Let’s Go! Music Festival Is Made For Memories

Event Runs May 31-June 2


The fourth annual Let’s Go! Music Festival will return to the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds from May 31-June 2 with a staple of musicians that includes Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, Motion City Soundtrack, The Revivalists, Bush, Daughtry and several other acts.

Brother-and-sister duo Chris Hartman and Liz Rawlings started the festival after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down and after attending the KAABOO music festival in San Diego, California. Their ideal event was an Anne Arundel County outdoor concert experience on a smaller scale than KAABOO.

“We wanted to create a special environment and a unique kind of boutique-ish, intimate setting area where you can enjoy a good show, where you’re not standing crammed in with 150,000 fans,” Hartman said. “(After) X amount of people, Liz and I cut it off. We don’t want anything too crazy and out of control.”

Rawlings said, “Coming out of COVID, we were missing live music, we were missing going to KAABOO, we were missing just being out with people and listening to live music, and to Chris’ point, we wanted to bring all of that, the best we could, to our hometown.”

Over the last four years, Lets Go! has brought musicians from varying backgrounds to Anne Arundel County. The event has featured alternative rock and pop groups including Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms (2021), Goo Goo Dolls (2022) and 311 (2023). The Crownsville stage has also welcomed classic rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd (2022) and country artist Chris Young (2023).

“I’m a ‘90s girl at heart and ‘80s too,” Rawlings said. “I’m more (into) pop and Chris is more indie. So we try to blend that together with both of our styles to bring a show that is locally something people will enjoy.”

The planning process can be nerve-wracking, but it is all worthwhile when Rawlings and Hartman get to watch musicians perform up close. Rawlings called their role with the festival “the best job in the world.”

“The stress, the highs, the lows, it is all worth it because we have one weekend where we get to see it all come together,” she said.

The most rewarding aspect is seeing families bond and fostering a love of music, just as the siblings did in their youth.

At 12 or 13 years old, Hartman spent his summers baling hay in Texarkana, Texas, which is where he saw hair metal bands Van Halen, Boston, Dokken, White Lion and Whitesnake entertain crowds.

“When you see some of those bands and you watch everybody from Eddie Van Halen to everybody in Boston – like Brad Delp and those guys – wow,” he said. “You’re blown away at 13, 12. Holy smokes. Liz is a little different because she’s into like Elton John (type of music) … but that was it for me in a nutshell. I was sold.”

Rawlings likes to see any band live.

“I think when you get to see a band live, it just changes your perspective on potentially them, and you get exposed to new music that otherwise you wouldn’t listen to,” she said.

Now, Rawlings and Hartman are seeing their guests enjoy similar experiences.

“When we had Lynyrd Skynyrd, for example, we had grandfather, father, son. That’s impactful,” Hartman said. “That’s what we like to create, something cool like that. Watching it grow, for me, that’s what it’s all about. That whole family vibe, like just come out and have fun, and it’s just with national artists, it’s a completely different experience.”

Last year, music lovers whose first concert was 311 came to Let’s Go! to see 311 with their kids.

“You just get goosebumps when you think that those memories for people and this impact will last a lifetime,” Rawlings said. “It’s quite rewarding.”

What’s New For 2024

New for 2024 is a partnership with School of Rock. Four Maryland School of Rock locations competed in a battle of the bands, with the Columbia and Annapolis locations earning spots to open the festival on Saturday and Sunday.

With the Roadie for a Day program, School of Rock musicians will go backstage and have access to musicians from All You Need and The Dave Tieff Experiment.

“They get to see, if you blow up, this is the lifestyle you’ll have,” said Adam Moore, who does marketing for Let’s Go!

For anyone who wants to attend the festival, multiple ticket options are available: general admission (GA) party pass, GA party dock and VIP.

“We added a GA+ party dock ticket that gives an elevated experience over our regular GA ticket by giving you private bars, air-conditioned bathrooms, closer parking and an area for some shade and seating,” Moore said. “We upgraded our VIP owner’s box experience to include front-of-stage viewing as well as access to the all-new Osprey’s Nest, a standing area above the front-of-house sound booth where you’ll experience the best sound and a view over the crowd.”

Lets Go! will offer dining options from 17 food trucks, along with beer and spirits. This year, the event is partnered with Maryland-based RaR Brewing.

Rawlings and Hartman have also teamed up with Annapolis Green to minimize the environmental impact of the festival. The Naptown Tap will be onsite, filling up water bottles for free.

For tickets or more information, visit www.letsgofest.com.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here