Sandstock at the Beach!


Virginia Beach’s own rendition of Woodstock is happening this weekend at the Oceanfront!

I chatted with the Director of Marketing for Beach Street USA, Mike Hilton, about this year’s Sandstock music festival event.

  • Q: Annaka Chesnutt, FOX 43
  • A: Mike Hilton, Director of Marketing for Beach Street USA

How long has Sandstock been happening?

2009 was our first year, and when it started the event was in three separate parks and felt a little disconnected. Then three years ago we came up with the idea to have it all on the beach because people love being there. We set up ‘dueling stages’ where bands alternate from show to show during the evening; and it’s really fun to watch the audience gather around one stage, then move across the beach to the next stage and the band is ready to go! That has helped us to build our audience over the years and sort of bringing it all into one location. 

Where did the idea for a weekend of 70’s and 80’s rock music initially come from?

We started on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock – and our idea was to create an event that involved tribute bands playing music from the Woodstock festival!  In our very first year we had one of the original 1969 Woodstock performers, Melanie, who sang her big hit “The Roller Skate Song.”  Since then we’ve always had tribute bands that are the top performers from across the country. 

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Fun Facts:

  • The dueling stages are called the ‘Flower Power Stage’ and the ‘Hippy Dippy Stage.’
  • A lot of the [tribute] bands will have authentic instruments or clothing/costumes from the time period when the original groups were at their peak.
  • [The tribute bands] try to have the same musical arrangements and emulate the original artists so when you see them on stage, it’s like you’re watching the real thing. 

What other activities are taking place besides music?

We will have some merchandise and food vendors along the boardwalk – you’ll see a lot of hippy things like tie dye shirts and flower-power wear.  It’s not just older people who are attending, it’s their kids as well who are just discovering this type of music and loving it!

What else makes this a great weekend event?

It’s a totally free event! Come out early and take advantage of the beach and join us in the evening for the show! It’s great entertainment for a great ‘price.’

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Schedule:

Friday, July 1

  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 6:30-7:30pm Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 7:30-8:30pm Pandora’s Box (Aerosmith tribute)
  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 8:30-9:30pm Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 9:30-11:00pm Pandora’s Box (Aerosmith tribute)

Saturday, July 2

  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 6:30-7:30pm Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 7:30-8:30pm Eliminator KC (ZZ Top tribute)
  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 8:30-9:30pm Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 9:30-11:00pm Eliminator KC (ZZ Top tribute)

Sunday, July 3

  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 6:30-7:30pm Rumours (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 7:30-8:30pm Chicago Reloaded (Chicago tribute)
  • Hippy Dippy Stage (South stage) 8:30-9:30pm Rumours (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
  • Flower Power Stage (North stage) 9:30-11:00pm Chicago Reloaded (Chicago tribute)

Proceeds support the Virginia Legends Walk.