Norfolk’s Beloved Concert Series Returns for an Epic Summer Experience

by | May 16, 2023

Norfolk’s Sunsets on the River concert series is back for an unforgettable summer experience. Hosted by the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, this beloved event offers a diverse lineup of seven waterfront concerts, promising a blend of musical genres to satisfy all music lovers. From top 40 hits to funk, R&B, swing, psychedelic rock, and bluegrass, the series serves a diverse set of musical tastes.
The series kicks off this Thursday, May 18th with Kaboombox, with their fresh twist on top 40 covers. Throughout the summer, attendees can look forward to performances by Brackish Water Jamboree, The Fuzz Band, Good Shot Judy, Grateful Jed, Roberta Lea and Band, and Allen Hudson and the Halfmoons.
Sunsets on the River offers more than just music. Scenic views of the Elizabeth River and mouthwatering offerings from local food trucks are pillars of this incredible series. With a rotating selection of vendors, new culinary adventures await each time. An outdoor bar will provide adults’ preferred beverages, while kids can participate in specially designed activities.
This year, the concert series merges art and music more than ever. The museum’s summer exhibition, Echoes of the Heart, by internationally-acclaimed artist Claudia Bueno will run parallel to the concert series after it opens on June 9th. Attendees will get the chance to explore Bueno’s transformative light and interactive installations alongside the event. Sunsets on the River is collaborating with local artists, providing demonstrations and interactive art activities throughout the summer.
Jennifer Lucy, the Hermitage’s Curator of Community Engagement, emphasized the significance of Sunsets on the River in fostering a sense of community, saying ”the feelings of community and nostalgia keep folks coming back again and again.”  She says the unique community vibe is rooted in the diverse crowd the events attract. She has “see[n] babies through grandparents having the best time, friends coming together, large families gathering, young couples,” and more share the space. The events allow people from all walks of life “to put down their phones, their worries, and just enjoy being together.”
Andrew Cronin, the Hermitage’s Public Programs manager, leads the organization of Sunsets on the River. He meticulously researches “everything that is happening musically in our area” and curates the lineup, ensuring a diverse musical journey. Cronin notes that based on feedback from previous years, “people really, really want to dance” and has made sure that infectious beats and lively performances have a big role in this year’s lineup.
Sunsets on the River is more than just a concert series; it’s a cultural celebration that combines music, art, and community. Mark your calendars and immerse yourself in Norfolk’s most anticipated summer event. Come for the music, stay for the breathtaking views, delicious food, captivating art, and the connections formed amidst the rhythmic beats and vibrant melodies. Get ready to let loose, Norfolk, because Sunsets on the River is about to set your summer on fire!
For those looking to get in on the magic of Sunsets of the River,  gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the music begins at 6 p.m. Hermitage members enjoy free admission, while non-members can join for a modest $15 fee. Children under 10 enter for free, creating a family-friendly environment. Tickets are available only at the gate on the day of the event, with priority check-in for members. Limited on-site parking is available, but ample street parking can be found in the Lochhaven neighborhood. The Elizabeth River Trail offers a scenic cycling route with bike racks near the concert entrance. Visit for more information and updates.

Paul Stetson Rice

Chelsea, NFK

Paul is the creator of He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.

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