Jackson Browne brings record opening-day crowd to FloydFest

Vintage rocker Jackson Browne gave FloydFest a record opening day crowd Thursday night as more than 11,000 streamed into the event and the 11th year of the music festival that is now a permanent fixture along the Blue Ridge Parkway was underway.

Browne banned media photography during his performance so we can’t show you any photos of his set.  That was a sharp contrast to the young Jackson Browne show sat who streteched out on the grass near the amphitheater at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and talked with me about music before his appearance as the front act for America at the Mississippi River Festival in 1973.

But FloydFest is about enjoying the show, not about whether or not newspaper photographers can get close to the state and shoot photos and the near-sellout crowd that flocked to Thursday night’s show saw a great show and a resounding kickoff to the next four days of music, arts, food, nature and fun.

The crowd included those old enough to remember Browne’s hits like “Running on Empty” and many young enough to say “Jackson who?”  But FloydFest — with its ever-expanding array of musical acts, family-oriented entertainment, vendors new-this-year — nature hikes — has something for all ages and persuasions.  Some of us with too gray in the beards and girth around the waist were running on empty by the end of a long, hot first day.

Some break from the heat today and the possibility of a thundershower or two but the weekend outlook is good and cooler temperatures will prevail.

See you at the show.

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