FloydFest was started back in 2002 as a way to showcase the unique arts community and progressive lifestyle in Floyd, Va., a small Blue Ridge town that’s fostered creatives in the South for the last half-century. At first, the festival, which sits outside of town on an 80-acre mountain plateau just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, drew modest crowds, but as word spread about the carefully curated music line-up, attendance started to swell. In its first year the festival featured Doc Watson and the African Showboyz and ever since organizers have continued to bridge Appalachian traditions with the melting pot of roots music from around the rest of the world. While the event has certainly grown, the independent spirit remains intact. “We’ve gotten national attention, but we’ve never wanted to be mainstream,” Kris Hodges, one of the founders, explained in BRO’s 2015 festival guide. “With FloydFest we’ve tried to forge our own path.”
This year’s line-up is heavy on Americana with the festival’s eight stages featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Gov’t Mule, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Hiss Golden Messenger. Set in a location that’s ripe for recreation the festival also offers a nice variety of adventure programming, including mountain biking, paddling, trail running, and disc golf.