3 p.m. with Weekend Plans and ends at 1 a.m. inside The Broadberry with Fear of Music. For full lineup, tickets, and other info, click here.
Top Photo: The Shack Band, via Facebook
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