Floyd, Virginia (Top40 Charts/ FloydFest) - In a year when several new large-scale music festivals joined the trendy ranks of established mega-events like Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tenn) and Coachella (the California desert), it would appear from declining ticket sales that the pie perhaps wouldn't endure thinner slicing. Music
festivals large and small, old and new have reported lower-than-usual ticket sales in 2008, a year that also may well go down in history as the one when continually rising gas prices finally affected the travel and recreation habits of the average consumer. So why is it, with gas prices at an all time high and more festivals than you can shake a stick at vying for the music-lover dollar, that one quirky little engine continues to make it's steady progress up the tracks?
FloydFest, in its 7th year, has been steadily growing since its 2002 inception. This year festival promoters report a record 30% increase in overall ticket sales. Some might argue that it's the beautiful setting that keeps this event in the running, and indeed the Blue Ridge Mountains and the quaintly quirky one stoplight town of Floyd, Virginia have become a regional "destination spot." It's for this reason in part that FloydFest has been likened occasionally to Telluride, Co., where the annual bluegrass festival boasts the added attractions of boutique shopping and lodging and some of the most gorgeous scenery around. Others, more 'devout connoisseurs' than simply 'fans' of music, would credit the line-up. In times when music line-ups have begun to be indistinguishable from one another, near mirror-images of all-the-bests, FloydFest's annual artist roster is always distinctly different. It may almost be said that FloydFest has created a niche for itself by putting together the best collection of "under the radar" music, and making a point of showcasing this alongside perhaps the only headlining acts that you won't see everywhere this summer. Case in point: Rusted Root. Amos Lee. David Grisman Quintet. Oliver Mtukudzi. The Avett Brothers. The list goes on, and on, with buzz-bands from every possible genre. Geographic allure and unique line-up aside, however, FloydFest has one more hook, which serves this year as it's annual slogan; "FloydFest 7,~ Family Affair." FloydFest really is fun for the whole family, and circularly, it's more fun because of the whole families that attend. With an average demographic of 42 year old women, there's no one you won't see at FloydFest; doctors and lawyers abound, as do children and grandparents, free-spirited alterna-types, Harley dudes, town officials and guys-next-door- all having fun and enjoying the music. It's all quite refreshing, really, and small wonder that despite the chilly economic climate, this fest is just getting hotter!
The entire FloydFest roster includes: Rusted Root, Amos Lee, Avett Brothers, Railroad Earth, Tea Leaf Green, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Donna the Buffalo, New Monsoon, Crooked Still, Chatham County Line, Golem, Tony Trishka and Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, Jamie Mclean, DJ Williams Projekt, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Superpowers, Bobmadil, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Gokh bi System, Blueground Undergrass, The Spekers, Cadillac Sky, KillBasa Bill's Roadshow, Ananda, 3 Minute Lovin, Blue Mule, Mr. Mojo, Wild Turkeys, Jan Smith, William Walter & Company, and entire "Emerging Artists Series" including: Oneside, Lynx, Bucktown Kickback, Sons of Bill, Junior League, Katie Pearlman Band, Buzz Universe, Segway, Kristi Emmons, MO2, Kat Mills, Eli Cook and Holy Firewater, Paleface, Jordan Harmon Band, Izzy & Chris, The Allians, Curious Strange, Shane Gamble and the Gentlemen, The Everybodyfield's, iRon Lion, Thunderdrums, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, Cashmere Jungle Lords, My Radio, Jennie Arnau, Turbo Pro Project, David Shultz, Kings of Belmont, Sci Fi, Moosa, HuDost, Stephanie Rooker.