Runners and music fans to swarm Virginia Beach

American Music Festival (Photo credit:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The 21st annual American Music Festival kicked off Friday.

Photos: Labor Day weekend in Virginia Beach

The popular Labor Day weekend event will feature four major headlining bands this year. Hunter Hayes, the 22-year-old country music superstar, will hit the stage Friday night. Saturday night, attendees will sing along with Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Blues Traveler. Train returns by popular demand for the Sunday Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon show.

“It’s every genre of music you can think of,” said Bobby Melatti, the Program Director of Beach Events. He said 60,000 people will come to the festival and stop to listen to the music.

“Not just the patrons, but the city loves it,” Melatti said. “It’s a calling card that says, ‘Come to Virginia Beach, get a room, eat a meal, and have most of the entertainment on us.'”

You can purchase tickets for the individual concerts, or a $40 Passport Pin gets you into all three Main Stage performances.

WAVY TV 10 and FOX43 are proud sponsors of this year’s festival. Keep an eye out for WAVY News anchor/reporter Anita Blanton, The Hampton Roads Show hosts Chris Reckling and Aubrey Aquino, and the new Face of FOX43 Ty Lorenzo. They will be warming up the crowds at the 5th Street headliner concerts.

Click here for a full list of participating bands. More than 30 bands will perform at the beach over the 3-day event.

Thousands of runners are also expected to rock the Oceanfront this weekend.

“There’s nothing like running along in one of these events and making friends with someone who happens to be running the same pace you are,” said Frank Shorter, a 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist in the marathon and one of the founders of the Rock ‘N Roll series.

This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon is celebrating its 13th year with something new. In celebration of National Running Day, organizers announced they have added a one-mile beach run on the sand Saturday morning to its series of running events.

The race weekend kicks off Friday with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. It is free and open to the public.

Sunday’s events include the half marathon, a relay and a 5K. For more information on all the race events, visit

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