From a Distance, the grounds of Floydfest resemble maybe a musical circus, nestled in the mountains. When you get up close, Up close, that's not so far off.
To be sure, it's all about the music. 100 bands playing in multiple venue, attended by 15 thousand people per day who arrive with everything they can carry, and more.
Two twenty something young women from Blacksburg walked by carrying a card table like a stretcher, with all kinds of stuff piled on top. I asked them what they had.
"A lot of stuff peanut butter, and apple juice that's the heaviest thing, the apple juice," they said.
Vendors have found an audience for products with an organic ring. One stop is called Gypsy Witch.
River Takada-Capel is the owner. "Well, Gypsy Witch comes from in the sense that we travel around and sell things out of our cars. We do caravans. And then ‘witch' is we collect things, use found materials from the beach and the mountains and take that whole vibe in," she said. She was also here visiting family.
Theirs is no denying that beer is a big part of this festival. Mostly craft beers.
And everywhere, there are artists.
Owino Martin is from Kenya. He actually said during our conversation about Floydfest, "hakuna matada" which is Swahili for "no worries." (Remember the Lion King?) "This culture is like our African culture. Everybody is happy here. Good Vibes," he said.
Good vibes right down to the Hippy Chippy with Dippy potato chips. Cool freshly sliced potatoes with homemade dipping sauce.
Marshall Hicks of Roanoke told me, "I've played music at this festival and I've been coming since I played music here and this year we are doing our own thing."
We walked by a guy selling pickles. He was making funny faces and saying the word, "pickle" over and over as fast as he could -- like an auctioneer might.
Linda DeVito is one of the people who makes it all work as Development Director for Across the Way Productions. "This is our largest and quickest sell out ever. It's a community. People really thrive on the fact that they can come to Floydfest and feel like they are a part of a community. They wish they could live with the kind of people they meet here," she said.
So whether it's an expandable camper designed to be pulled behind an eco-friendly car, tricks with sticks, amazing people watching or hanging around upside down like the guy we saw hanging from a tree,
Floydfest has become an annual tradition in the mountains with a vibe that just can't be ignored.
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