Let’s face it: LOCKN’ Festival 2016 was one for the ages. With a stellar lineup, beautiful weather, a great location, and an excited audience, the weekend went (mostly) without a hitch, and provided the perfect platform for the musicians to deliver their best performances. Whether you came to Arrington, VA for Ween, or Umphrey’s McGee, or Gary Clark Jr., or Phish there was something for everyone at this year’s LOCKN’.With that in mind, we wanted to showcase some of the best moments of the festival by bringing back our festival awards! See below for our winners, and congrats to all involved with LOCKN’ for an absolutely epic weekend.MVPs – My Morning JacketMy Morning Jacket simply obliterated LOCKN’. Leading up to the festival, everyone was talking about Phish and Ween and Phil Lesh & Friends, and seemingly every other band on the lineup; it appeared that MMJ had simply gotten lost in the mix. Boy, did they blow the roof off the joint on Saturday night. Playing a set filled with their best live anthems, the band turned heads and demanded respect as they worked through a lengthy 18-song setlist on Saturday night at LOCKN’. The response was nothing short of euphoric, and MMJ walked away from the festival with the of a huge amount of new fans. While they delivered standout versions of “Steam Engine”, “Lay Low”, and “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Part II”, the real meat of the show came with MMJ’s aptly placed covers. Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” were both busted out to huge applause, and David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” and Burt Bacharach’s classic ballad “What the World Needs Now Is Love” made their debuts at LOCKN’. Fans could be heard singing the covers all over the festival for the remainder of the weekend, showing the power this band has when at their best. Long live My Morning Jacket, and we hope you come back to LOCKN’ soon!Watch their full performance from this incredible show below, courtesy of YouTube user GratefuLSD25 .5Best Overall Improv: “Ghost” > “Bathtub Gin”, PhishThis award could be given to many bands at LOCKN’. The jamming by Tedeschi Trucks band was superb, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead blew people’s minds with their patented take on the Grateful Dead, and Umphrey’s McGee melted faces left and right on Thursday night. However, it was Phish’s “Ghost” > “Bathtub Gin” from Friday night’s show that truly won the weekend. The band was locked and loaded during this back-to-back improvisational punch, delivering a tight major key jam in “Ghost” that was replaced with a minor-key jam in in “Bathtub Gin”, and found guitarist Trey Anastasio delivering screeching lead licks into the night sky. This moment of improv seemed perfectly directed at all of the overly-opinionated fans who are convinced that Phish can’t deliver a top-notch improv moment at a large festival: sorry, you’re wrong, and “Ghost” > “Gin” proves it!Watch “Ghost” from LOCKN’ Festival below, courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a.Watch “Bathtub Gin” from LOCKN’ Festival below, courtesy of YouTube user, Papa John.Best Tease: “Bathtub Gin” during “Shakedown Street” by Joe Russo’s Almost DeadThe energy at Almost Dead’s set on Friday night was palpable. After a raucous Thursday night late night set, the band returned for an even later show on Friday, beginning at 1:30am and playing until around 4:00am. The show featured one hit after the other, as the Almost Dead busted out some of the best songs in the Grateful Dead’s catalog.The entire show was essentially one big highlight, with “Dancin In The Street”, “Music Never Stopped”, and “Throwing Stones” all providing huge launchpads for the band to explode off of, and a raging “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider” segment found the audience howling into the night sky with excitement. However, one moment early on in the set took the crowd by surprise and set the tone for the entire performance: during the a huge “Shakedown Street”, Russo & Co. clearly and heavily teased Phish’s “Bathtub Gin” (twice!), and the entire audience exploded with energy and excitement. After Phish’s epic “Gin” earlier in the evening, this tease was gorgeous, and definitely encapsulated the playful energy of LOCKN’. Watch Almost Dead crush “Shakedown Street”, complete with “Bathtub Gin” teases, at their Friday night set at LOCKN’, courtesy of YouTube user ColoradoJohnsons.Biggest Intentional WTF Moment: Ween, Thursday nightOK, let’s talk about Ween. Their set on Thursday night was met with many a mixed review, with hardcore Ween fans loving the set, and many newcomers walking away perplexed by the evening’s headliner. After seeing their set on Friday–filled with