NEON Festival

The 7th Annual NEON Festival will take place on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21, 2022 from 6-10pm in Norfolk’s first official arts district, the NEON District. The NEON Festival is a free two evening event that encourages visitors to explore and discover the NEON District. The festival celebrates the energy in NEON and draws from the passion and creativity in Downtown and the region. Anchored by the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House and extending to The Plot on Granby Street, the NEON District includes many creative small businesses and arts partners that contribute to the festivities. Have a look at the entertainment planned for the festival, our frequently asked questions, the new public art on display, and our sponsors.

Click here for a map of the NEON District.


Some of Norfolk’s brightest musicians, comedians and performance artists will converge on the NEON to energize streets and stages throughout the district. Thursday, October 20 the festival enlivens the Chrysler Museum of Art campus while on Friday, October 21 the activities center around The Plot and Granby Street businesses. Make sure to swing by d’Art Center, Commune, The Neon House and the Copeland Center for pop-up art galleries, The Plot for main stage entertainment, Push Comedy for belly laughs and the Cofer Lot for DJ sets and interactive art.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

  • 6pm - 8:30pm The Human Library

7pm - 8pm Heard Productions Listening Party

5pm - 8pm Norfolk Public Schools Exhibition and Printmaking Demo

5pm - 9pm Lil Truck of Tools
6:45pm - 7pm Marysa Soul Meditation
7pm - 8pm Bhav Brigade Glow Yoga
7pm - 9pm Light Man

6:30pm & 8pm Norfolk Tour Company Art Tours leaving from the front steps
7pm - 8pm Danny Jams on the front steps
8pm - 10pm Glass After Dark with Stage Select

Friday, October 21, 2022

  • 6pm - 6:15pm Virginia Opera

  • 6:20pm - 6:55pm Tony Rivera flamenco guitar

  • 7pm - 7:10pm The Governor’s School for the Arts Dance

  • 7:15pm - 7:25pm So Seriouz Dance Company

  • 7:30pm - 7:50pm Teens with a Purpose

  • 8pm - 8:55pm Infinite Flava

  • 9pm - 10pm MASS FX

6pm - 10pm Beer Garden with Smartmouth Brewing Company, Arts @ ODU, Youth Earn and Learn, and VisitNorfolk
6pm - 7pm GSA Chalk Art & Arm Tattoos
6pm - 10pm Lil Truck of Tools
6pm - 10pm 757 Street Art Battle
6:30pm & 8pm Norfolk Tour Company Art Tours leaving from Cementiscope

  • 5:45pm - 6pm Gourmandizing Mural Ribbon Cutting, Olney Road

  • 6pm - 8pm Hat-tober, Stark & Legum

  • 6pm - 10pm AIGA SPARK poster contest, Magazine Lane

  • 6pm - 10pm UVIR Studio's The Box lighting installation, Magazine Lane

  • 6:30pm - 6:45pm The Governor’s School for the Arts Dance, Magazine Lane

  • 6pm-9:30pm Free Improv Shows at Push Comedy Theater

  • 6:30pm - 9pm Fretomology, Slone Chiropractic parking lot

  • 7pm - 9pm Light Man, wandering The Plot and around the neighborhood

  • 7pm - 10pm UMA Shufflers, The Plot and around the neighborhood

  • 7:30pm - 7:40pm The Governor’s School for the Arts Dance, Magazine Lane

6pm - 8pm Bryson Jett
6pm - 10pm Community Gallery featuring Dathan Kane exhibition and NEON artists

  • 6pm - 6:30pm The Governor’s School for the Arts Jazz Band

  • 6:40pm - 7:20pm Captive Birds

  • 7:30pm - 8:30pm Freddy Hall

  • 9pm - 10pm Penny & the Pablos

  • 6pm - 10pm Gourmandizing Exhibition featuring The Governor’s School for the Arts, Teens with a Purpose and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

6pm - 10pm Community Gallery Featuring ODU Pottery Sale, ODU Sculpture, Miguel Dominado Live Portraits, Norfolk Collegiate Lower School Students and NEON artists
6pm - 7pm James Manno
7:15pm - 8:30pm Jared Farrell
8:45pm - 10pm TA Gatling & the Guns

6pm - 10pm Community Gallery Featuring Norfolk State University’s Adiaphorous Exhibition and NEON artists
6pm - 6:15pm Hurrah Players present The Lion King
6:30pm - 7:55pm Chan Hall Experience
8pm - 9pm ODU Writers in Community Poetry Reading

6pm - 10pm DISCOVERY Exhibition & Silent Auction
6pm - 7:30pm Dîner en Coleur
6:30pm - 7:30pm Mosquito Cabaret
7:30pm - 8:30pm DJ Elijah3WO
8pm - 9pm UMA Shufflers
8:30pm - 10pm Sunnyside Collective

6pm - 10pm Beer Garden with Smartmouth Brewing Company, ODU Blacksmithing, TCC Glassblowing, TCC Culinary tastings, and Food for Thought with WHRO
6pm - 6:45pm TCC Blue Moon Jazz Band
7pm - 7:45pm Bay River Band
8pm - 8:45pm Along Those Lines
9pm - 9:45pm TCC Blue Moon Jazz Band


Wander through the neighborhood and discover tiny art happenings, large-scale murals and pops of neon color and light. See works on walls by celebrated international artists like Matthew McGuiness, and local heroes like Hanna Kirby and Carl Medley III. See all of the new public art projects for 2022.

