Sports Backers Blog

Dominion Energy Riverrock concludes, drawing large crowds to Brown’s Island

Funds from Virginia Tourism Corporation grant helped enhance festival marketing to out-of-towners


RICHMOND, VA – The 15th annual Dominion Energy Riverrock concluded Sunday evening after welcoming over 100,000 people to Brown’s Island and Tredegar Green for the three-day event. Organized by Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, Dominion Energy Riverrock is one of the largest outdoor sports and music festival in the United States.

Athletes and spectators alike flocked to Brown’s Island and Tredegar Green throughout the weekend for an incredible combination of sporting events and music. The Kitchen Dwellers brought their mix of bluegrass, rock, and folk to the stage on Friday, and Sierra Hull and Neal Francis headlined on Saturday night giving an energetic performance to the crowd. Hull is known for her bluegrass sound, while Francis is heavily influenced by the soul and R&B of New Orleans artists. On Sunday, 49 Winchester closed out the festival. The country group from Castlewood, VA is about to embark on a tour with country music star Luke Combs.

Dominion Energy Riverrock is a celebration of Richmond’s downtown riverfront, so naturally, the James River took center stage during the festival. Both the Kayak Boatercross and the Stand Up Paddleboard Cross events took place in the river adjacent to Brown’s Island in the VEPCO levy rapids on Saturday, with paddlers performing beneath hundreds of spectators gathered on the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge. On Sunday, kayakers, canoers, and stand up paddleboarders raced from Reedy Creek to the 14th street takeout at the Downriver Paddle event. Results for each water event can be found here – Kayak Boatercross (, Stand Up Paddleboard Cross (, Downriver Paddle (

The Bouldering events once again featured a field of elite athletes competing on a custom-built cage in front of record crowds. The competition took place on the Tredegar Green hillside and the natural amphitheater setting provided a phenomenal viewing experience for the thousands that gathered many times throughout the weekend. Adam Shahar and Yealiya Southern, were the top male and female finishers in Saturday night’s Bouldering competition. In Sunday’s Speed competition, Helen Gillett claimed the women’s championship while Joe Goodacre took first on the men’s side. Full climbing results can be found here – Boulder Bash (, Speed Comp (

The Boulder Bash competition traditionally draws in well-known climbers as the event is a favorite among the climbing community. Thanks to a $20,000 grant Dominion Energy Riverrock received from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) VA250 Tourism Marketing Program, new climbing holds were purchased for the competition. These holds made the competition highly technical and created a unique environment that helped Dominion Energy Riverrock continue to provide a world-class climbing experience.

The grant helped maximize Sports Backers’ marketing efforts and helped market the festival to first-time and past festival-goers alike. Sports Backers has successfully grown all of the 2022/2023 events by a 4-12% participation rate and the same held true for Dominion Energy Riverrock.

“We’re so excited to have this opportunity to reinvest in the marketing for Dominion Energy Riverrock thanks to the Virginia Tourism Corporation,” said Ashlee Snider, Director of Marketing for Sports Backers. “We know that the outdoor amenities in Richmond are special and the festival provides a truly unique way for visitors near and far to soak in all that Richmond has to offer. We love the way the festival brings people together through a shared sense of adventure and we were ready to welcome a new group of visitors to the area and show them all we have happening here in Richmond, and at Dominion Energy Riverrock.”

Other crowd favorites at Dominion Energy Riverrock included the Subaru Ultimate Air Dogs, and Slackline. The Belle Isle Blitz took place on Friday evening with 428 finishers, while the James River Scramble (10kish) Trail Run had 480 finishers on Saturday morning, and Sunday’s Bust the Banks Trail Half Marathon had 187 finishers. Some participants took the weekend trail running to the extreme and completed the Trail Takedown challenge – selecting to run two of the three distances. The MTB Time Trail on Friday evening had 42 finishers, and the MTB Enduro on Saturday afternoon had 81 finishers.

Kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, slacklining, and bouldering were among the activities that festival attendees of all ages were able try throughout the duration of the event free of charge in the Adventure Zones.

For more information about Dominion Energy Riverrock or for full results from each of the events, please visit The event will return to Brown’s Island May 17-19, 2024.




About Dominion Energy Riverrock

Dominion Energy Riverrock, organized by Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, began in 2009 and is now the nation’s premier outdoor sports and lifestyle festival, bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The event was designed to promote Richmond’s unique urban environment and setting to outdoor enthusiasts. As a result of the creation of Dominion Energy Riverrock, there is a stronger appreciation for the value of outdoor recreation throughout the entire Richmond region. Learn more at

About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at


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