The Hampton Jazz Festival brings three days of music to the town of Hampton, one of Virginia’s top vacation towns. Held at the heart of the Hampton Roads region, the festival is a draw for locals as much as out-of-towners. Baltimore, D.C. and other East Coast cities are close enough to make an easy trip in search of great jazz. The festival is held each year in June on the last full weekend, right as the vacation season swings into high gear.
Hampton Jazz Festival Festival and Facts
The first note of the Hampton Jazz Festival sounded in the summer of 1968 when Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Smith, and Muddy Waters led the line-up, joined by Dionne Warwick, Nina Simone, Gary Burton, and other jazz greats. Over the years, ton of high profile artists have played in Hampton. The festival quickly became on of the most popular happenings on the schedule of Virginia events and holidays.
Tickets to the Hampton Jazz Festival
If you’re planning on enjoying the Hampton Jazz Festival 2016, you have a few options for tickets. Three-day passes are available, as are tickets for each individual day of the festival. Either way, the tickets work like they do for a typical concert—they give you access to the coliseum. Food and parking fees are extra, just as they would be with a big-name show.
Directions to the Hampton Jazz Festival
The entire concert unfolds at the Hampton Coliseum, in the heart of the seaside town, located close to many of the most visited cities in Virginia. If you’re coming from the Richmond or Williamsburg area, head east on Interstate 64. When you reach Exit 263, head off the highway onto Mercury Boulevard. The first traffic light is Coliseum Drive; after you turn left, you’ll find the coliseum parking lot in short order.
From Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you’ll want to take I-64 west. Exit at 265B, which is Armistead Avenue, to get to the Hampton Jazz Festival 2016. Once you reach Convention Center Boulevard, turn lead and head right to the coliseum.
Lodging near the Hampton Jazz Festival
One of the closest hotels to the Hampton Jazz Festival, the Hilton Garden Inn Hampton Coliseum Central is found at 1999 Power Plant Parkway—a half mile from the Coliseum. If you don’t mind a short walk, you could walk to the stadium and not worry about the crowds or the parking hassles. Here, the guestrooms where specially designed for comfort. Each room has a comfortable bed and a work desk with an ergonomic chair, all in view of the large-screen HDTVs with movie channels. Beyond the rooms, the inn is home to a full-service restaurant as well as a pantry market, where you can grab a snack or something to drink. You’ll also find a fitness center and an indoor pool at the Garden Inn.
Another hotel less than a mile from the Coliseum, the Ramada Hampton is easy to find at 1905 Coliseum Drive. Guests are treated to a host of freebies, including a morning newspaper, high-speed Internet access, and best off all, a hot breakfast. The outdoor pool has a large sun desk, and the rooms have large TVs and cozy linens, perfect for a good night’s rest after the jazz festival wraps up.
Image: Larry Dixon Jr.