Dominion Riverrock kicks off Friday at Brown's Island; the three-day festival will feature live music, spectator events and plenty of outdoor athletic events. High water levels spurred some changes to this year's event, and security measures are expected to be heightened.
Citing concerns for flooding, event organizers will require all Kayak Freestyle , Kayak Boatercross , and SUP Cross participants to obtain a high water permit, due to flood conditions.
"The paddlers in these events need to be highly qualified experts that are comfortable paddling in boils, whirlpools, large waves and breaking holes," said Sports Backers executive director Jon Lugbill. "We are both excited about having high water for this event and concerned for safety, so we want to make sure that only paddlers that feel comfortable on the river in flood take part."
Participants in these events may obtain high water permits for $10 at the fire station located at 411 East Commerce Road. All paddlers must also have bombproof rolls, according to the release.
Expect some security changes at this year's Dominion Riverrock after a bottle throwing incident last year put a damper on the event.
Event coordinators are taking a close eye at security this year - especially when Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was hit by bottle thrown at the stage.
Organizers are working with police to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"Together we come up with a plan for not only security, but medical staffing, general police and RMC staffing," says Event Director Megan Schultz.
Visitors can expect a more beefed up security plan with more personnel on hand. Entrances will be more streamlined and that should help security check bags. One noticeable change will be only allowing beer and wine to drink
"We're constantly looking at ways to improve things but from event operations as a whole," Schultz.
William Connor Lewis was sentenced to six months in jail for throwing the bottle that left a gash in Hibbert's forehead.
But security isn't the only thing changed in the outdoor event's sixth year.
"We continue to grow," Schultz says. "The amount of people that come down continues to increase. And each year, we add things like 'what we can we do to shake things up and make it a little bit different.'"
One new feature is dirt bike competition through red bull and the return of rock climbing.
Several bands including the Infamous Stringdusters and Matisyahu are expected to play throughout the weekend. Find a complete schedule of events here.
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