For the second year in a row, fog hung low over the FloydFest site as the three-day music festival got underway just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Patrick County.
Yes, FloydFest is actually in Patrick, not Floyd, County but it’s a minor detail.
The campgrounds and RV parks are sold out for this year’s event and even though the stages were often obscured with fog, the crowd started arriving in time for Friday’s 4 p.m. opening with the Kusin Ensemble (left) and the sounds of music spilled into the fog from the event’s seven stages (even though it was not always possible to see the stage.
But FloydFest is more than just the music on stage. It’s a people show as attendees dance to the music (above) or try an little interpretive dance with a hula hoop (right).
Some in the crowd seem to have trouble realizing the 60s ended more than 30 years ago. Yet the nostalgia is there, mixed in among the smells of incense and marijuana. On the road leading into the festival, I followed a VW microbus with a psychedelic paint job and a peace symbol on the rear.
But a fair share of aging yuppies could be spotted among the graying ponytails and tie-dyed shirts. Call it a summer music festival, call it Woodstock revisited, call it whatever you want. FloydFest has its own unique style.
The weather forecast calls for more fog and rain on Saturday but clearing is forecast for late in the afternoon with cool but dry weather in the evening and cloudy but clear on Sunday. Fog along the Blue Ridge Parkway made driving difficult Friday and is expected to hamper visibility Saturday morning but the fog should clear by noon (if you can believe the weather forecasters).
Donna the Buffalo highlights Saturday’s night performance on the Dreaming Creek Stage with Ani Defranco closing things out on the same stage Sunday night but the festival inclues dozens of musical acts on the various stages over the next two days along with workshops, arts, crafts, food and exhibits.
A number of local musicians play as well, including bluesman Scott Perry and traditional balladiers Brother Wind. Some complain about the cost of tickets (about $45 a day each) but given the number of musical acts playing on the various stages plus the other attractions,
FloydFest is actually a bargain. And if it continues to rain? "No problem," says event organizer Erika Hodges. "We’ve got weather insurance."