FloydFest 5 - Roots Alive kicks off July 27

The magic and beauty of the FloydFest vision is unparalleled. The profound purpose of the organizers and staff shines from corner to corner of the experience. So jump on the Blue Ridge parkway and come on down! FloydFest 5: ROOTS ALIVE!
By Lori McKinney

Music lovers like me are already getting the itch for that magic fix that is FloydFest, making its way to us slowly but surely... tick, tick tick... July 27, 2006! The glow I felt walking through the thick outer space fog on a magical three day journey last year is still swimming through my veins and has been all year: I am pumped to reenergize that part of my spirit.
FloydFest's aim of global consciousness is beautifully developed at this festival; from the global village to the eclectic lineup to the healing arts tents, the feeling of one world family can be experienced first hand, in real-time, not on a page in a poetry journal. Every element of a utopian world vision is artistically represented at this event. Every time you turn your head you say, "Yes! Yes!"

For organizer Kris Hodges, the festival is truly special because of its community base. Everyone that works on the festival is a member of the Floyd community, a fine, tight knit group of individuals working together to present this unique and ambient experience, expressing a universal awareness and way of life. There are so many issues out there, he says, and it's really about leading by example, promoting positivity and collective effort, living for something other than personal gain. He spoke of how the success of any vision for a better world is all about the will and diligence with which you work toward your goal. Floydfest is growing by 1,000 attendees each year, and the strong sense of community is a feeling guests share. There is even an online forum for members of the Floydfest family. I am a member and intend to return to the great reunion for years to come. "We've got our roots in the ground and we're here to stay," Hodges says.

This year's FloydFest, titled "Roots Alive," promises to be an unforgettable journey of the senses and spirit. With an extra Thursday evening of music with Railroad Earth added this year night and seven stages of genre-hopping, guests of all ages and musical tastes will be delighted. The vibe of Floydfest is in its eclecticism, featuring the utmost quality in world, bluegrass, reggae, folk, rock, jam, African and Appalachian music: from the stirred up bluegrass of Blue Mule to the "Sacred Steel" sound of the Lee Boys to the West African/rock-n-roll fusion of Toubab Krewe; from the jazz jam of Garaj Mahal to the broad global joy of Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble to the newgrass of the Avett Brothers; from the funky and creative eclecticity of Gabby La La to the virtuoso ukulele stylings of Jake Shimobukuro to the "polyethnic Cajun slamgrass" of the Drew Emmitt Band and the turbo powered madness of Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey. Capped by the acclaimed sounds of Donna the Buffalo and Los Lobos, Floydfest 2006 will once again be out-of-this-world.

Last year, Xavier Rudd exclaimed this was truly a spirit place, and he ain't lyin'. We danced to his pulsing rhythms like floating in clouds with ocean waves rocking us in the sky. Forgetting the world below us, traveling through space and time, that geographical point in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia felt like anywhere and everywhere in the world at that moment.

The ambiance of the festival couldn't be more exquisite. The featured arts and crafts on site are perfectly selected and paint the Floydfest scene with vibrancy. The setting is accentuated by the art of the festival deco crew, with magical touches around each corner, some bright and loud and others hidden like deep forest secrets.

In addition to the fine art and music, festival goers may sample micro brews in the wine and beer garden and ethnic cuisine from one of the many vendors. Guests may also participate in workshops, from Tai Chi to guitar. There is even a tent which plays host to a variety of dance workshops and performances.

The landscape of the FloydFest site is some of the most divine Blue Ridge Mountain scenery, seeping with the beautiful energy of Floyd, Virginia.

The spirit of a better world is thriving in the town of Floyd, where the roots are alive, passers-by wave, and tradition and progress coexist in harmony. The town is an example of an alternative to the corporately dominated modern formulas for success. Small farmers are still prospering, and townsfolk have access to fresh local milk, cheeses, grass fed beef and poultry, and organic produce from several community supported agriculture efforts. On Friday nights, the General Store is hopping, overflowing with bluegrass and old-time players of all ages. Also flourishing in town are several galleries and a flaring art community! This town is truly special and it makes perfect sense that it would spawn a festival of such essence.