If the first FloydFest ever, 9 years ago, was 'groundbreaking' in its genre-defying globally-infused line-up (not to mention its meteoric rise from the humble one-stoplight-town of 'Floyd' Virginia) FloydFest 9, in 2010, is still "Breaking Ground." FloydFest re-images itself annually, unveiling new graphic artwork and a thematic tag line every December, with the advent of ticket sales for the new season (2009 was 'Revival', 2008 'A Family Affair'), and this year's theme of 'Breaking Ground' seems to have both literal and metaphoric meaning. Metaphoric in the sense that in its near-decade of existence, this festival has been nurtured and tended, willed into full flowery fruition, by the grassroots energies of its faithful followers, and literal in the sense that, with a strong emphasis this year on performance art, patrons will gasp in awe at the "dazzling public spectacle of daredevil acrobatics, pyrotechnics, and mastery of light, air and fire" that best describes Flam Chen theatre, a performance company based in Tucson, Arizona, that will be showcasing their considerable skills throughout the four day festival.
Over the years FloydFest has grown to near-capacity of its 80-acre venue off the Federally-owned Blue Ridge Parkway - accommodating more than 12,000 patrons and featuring no less than eight stages of music. The beautifully timber framed 'Dreaming Creek main stage' will this year host the Grammy award winner for best Traditional Folk album (and long time drummer and frequent vocalist for The Band) Levon Helm, as well as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, recently named one of the 'Best New Bands of 2010' by Rolling Stone magazine, as well as festival favorites Railroad Earth, to name a few. Throughout the weekend, action on other stages, which include an equally beautiful timber framed 'Hillholler' stage (which sits delightfully at the bottom of a natural bowl), a 'Blue Ridge to Bayou' dance tent, a funky 'Beer and Wine Garden Stage' a 'Global Village' stage and a traditional Appalachian 'Workshop Porch,' range from the likes of the funk/jazz trio Soullive, to west African instrumentalists Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, with a multitude of the hottest up-and-coming acts- Deer Tick, Low Anthem, Cornmeal, and a score of others- sandwiched in between.
FloydFest has a hard-fought and well-earned reputation as a uniquely family-friendly festival, which their policies of contained alcohol consumption and 'absolutely no drugs' help to preserve. In 2007 promoters locked horns with federal parkway officials over roadblocks that had been set up to stop festival-bound drivers, and which resulted in a number of vehicle searches. Unable to prove reasonable cause for the activity, however, Rangers were ordered by government administrators not to repeat the action, and FloydFest has carried on merrily with a uniquely diverse demographic of attendees and myriad of family entertainment offerings- from gaming tents to children's workshops, performances, and play equipment. Adult offerings do include a beautifully landscaped Beer and Wine Garden, which has its own dedicated stage, and which offers local wines by the glass and bottle and mico-brews from Starrhill, Magic Hat, Foothills and River Company Brewing.
In short, FloydFest is somewhere you can take your family and feel cool, where you can come for the music you know, and leave feeling like you've just discovered the next best new bands, where for four days in the heat of summer you can come to kick back, unwind, and recharge your artistic and eclectic tastes.
FloydFest's full 2010 roster includes: The Levon Helm Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Galactic featuring Corey Henry of The Rebirth Brass Band, Railroad Earth, JJ Grey & Mofro, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Soulive, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Konono No1, Deer Tick, Tift Merritt, The Low Anthem, Hackensaw Boys, Cornmeal, Eric Krasno & Chapter 2, Pimps of Joytime, Mountain Heart, Flam Chen, Budos Band, Joe Pug, Bearfoot, Rockridge Brothers, WIYOS, Solas, Spiral, Rising Appalachia, Dangermuffin, Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade, Christabel & the Jons, Boulder Acoustic Society, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Packway Handle Band, Alexis P Suter Band, Soulhound, Two Man Gentleman Band, Butch Robins' Imagicnation, The Mantras, Sol Driven Train, William Walter & Co, Thunderdrums, Papadosio, Folk Soul Revival, The Barefoot Movement, Kat Mills, 3 Minute Lovin, Adrienne Young, The Steel Wheels, American Dumpster, Dirty Horse, Blue Mule, Scintillation Fire Troupe, Old Sledge, Kill Basa Bill's Roadshow, JP Harris & the Tough Choices, The Hot Seats, Dance Afire, White Top Mountain Band, My Radio, Sauerkraut Band, Danny Knicely, Farm Use Only, Hoorah Cloggers, JuggleThis!, Rocknoceros, Miss Kitty's Society for Wayward Cosmonauts, Charles Eisenstein, Dharma Rebel w/ Jason Murphy, James Justin & Co., and Musicians of the Crooked Road.
More info at: http://www.floydfest.com