The Tom Tom Festival is Your Perfect Reason to Visit C’Ville this April

Creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists (or art appreciators), food-lovers, music fans- Charlottesville has the perfect, week long festival happening next month that you shouldn’t miss. The Tom Tom Festival happens twice a year- in April and October- and it brings a creative explosion to the streets of C’Ville. 

The festival is put on by the Tom Tom Foundation, which focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. And over a span of one week, they host a series of events of a huge variety.

What you can expect?

Competitions, summits (speaking events), concerts, block parties, artists in residence, an art bus, cook offs, workshops, a farm to table restaurant week, summits, and a keynote speaker (this year, it is Dan Rather). 

With all of these various fun and educational events, it really is the perfect week to be in C’Ville. We’ve picked out some parts of the festival that seem noteworthy to us- but there really are so many options and ways to enjoy Tom Tom. Check out their website for a much larger list.

Summits that catch our eye

The summits will bring over 300 speakers and 100 sessions with the overarching theme of entrepreneurial innovation and civic leadership. Here are some we think look interesting. 

Founding Stories: Creativity- Building Outside the Box– where do big ideas come from?- Friday- 10:30am

Masterclass: Design the Future You Love– chart your path and learn ways to make positive change happen in your life- Friday- 10:30am

Founding Stories: GRIT- overcoming adversity– Friday at 9am

Just eat: The Future of Food– Friday at 12pm

All of the summits and more can be found with details on Tom Tom’s interactive schedule

Community Events that We Look Forward to:

Farm to Table Restaurant Week (all week)- We are looking forward to Brasserie Saison, Petit Pois, and Timbercreek Market’s menus among others.

3rd Annual Tom Tom Craft Cocktail Competition (all week)- Local Bartenders will create and serve up “Tom Tom Cocktails” throughout the week. A panel of judges will make decisions based on creativity, originality and taste.

Artisanal Tom Tom (Saturday and Sunday)- a creative makers market that will take place during the Tom Tom Block Parties. 

Screenings and Panels– (Saturday)- If you love documentaries, this documentary series will include viewings and trailers with panels afterwards lead by the filmmakers.

Music– (Thursday through Sunday) There are several events happening throughout the week when it comes to music, but we prefer the block party. Porchella also looks interesting!

Our Favorite Part:

Though we’ve mentioned it a bit already, we love the block party that takes place in Emancipation Park from Friday through Sunday. The parties include the artisan market we highlighted, live music, beer and wine to enjoy, and a food truck rally. This is really our favorite part of the festival to attend.

An important note:

If you do decide to come to Charlottesville for the festival, events are taking place all around town, so make sure you get tickets, register for passes (many are free) and plan an agenda! We hope you’ll stay with us if you decide to visit Charlottesville for this event!

*Photo credit to Tom Tom Foundation

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