all of the band’s biggest hits and a tighter, higher energy set–it became clear that Ween intentionally played a set of deep, random cuts on Thursday evening as a nod to their most hardcore fans, and as a big middle-finger of sorts towards their new potential-hippie-fans. Sure this was LOCKN’, a jam band festival at heart, and sure they played on a lineup with jam-titans like Phish, Phil Lesh, Umphrey’s McGee, and Tedeschi Trucks band, however Ween really blew expectations out of the water in the way that only Ween can. You either loved it or you hated it, and chances are that was what Gener and Deaner were talkin’ about all along.Watch Ween’s set from LOCKN’ on Thursday night below (courtesy of YouTube user GratefuLSD 25 .5) and judge for yourself.Breakthrough Performance: KhruangbinWhen Khruangbin was added to the lineup, many people were scratching their heads. Who is this band and what’re they all about? Well, fans who made it over to The Woods on Saturday night were treated to a remarkable breakthrough performance filled with smooth and funky jams. The band mixes Thai funk music with surf-rock sounds to create a vintage vibe that most bands would kill to create. The jams were funky and energetic, and created the perfect psychedelic bliss required to crush a late night performance in The Woods. Khruangbin will only go up from here, so anyone who caught their LOCKN’ late night can consider themselves lucky.Check out this video below from Instagram user mirastryker, and familiarize yourself with Khruangbin A video posted by Miranda S (@mirastryker) on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:41am PDT Most Third-Eye Opening Performance: LettuceWhen the LOCKN’ lineup dropped, the festival was filled with a who’s who of psychedelic bands. From Phish to My Morning Jacket to Phil Lesh & Friends, the festival was jam-packed with mega-talent. Who knew that our old pals Lettuce would take the cake with the trippiest set of the weekend? Following social media posts from drummer Adam Deitch and guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff promising the most psychedelic set of their careers (partially inspired by Phish’s presence), the band delivered in a huge way. Stretching out almost all of their songs into huge jams. The boys in Lettuce performed an incredible set of music at the Blue Ridge Bowl on Saturday night, providing the freak-out dance party that everyone was hoping for. Lettuce showed that they can jam with the best of them this past weekend at LOCKN’, and kudos to them for being able to shift their sound to appease their audienceWatch Lettuce crush this improv-laden version of “Phyllis” from LOCKN’ below. Courtesy of YouTube user j cornellBest Debut Performance: Circles Around The SunCircles Around The Sun did not disappoint. After the high-profile debut of their music at last year’s Fare Thee Well shows, fans were chomping at the bit to see the band in a live setting. They certainly met expectations, as Circles delivered a psychedelic masterpiece on Friday, late night in The Woods of LOCKN’. Described by one fan in the crowd as sounding like “acid in musical form”, the band performed a set dripping with psychedelia, as Neal Casal and co. announced themselves to the world with a huge debut performance. Check out some fan-shot footage below, and get ready for more Circles Around The Sun!Watch a fan-shot portion of the first ever Circles Around The Sun performance, courtesy of YouTube user CFinn816Best Cover: “Peg” by Steely Dan, performed by Vulfpeck w/ Antwuan StanleyAhhhhh Vulfpeck. The kings of 2016 huffed, and they puffed, and the blew LOCKN’ away with their easy-going funk vibes and non-stop attempts at humor. The band, who performed the first main stage set of the weekend, wasted no time getting down to business, as they brought frequent collaborator Antwuan Stanley to the stage for a few of his songs with the band. The highlight of his appearance, was a raucous cover of Steely Dan‘s “Peg”, which really got the crowd moving. With Umphrey’s McGee on the bill next, there were tons of jazz and progressive rock fans in the audience, so a Steely Dan cover felt right at home with Vulfpeck on Thursday night, and the band truly set the tone for the whole weekend with this uplifting performance.Watch Vulfpeck’s whole set from night one at LOCKN’ below (skip to 32:15 for their cover of “Peg”).Runner-Up: “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Burt Bacharach, performed by My Morning JacketThis moment was so great, it deserves its own award. The Jacket had just finished a blistering version of “Steam Engine” when Jim James stepped to the front of the stage to belt out the classic ballad Burt Bacharach ballad “What The World Needs Now Is Love”. James