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Ragin’ on the River summer concert series debuts Saturday

MORGANTOWN — The first of three Ragin’ on the River summer concert-and-camping events is Saturday, featuring national and local music at the Friends of the Cheat Campground in Albright.

Each concert will feature at least five bands — two national touring acts and three bands from West Virginia or the region — organizer Adam Payne said. He described the musical vibe as “very chill and relaxing in the day and dancey and more get-down-and-party bands at night.” 

Gates open at 11 a.m., with music from 2:30p.m.-11:30 p.m. The music ends early enough that families with children can put them to bed or pack up and go home afterward, Payne said.

Saturday’s headliner is Rasta Rafiki. Payne said the concert will be a reunion for the group, as members of the band, which was started in West Virginia, live out of state. Other acts include Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, The Woodshedders, Megan Jean & The KFB, 18 Strings and Duogrove.

The event was planned with COVID-19 safety in mind and was set to be all socially distanced with the use of “rage cages,” which are areas fenced off on three sides. However, with vaccination rates up and COVID protocols down, staying inside a rage cage with your group is not mandatory.

“If people want to enjoy their space, it’s there for them,” Payne said. “But we also want people to come back and enjoy freedom and be around people again. We’re supportive of hugs and high-fives.”

There are several types of tickets, including VIP for $80, $60 for premium and $40 for general admission. VIP ticket holders set up closest to the stage, premium ticket holders behind VIP, and general admission behind the fence line. 

Those just interested in the music can purchase a ticket for $30. Payne said the event will be capped at 500 people.

People planning on camping should bring everything they need, as it’s “pretty primitive” at the campground. There are charging stations for phones, water pumps and bathrooms on site, Payne said.

The concert will be held rain-or-shine and there is a pavilion with a view of the stage for VIP and premium ticket holders, Payne said. There will also be canopies behind the fence line.

Saturday’s event will feature food and drink vendors, and July and August will also have merch vendors.

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