FloydFest followup

072913floydfestFloydFest 12 is now in the books although the music continued well into the night Sunday, past the original closing time and some campers remain on the site and cars are still in the parking lots today.

Was FloydFest 12 a success? Yes, in many ways it was. Record crowds from the event’s first complete sellout of all four days, a varied lineup of bands with a lot of appeal to younger attendees, enthusiastic responses from many of the attendees.

Yes, there were problems, from long backups at new offsite parking lots from the beginning. Some said it took three, four or even more hours to get from the parking lot to the festival’s front gates. Some said they had to wait so long for shuttles that they missed the primary band they came to see.

Complaints also centered on portable johns that some said were not serviced as often as needed, vendors with prices that appeared much higher than last year and the increased cost for parking angered some.

When rains flooded campsites and turned parking areas into mud pits, the complaints increased. More than a few packed up and went home.

Many weathered the storms and promised to be back next year. Others said this was their last FloydFest. Such is the nature of large, complex events that bring 15,000 people to a rural site in the Blue Ridge Mountains for each of four days in the summer.

Some critics claimed local vendors were shut out this year. But many of the tents and booths at FloydFest featured local businesses: The Republic of Floyd, Green Label clothing, Red Rooster Coffee Shop. Dogtown Pizza served up food. So did other local eateries. Some claimed the prices were too high.

With the actual site of the festival in Patrick County, some claim FloydFest is not a true Floyd event but the sponsoring company is a Floyd outfit, most of the volunteers and staff are local and Floyd businesses say they enjoyed a brisk four days of business during the festival.

Is FloydFest a hippie event? Not really. Attendees range from young people to middle-agers who have never owned a tie-dyed shirt or a hash pipe. Over a dozen years, the festival has evolved into a family event. Yes, the alternative lifestylers are present. So are doctors, lawyers, cops, ministers and local farmers.

The complaints will be addressed by FloydFest officials. Things that happened this year are a public relations nightmare for anyone. But FloydFest is part of Floyd and will be so for a long time.


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13 thoughts on “FloydFest followup”

  1. I went this year and went for all 4 days. It rained, it was muddy, eh what are you going to do? Everyone was trying their best to help people out in the parking lots, especially on sundays (thank you to all the farmers who came out with tractors!!!) my real problem was with the volunteers communication skills. I know they are volunteers so I do not fault them, but I do fault Floydfest. those people trying to organize the shuttle lines knew no more on what was going on than those who were in it. GET THEM A WALKIE TALKIE!! just one example at one point we were told if you only had carry on to go to the front of the line when another guy told us you had to wait in line with people checking ALL their camping equipment.

    Great music, unfortunate weather.

  2. Can we mention a few other things. Staff members helping people who were clearly under the influence, no check in for ticket holders who got a drop off at the festival, staff memebers who were catering to VIP’s instead of people in need, prices on things in the Floyd store went up after Saturday, renegade towing operations (now how is this possible with Floyd Fest employees at parking gates?)The biggest downfall to this all is yes the greed of the parking. $11 last year for parking. This year $17 online, and $20 at the gate, and no money went to charities. Not quite sure the people of Floyd County will be as welcoming to everyone invading their town for a money grab in the next few years because that’s what it was. If anyone talked to any of the locals like I did, they were not happy about any of it. In years past, they were very cordial.

  3. The venue and music were great. An awesome spectacle, with a soundtrack!

    The parking / shuttling was a disaster, however anyone who thinks that the old parking system could have handled that rainfall is just kidding themselves. +1000 Cars + pasture + 2″ rain = mud bog.

    • Hi Bob,
      Just a thought, and I don’t think I’m kidding myself, but the fields that had been used in the past would have the advantage of yearly compaction. Part of what made the new parking areas a muddy disaster was they had not been compacted by traffic before. No, the old parking areas weren’t big enough for the inflated number of attendees, but if the number of attendees had been kept to what had worked in the past, alot of these complications wouldn’t have happened. The most heartbreaking thing for me was seeing the horrible scarring of the earth from this nightmare.

      • Really? Scarring of the earth? How about the handicapped folks who were told no for rides on the golf carts because they were shuttling VIP people. There shouldn’t even be a VIP section at Floyd Fest. The only thing that creates is a napoleon complex for people who feel like since they spend more money they get everything they want. This festival is busted. Linda, you need to practice being nicer to people. Miss festival organizer.

      • The soil in this part of the Blue Ridge is rich in minerals that swell with water and turn to mud slop. This is made even worst when cars crush grass, churn soil to dust, and the dust turns liquid with water. With a discing and seed those fields will look like new by the first frost.

        The point is that when you have a bunch of cars parking in fields this is what will happen. My sense is that FF needs to expand the mobilization in, and out across 10 days so that people can wait for a proper weather window, and time for the ground to firm back up. Slow down, you are in Floyd!

        For those of us who come and go to the Fest each day, the situation just sucks. The remote parking lots were a disaster waiting to happen. But this is a very challenging venue, so I have sympathy for ATW. There is so much that is right about FloydFest.