took a second from the song to address the crowd, saying: “Alright y’all, sing it with us! Feel the power; the world needs love, the world’s a crazy place right now, we need to let each other know how much we love each other, regardless of race, regardless of creed, regardless of sexual orientation, we need as much love as we can get! And we love you guys and we’re glad to be here with you.”A truly powerful moment indeed, and one that perfectly matched the loving vibes of LOCKN’.Watch My Morning Jacket perform Burt Bacharach’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love”, courtesy of YouTube user EasyMorningRebel 665Best Sit In: Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi w/ Phil & Friends, “Mr. Charlie” and “Sugaree”With anticipation at an all-time high, LOCKN’s resident grandpa, Phil Lesh, turned in guest-heavy sets on both Saturday and Sunday. While Anders Osborne, Gary Clark Jr., Chris Robinson, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman all had their moments to shine with Phil, it was the sit-in by Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi that stands out the most. Tedeschi and Trucks were both on fire, adding their incredible vocals and guitar prowess, respectively, to the mix. “Mr. Charlie” was fun, and “Sugaree” very powerful, and, after witnessing Derek and Susan’s expertise with Lesh and his friends on Saturday at LOCKN’, it’s clear to see why Tedeschi Trucks band has become such a powerhouse.Watch “Mr. Charlie”, courtesy of YouTube user rdeal1999.Watch “Sugaree”, courtesy of YouTube user rdeal1999.Best Collaboration: Twiddle w/ Keller Williams, “Best Feeling”Twiddle have been on a tear recently, gaining tons of new fans along the way as they’ve gone from regional up-and-comers to rising stars on a national level. The band has gained a ton of attention and a ton of new followers, Recently, new fan Page McConnell sat in with Twiddle at their Tumble Down event in Burlington, VT, and LOCKN’ saw the band joined by another one of its heroes, Keller Williams, to perform the excellent “Best Feeling”. Williams wrote “Best Feeling” in the 90s with the String Cheese Incident, who headlined every edition of LOCKN’ in the past, so the collaboration was a great fit for LOCKN’. “Best Feeling” was an excellent way to kick off the festival’s third day, and gave fans of the String Cheese Incident a chance to let loose. Kudos to Twiddle and Keller for really pulling this one off, and also special shout out to Twiddle keyboardist Ryan Dempsey, who asked for Trey Anastasio’s permission to marry his girlfriend over the weekend (he said yes, and so did she)!Watch Keller Williams perform his classic “Best Feeling” with Twiddle, courtesy of YouTube user Todd Teer.Best Dance Party – DJ Logic “Jazz & Woods”If you needed to dance until the wee hours of the morning, you were at The Woods for DJ Logic’s late night “Jazz & Woods” sets on Saturday and Sunday. Taking jazz music and turning it on its head with pure disco vibes, DJ Logic provided the most fun dance party of the weekend. Each night, the thumping beats could be heard echoing across the festival grounds, and fans were attracted to the beats like moths to a light. In a festival that’s all about the jams, this electronic dance party felt like the perfect escape.Best Overall Night – Saturday – Phil Lesh & Friends > Tedeschi Trucks Band > My Morning Jacket > Khruangbin > LettuceLet’s just take a second to thank the organizers of LOCKN’ for such an epic weekend of music. Thursday’s Vulfpeck, Umphrey’s McGee, Ween combo was excellent, Friday’s Ween, Phish and Almost Dead trio melted faces, and Sunday’s Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phil Lesh & Friends, Gary Clark Jr., and Phish lineup really made for a magical end to the weekend. However, it was Saturday that took the cake.On Saturday, Galactic brought their New Orleans funk vibe to LOCKN’, and Hard Working Americans delivered a raging late-afternoon set. Phil Lesh recruited Joe Russo, Jon Fishman, Page McConnell, Anders Osborne, and the Infamous Stringdusters for a set of Grateful Dead classics, and Tedeschi Trucks Band gifted fans with a remarkable performance that featured incredible jamming as well as covers of Derek & The Dominos (“Keep on Growing”) and the Beatles (“Within You Without You). My Morning Jacket then graced the stage with their unbelievable live show, which was followed by the pure psychedelia of Khruangbin and the power-funk of Lettuce. All in all, the night was a massive success and it felt perfectly curated. Saturday was a pure showcase of the diversity of the improvisational music scene, and it was a true gift to anyone who was in attendance.What’d you think were the best moments of LOCKN’ Festival 2016? Let us know!