Meet the Masterminds of VusicOBX

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Have you heard of VusicOBX? If not, you need to get this concert series on your radar. Vusic stands for Music with a View, and it's the biggest thing happening on the Outer Banks this summer.

VusicOBX has eight shows on the 2022 calendar so far – all of them nationally known names like Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Stick Figure, Umphreys McGee and more (see the full lineup below). The setting is Roanoke Island Festival Park, which is on its own tiny little island sitting alongside downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island. The venue has a grassy lawn facing a stage that overlooks the Roanoke Sound. So the bands are literally jamming with the water flowing right behind them. While the audience seating is open air, the band is covered and protected, so these shows go on rain or shine – as was the case of the very memorable Sublime with Rome/Dirty Heads/Hirie show in 2021; it rained literally for the whole show, but no one cared and a great time was had by all!

Photo: Michael Franti on stage at Roanoke Island Festival Park during VusicOBX 2021.

Roanoke Island Festival Park is an amazing venue for concerts, but it’s been underutilized for much of its lifespan. Some great shows have been held here in the past for sure – it’s the site of the annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival and other random events have happened here – but there has been nothing like VusicOBX. The lawn is grassy and lush, perfect for spreading out blankets and setting up lawn chairs. Once the parking fills up, VusicOBX runs a convenient shuttle to and from Manteo Elementary school. There is plenty of room for food trucks, beer, wine and seltzers and local art vendors. It’s just been sitting there waiting for the right team to come along and bring some shows to town!

So who’s behind this awesomeness and how did it come about? I tracked down the very busy Rebecca Meyers to find out.

Me: Who are the founders of Vusic? Do you have a background in event planning or music promotion? How long have you lived on the Outer Banks?

Rebecca Meyers: My husband, Brad, and I founded VusicOBX and threw our first show just one year ago. We did not have a background in event planning/music promotion, other than our love of hosting live entertainment parties and attending thousands of concerts and festivals throughout our lives. We've lived here for 15 years and have been visiting here since the 1980s.

What made you start Vusic?

We are HUGE live music lovers. It's been incorporated into our lives on a weekly basis, whether it's local shows happening in a restaurant backyard or traveling to other countries for festivals. Our son, Jackson, is a drummer and participated in the Mustang Outreach Program for many years. Our daughters, Ellie and Veda, also love music as much as we do. Music is part of our DNA and plays throughout our house during all waking hours.

As we were experiencing the stay-home, social-distancing, quarantine life during the summer of 2020, we saw a video online of a socially distanced concert in Europe that had people on hotel balconies watching a concert down below. Meanwhile, our community suffered the tragic loss of Ravann and her son, Sebi. She was the owner of RAVRA Productions and brought reggae music (our fav genre) here on the regular. Sebi was also in the Mustang Outreach Program. We felt a big need for an uplifting, healing music event. So, we started to brainstorm and created Vusic on the Banks, a two-day hotel festival filled with many of our favorite bands. Vusic stands for Music with a View. The festival was held with an ocean backdrop at the Hilton Garden Inn and was just what people needed during such a strange time. Here's our recap video for your reference on the vibe. We really initially threw it for our own benefit to have a live concert to go to, LOL. It grew quickly into a sort of Vusic family of raving fans and bands asking to come here to play. 

Why did you pick Roanoke Island Festival Park and the Outer Banks for your music festival series?

We had been to several concerts at Festival Park in the past and loved the entire setup/vibe. Meanwhile, our good friend Mike Dianna with Bearded Face Productions was mentoring us every step of the way in the music promoter business and suggested we consider Festival Park. After visiting the park again, it fit perfectly with our Music with a View vision and could accommodate a lot more people as pandemic restrictions were lifting. It's a beautiful gem of a venue that we wanted to utilize.

Have you been surprised by the response to the festival?

We felt we could bring a beautiful live music experience to our community and to traveling music fans. And that's exactly what happened last summer. The response and support exceeded all expectations. A healing hotel festival that created a mucic family, a sold-out show during a torrential downpour and an almost spiritual Michael Franti concert for all ages brought us to tears on what we had accomplished. I cry at the start of every show from the overwhelming scene that shows all the hard work it takes to make these events happen. It's surely a labor of love that takes a village. We are so blessed to have a local team of music lovers who have organically come together to build this grassroots concept and execute it. Stage, sound, hospitality, logistics, vendors, rentals, schedules, volunteers ... the list goes on and on

Is it difficult to lure musicians off the beaten path to the Outer Banks? Do the musicians like coming here?

We've gone from two concerts last summer to 10 to 12 this year. It's mind-blowing. We believe this is 100% due to the band experiences of last year and word of mouth through them. We go above and beyond to create the best in production, hospitality and overall experience for the bands. If they want a basketball, we go to the ends of the Outer Banks earth to get one! The bands LOVED coming here and let us know it. The backdrop of the sound paired with our OBX hospitality has them wanting to return or see what the buzz is all about. 

Have you made any changes to the shows based on what you learned last year?

We make changes every day as we learn and grow. We keep our main vision at the forefront of providing the best experience we can for the fans and bands throughout the whole process. 

Do you have VIP ticket experiences?

Some of the bands provide VIP experiences independently of our tickets to attend. They vary from merch bundles to meet & greets. We ensure the grounds are set up to accommodate these packages. We hope to have VusicVIP experiences available in the future. 

Do you need volunteers or sponsors?

Absolutely! We couldn't do this without our volunteers and community. For more information contact us at volunteer@vusicobx.com. VusicVillage sponsorships are also available and necessary to create these experiences. For more information on sponsorship contact us at marketing@vusicobx.com

What are your plans for the future of VusicOBX?

We plan to continue bringing stellar live music experiences to the Outer Banks!#cantstoptheboogie  

Is there anything else you want people to know?

Ride the music wave with us! Come to a show, spread the word! Support your local community by coming to see what the buzz is all about. That's the only way we can continue to bring world-class music to our beautiful Outer Banks. We thank everyone for the unending excitement and support to make it happen. It’s beautiful.

2022 VusicOBX Lineup (so far – more to come)

Regular tickets range from $35 to $50. Go to VusicOBX.com for the lastest show information. All tickets should be purchased directly from the etix link to avoid scams.  

Friday, April 29 - Old Crow Medicine Show with Chatham Rabbits

Saturday, June 11 - Love Like Ledsome Benefit Show LNJ Sessions, Vibes Alive, Ground Level, Last Resort and Mustang Outreach Program

Sunday, June 12 - Good Vibes Summer Tour 2022 Rebelution with special guests Steel Pulse, DENM & DJ Mackle

Thursday, June 16 - Shakey Graves with Bendigo Fletcher

Thursday, June 30 - Stick Figure – Smoke Signals Tour with Collie Budz and Iya Terra SOLD OUT

Tuesday, July 12 - Whiskey Myers with Shane Smith & The Saints and 49 Winchester

Wednesday, July 13 - Dirty Heads, SOJA, Tribal Seeds and Artikal Sound System

Thursday, July 14 - An Evening with Umphrey’s McGee

Thursday, July 21 - The Movement, The Hip Abduction, Bumpin' Uglies, Little Stranger, Signal Fire, Cultivated Mind, Jon Gazi, Jonny Waters

Sunday, August 14 - Greensky Bluegrass with The Wood Brothers

Friday, August 26 - Slightly Stoopid with Pepper, Common Kings and The Elovators

Sunday, August 28 - Gov't Mule with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

All photos courtesy of VusicOBX Facebook

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.