At FloydFest, people are the real show

The acts and the atmosphere brought the crowds to FloydFest but the people who came were also a big part of the show
(Photos, video by Doug Thompson)

I covered FloydFest for The Floyd Press and other media outlets for 14 years (2004-2018). In many ways, the summer festival reminded me of The Mississippi River Festval, which ran for 10 years at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. I covered it from start to finish The Telegraph was a daily ib the Illlinois side of the St. Louis metro area in the 1970s.

FloydFest runs for four or five days in July. MRF ran for the Spring and Summer Months.

At MRF, the actsc included The Who. The Eag;es. Credence Clearwater Revival, the Band and others. At Floydfest, I saw Levon Helm, drummer and one of the key musiicians in The Bend in one of his last convcerts before he died.

At FloydFest, the attendees provided as much a show as the acts. I often found better stories in interviews of fans from other areas of the country who came to Floyd just for the festival. Their fun was infectious.

I hear from the musicns from time to time. John Fogerty from Credence. Liked a photo ofr their show in St. Louis that was in Rolling Stone. Levon Helm remembered The Band Conert at MRF when Bob Dylan sjpwed up unannounced the played with the group. The Band and Dylan worked toather for the album “Music from Big Pink” in New York and we taked about that at FloydFest. His talking was difficult because of head and neck cancer and he died in April, 2014..

The video above tried to show the fans over the years. Working on both festivals was unplanned. I had joined The Telegraph just before the Mississippi River Festival in 1959 and we weren’t set to move to Floyd, were I had attended Floyd County in the 1950s but my mother’s declining health needed attenton, so we moved here in 2004, right after FloydFest began.

Great memories from both.

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