Matthew McGuiness and Governor’s School for the Arts Students, 2022

The Governor’s School for the Arts hosted a series of workshops with London-based artist Matthew McGuiness for six weeks in the spring of 2022 working with visual arts students to research the theme, "A History of Lunchtime in Norfolk".

In these workshops, Matthew and the Gourmandizing team encouraged and directed the students towards desk and field research that culminated in a range of historical content, contemporary stories, sentimental quips and anecdotes pertaining to lunch. Matthew helped the students make sense of the story and uncover and synthesize their findings into artwork. In the fall of 2022, these individual pieces were woven together into a mural in the NEON District (painted by Matthew and the students) and a zine that illustrates the student body's findings, process and final makings. Click here to read more about Gourmandizing projects.Located on the side of a longstanding family-owned business in the NEON, the Virginia Furniture Company at 745 Granby Street, the mural is aesthetically pleasing and informative, with images of food and ingredients from local cuisine. The mural is presented by The Monument Companies and Legend Property Group with support from PRA Group and The Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation.

Victoria Jensen and Asiko-oluwa Aderin, 2022

Two Fine Art students from Norfolk State University were selected for a large-scale mural at the northern gateway into the NEON neighborhood, on the rear wall of Ghent Grab & Go and Golden Fortune Chinese. Asiko-oluwa Aderin is an undergraduate student in NSU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program, with a concentration in Graphic Design. Her works, expressed through digital and acrylic media, focus on appreciating black aesthetics and embracing one’s cultural heritage. Victoria Jensen is a graduate student in NSU’s Master of Fine Arts program, specializing in a variety of digital and traditional media that explores her Dominican and European heritage through food.

Their design illustrates the warm feelings that food and the creation of evoke within an individual. The mural reimagines realistic ingredients in a graphic flare that highlights the movement of each food item, visualizing their energy. The mural is presented by The Royal Team and Larandon’s Homes.

Hanna Kirby, 2022

Virginia Beach artist Hanna Kirby was selected to create a new mural design for the rotating art space on the rear of a NEON District billboard. An illustrator, graphic designer, painter, chef, exhibition designer and muralist, Hanna holds an B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in Painting and Printmaking.

“Pink Neon” was inspired by the vibrancy of the NEON District. The patchwork design and vintage style antique lightbulbs represent the history and individuality of the area. See more of Hanna's work here.

Julian Haskins, Ray Johnson, Carl Medley III and Mike Watts, 2022

In 2017, Work Program Architects, Downtown Norfolk Council and Sway Creative Labs joined forces to create an artistic sign package for NEON that included pedestrian signs, gateway fixtures and sidewalk "breadcrumbs" to lead visitors around the neighborhood. Two custom fabricated steel signs were placed on Olney Road and Grace Street with attraction listings and windows designed to display local artists' work, rotating out every other year. The 2022 signs feature works by Carl Medley III, Ray Johnson, Julian Haskins and Mike Watts.

Norfolk Public School Elementary Students, 2022

Norfolk Public Schools and the NEON District collaborated with the condo owners of the Grey Building to create a rotating window gallery space, providing young artists in grades Kindergarten through 12 a place to exhibit their works in the community. NPS art students are passionate and NPS teachers work tirelessly to train and hone all of the students’ unique art styles. They all welcome the opportunity to celebrate the artistic achievements of all of the young scholars. NPS’ hardworking, dedicated students earned the illumination of their labor, so let’s all shine a light on them, as they are our future.



Got a question about the NEON Festival? We’ve got answers! From parking to programming, expand the questions below for insights to make your NEON Festival experience a memorable one! For anything not covered or more information, you can contact us here.

NEON is an acronym for New Energy of Norfolk, which represents the energetic and creative community of Norfolk’s arts district.

Please contact for more information about the NEON District and the NEON Festival.

Yes! Please click here to sign up for a volunteer shift on Friday, October 21, 2022. We need beer pourers, festival guides and more!

Thursday, October 20 the festival runs from 5pm-10pm. The Chrysler Museum is open late 5pm-9pm and the Chrysler Glass Studio is open 8pm-10pm for Glass After Dark. Friday, October 21 the festival runs from 6pm-10pm on Granby Street and at The Plot.

The NEON Festival is a great place to bring kids for early evening festivities. There will be live music, arts and crafts, and other fun activities for kids and families.

Yes, the NEON Festival’s events are all free and open to the public.

Great question! There are three new murals and many small art projects on view throughout the district. You can find all of the new art here and a complete listing of the schedule here.

Parking is available at the Harrison Opera House parking lot, at the Chrysler Museum of Art and on the street through the district. There are also numerous nearby parking garages in Downtown Norfolk.


The NEON Festival could not be possible every year without the generosity of our amazing sponsors: