World music and arts festival FloydFest kicks off this Thursday in the mountain town of Floyd, Virginia, nestled beside the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Now in its 13th year, the 5-day fest ranging from Americana, blues, folk-rock, soul and hip-hop is returning to more of an organic experience while proudly staying true to its “big-small” festival roots.
Hailing this year’s theme as “Revolutionary,” FloydFest is taking a bolder approach for 2014, drawing in a diverse array of musical acts, many of whom promote social awareness in their music, such as headliners Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, as well as Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, with Lettuce, The Hackensaw Boys, The Duhks, Tauk, and The Floorboards, among many of the close to 80 musical acts from locally known bands to artists known the world over performing at this year’s festival.
With a record crowd and record rainfall at last year’s festival – more than 15,000 people attended, and over 3 inches of rain fell during the fest – FloydFest organizers Across-The-Way Productions are instituting logistical solutions such as creating additional parking space, providing luxury coaches as festival transportation and creating more room for camping. Such revisions will provide a much more streamlined experience at this year’s festival.
Offering up a multitude of outdoor activities for festivalgoers this year, including numerous guided hikes and hiking trails along the Blue Ridge, an onsite mountain biking trail, a guided mountain biking tour, paddle and kayak trips, a 5K trail race, a photo scavenger hunt, disc golf, geocaching, and plenty of gear giveaways, there’s no shortage of things to get into with Mother Nature throughout the festival. Healing arts such as yoga and tai chi classes – offered daily – provide moments to relax and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
Workshops at this year’s festival include panel discussions on sustainability, including a talk and jam session with Michael Franti about his life and perspective of the world, talks with other green artists, and Workshop performances with artists including Donna the Buffalo, The Hackensaw Boys, The Duhks, Campbell Brothers, and many others.
Such a gathering of world-class artists in a scenic and earthly atmosphere should give festivalgoers plenty of good reasons to start a revolution this week in the name of music.
For more info about FloydFest, check out the festival website at www.floydfest.com.