The Allman Brothers Band performed Live at the Fillmore East, kicking off with “Statesboro Blues” (Blind Willie McTell) and “Done Somebody Wrong” (Elmore James), and a sweet & smooth version of “Stormy Monday” (T-Bone Walker) with soulful vocals by Gregg Allman, sweet slide work by Derek Trucks, and rhythm guitar by Warren Haynes, who took a soaring solo at the end. A few of the standouts were a nearly 15-minute “Whipping Post”, with ridiculous slide and guitar solo trades between Derek and Warren, and a lengthy “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. The Allmans closed out the set with “Blue Sky” > “Mountain Jam”, ending with “Little Martha” and an encore of “Mountain Jam Reprise” to close the main stage, while group and album cover photos of the Allman Brothers of yore graced the audience, who cheered to thank the Allman Brothers for a lifetime of music, reflecting on the band who will soon retire.
See You Next Year
Entry into the festival was far smoother this year due to skillful planning, as well as better layout due to the purchase of adjacent land so all the campsites could be closer. The concert fairgrounds and camping areas were completely redesigned, with new stage locations and new roads built to handle more fans. VIP and Super VIP had larger camping and concert field space, more bathrooms and showers than last year.
Moving the late-night Triangle Stage to the nearby ridge made it less than a 20 minute walk from the main stage field (versus a long 45-minute walk last year). VIP facilities were larger and cleaner this year, under constant maintenance until after midnight. Patrons enjoyed more food choices, more fresh water taps, colder beer, and better use of space, as compared to 2013.
There was a temporary shortage of porta-johns, but more were promptly delivered the next day. There were complaints of minor thefts of tapestries, coolers, and other personal items, but in general the fans were well-behaved and all the major areas were kept safe and sound. The crowd was well-behaved, withstanding the blistering sun with umbrellas, wide hats, shade tents, and water mist guns. In spite of a cancellation by one of the major headliners (Bob Weir and Ratdog, which also cancelled a Furthur reunion), other musicians stepped up to the plate to fill the open main stage slots (namely Bill Kreutzman and Phil Lesh with their respective super-groups).
One of the newest additions to this year’s activities was the on-site biking program. Fans were encouraged to bring their bikes, or could rent one, courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain Bike Park. Oak Ridge Farm has over 30 miles of trails to explore with guided tours from the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club. Because of the beautiful weather, bikers could be seen pedaling at all hours of the weekend. Disc golf, yoga, and swimming hole trips, cultural awareness and crafts were also some of many activities that Lockn’ provided to patrons.
In spite of threats by the ABC to shut down Lockn’s liquor license, county and state police reported only minor incidents, and Lockn’ ran very smoothly, especially considering the amount of fans and crew this year. Thanks to careful planning, and expenditures on key infrastructure like new staging, camping, electricity, and roads, Lockn’ organizers seek to improve the area further, and bring more business into Nelson County next year. Although The Allman Brothers are retiring, we can hope to see many of the headliners return next year.