        • Slow down, you are in Floyd? How about, “Slow down, you are on earth”? Do you know how long it takes to create an inch of top soil? And this was the solution, to plow the top soil off the muddy parking lots as if were snow? Just saying, alot of damage to one of our most precious resources. And I agree, Farmer Brown, the handicap folks being denied a ride because the VIP’s needed the carts first; that is indeed heartbreaking as well. Just as what I witnessed at the Libations tent on main stage right Saturday morning: folks in their garbage bags, wanting a dry space to warm up in, having waited in a very long line in the mud to get a hot cup of coffee, being denied access to a dry space because they had a cup of coffee in their hands. I got the message that the priority was to make $$$, not to take care of people who were cold, wet, risking a fall while trying to walk through the mud and then given the official announcement from the main stage that they weren’t allowed to leave.

  4. There were no parking problems last year. The field on Black Ridge Road owned by the winery has been donated to Floyd Cares charity for 13 years with tens of thousands of dollars going to help Floyd and its people.
    FloydFest organizers took the parking away because they wanted even more money. Seems they have forgotten their community for all mighty dollar.

  5. With the sheer amount of rain that this area has been having this summer, the organizers should have been aware of the potential problems that would occur with parking. There should be no excuses such as “How were they supposed to know it would rain this much?” They should have known because the previous weekend there were storms that caused flash-flood warning all over SW VA. This has been happening all summer. They should have checked the field conditions, prepared them if they intended to still use them, or come up with a proper back-up plan to implement BEFORE the rain started. The ground has been saturated for weeks, this should not have surprised anyone (especially any company who should be employed to source out proper venues for camping and parking)
    Not to mention multiple people (including my group) were confronted with rude people working in the parking lots. The attendant in Alpha lot “What do I care, I am still getting paid.” when asked if they were going to put up signs for directing people to not come to the lot. He said similar to someone else asking for directions to the high school.

  6. Signs should have been posted WELL BEFORE the turn off for the “Alpha” lots which required cars to travel down rutted muddy dirt roads only to have to turn around in ditches and head back 35 minutes to Floyd. The warnings were not posted on Facebook for a full 20 minutes until after we had already been turned away, plus who is driving and looking at facebook anyway (hopefully no one since it is illegal)
    No one checked tickets (people just told us to walk to the main building to get bracelets, but be honest we could go anywhere we wanted if we wanted. And despite “bag check” warnings, none happened so people were bringing in 12 packs or more. I understand sneaking things in, but an entire backpack full of beer or people who just printed off an extra ticket for a friend (since they weren’t scanning them) could have added more problems.

  7. We were at FF for six days. Wed arrival, left Mon. The rain was a problem. The shuttles were a problem. The parking was a problem. The bathrooms were a problem. SURPRISE ! Sounds like last year and the year before that and the year before that. Welcome to FF ! What I am trying to say is when you try to get that many people, into that size of an area, for anything, there are going to be problems. You prepare, you make plans, you have a back up plan. You have to remember, problems are going to happen. You have to go with the mind set that this could take a while. Keep in mind, you are going to the same place as 15,000 other people. You are not going to a resort. Don’t get me wrong, they need to make some changes. They need to improve on some of the problems that can be fixed. And I beleive they will. They need to make sure that greed is not part of it and FF is there to help the local area and people. But I am sure it cost a lot to put on something like FF. So they need to make money or it will not happen again. Well, met some great people, heard some great music, and overall had a great time. Can’t wait till next year, see you there. I HOPE !

  8. Having attended a total of 6 FF’s I did not notice any real hike in vendor prices, the porta johns have ALWAYS been a problem but it did seem a little worse this year; not cleaned early, no T paper, the parking was a MAJOR problem.

    I had a great time Thursday and Friday, I chose not to go Saturday and Sunday because of the weather and parking. I already know I can not attend the whole event next year and if what I hear is true and there are only 4 day passes, I wont be there next year. I do hope FF gets things ironed out, it is a great event with great patrons, I would hate to see it cease to be.

  9. I really wanted to let my emotions calm before emailing or posting about this years Floydfest. This was my 6th and most disappointing experience. They should get zero blame for the rain and mud that occured Friday night and Saturday. However, the Thursday delta/ alpha lot fiasco made it seem like they had never put on a festival before. Emails from last year assured that they had doubled the shuttles and lines would not be a problem this year. The lines were longer than ever. Two things bothered me the most. One is that the event is really no longer family friendly. I can’t imagine bringing my son and daughter to wait in 3 (or more) hour lines just to get into the festival. Then again to return to our campsite. Secondly is that I was constantly worried I would get stuck in a 3 hour line at midnight and get to my tent at 3 or 4 AM. I would cut main acts short just to make sure I could get out. It wasnt relaxing like in years past. It sure feels like its a money grab now and they are not investing it to make the festival better. I will go back next year but its their last chance.

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