The Tom Tom Festival starts Monday. It's a full week of art, concerts, talks and more. The majority of these events are free to the public and held at the Paramount Theater downtown.


Tom Tom Festival Director Paul Beyer said, "We are heading into our fifth annual year. It's Charlottesville's home-grown festival with music, art, innovation, food, and basically it's about Charlottesville as an entrepreneurial creative destination."


"So, we really just try to showcase the beauty of Charlottesville, the amazing downtown campus we have and do it with dozens of free concerts, talks, competitions that highlight our local entrepreneurs and local innovators. And also increasingly draw national attention," he added.


The Tom Tom Festival covers many different areas of interest. This year, it's added some new events to the festival.


Beyer said, "I think some of the new events I am most excited about, we have a Boyd Tinsley concert, founding member of the Dave Mathews Band, giving a free concert at the Paramount Theater on Tuesday night."


He continued, "That's very exciting. We have an Innovations in Athletics event where professional athletes and award-winning coaches share the insider, behind the scenes look at athletics, and training and nutrition and medicine."


That event will take place Thursday night at the Paramount Theater.


"We continue to have our major event being the Founders Summit, which is Friday at the Paramount Theater. It's a full day conference that tells the founding stories of artists and entrepreneurs from across the country."


Beyer added, "Overall, there's I think 50 events. It really covers the gambit of concerts, talks, competitions, showcases, public art installations, interactive fun that's good for families, late night parties. I mean, really, whatever you are looking for you'll probably find it at Tom Tom."


What does Beyer want people to take away from their experience at the Tom Tom Festival?


"I want folks to come away inspired to create things. That's the number one thing. Whether that's a creative project as an artist, or a business because you are entrepreneur and you've met the investor who is going to fund business or you've met your collaborator," said Beyer.


"I want real things to emerge out of it. I also just like people to have fun. And an awful lot of Tom Tom is activating public streets in new ways with block parties," he said.


Art is another huge part of the Tom Tom Festival.


Beyer said, "We do a mobile mural where the city transit lines are remade into murals. We do a lot of things that just inspire people to see their city as a place where they can create and they can do interesting things."


The Tom Tom Festival runs April 11 through April 17.