Heading to FloydFest or thinking about it? One of the top music festivals in the region is right in our backyard of Patrick County, and takes place on the last weekend of July each year. I’ve attended FloydFest 6 times now, and am always delighted to see so many families with multiple generations that make attending a tradition. Unlike some other festivals that attract a young party crowd, FloydFest attracts music and nature lovers of all ages who want to enjoy the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and some great entertainment in a safe, family-friendly environment.
FloydFest 19 Voyage Home meets July 24-28, 2019 with single and multi-day ticket options, plus multiple on and off-site lodging options. There are still tickets available and here are some tips to make the most of FloydFest.
Purchase Your Tickets Early
FloydFest tickets go on sale each year just before the holidays, making them a great gift idea. The earlier you purchase tickets the less expensive they are. You also have more options as single day passes and some lodging options can sell out. Print out your tickets at home and bring them with you as cell service can be spotty.
Download The On The Rise Artist Playlist
FloydFest wants guests to begin the music discovery process early and you can listen to artists who will perform before arriving. Download the Spotify Playlist for On the Rise artists for 2019, and you can find new favorites before you even get on the mountain! You’ll be able to vote for your favorite On The Rise Artist at the festival, who will win a spot at next year’s festival among other prizes. Download the playlist at https://tinyurl.com/y2lwhnce. There is also a 123 song playlist featuring a mix of 2019 performing artists available at https://tinyurl.com/y3wndafp. Download them both and find your jam!
Check Out The Schedule
FloydFest meets for 5 days with 100 performances on 8 stages. Check out the schedule ahead of time and map out your must-see acts HERE. I’d suggest not scheduling your entire day, however. Poking around finding yourself drawn to new artists you may not be familiar with is one of the true pleasures of a music festival, and some of my favorite artists are ones I stumbled upon by happenstance.
Insider Tip: Don’t rule out the smaller stages. The ability to see talent up close is a real treat!
Bring The Kids
Really! FloydFest is extremely family-friendly and kids 6-12 attend for just $30 for a 5-day pass and kids under 6 attend free. I’ve camped with my children multiple times and brought them for the day other years. My youngest absolutely loves FloydFest and is proud to have attended so many years! One feature kids and parents alike enjoy is an area called Children’s Universe. This field features a stage with family-friendly artists plus the opportunity for the kids to participate in open mike sets and sing-alongs. The area is filled with active fun including a giant sandbox, play gym, dress-up tent, and other free activities including juggling, hooping and plant identification workshops. You’ll also find first aid, a tent for nursing and diapering the wee ones, and plenty of porta-potties and handwashing stations in Children’s Universe. Babysitting is available for a fee by Blue Mountain School, which is great for parents who want to grab a little “me-time” or head to a beer garden show. Bring youth earmuffs/headphones to protect those little ears!
Teenagers can participate in the “Teen Scene” engagement programs and win daily prizes for posting the FloydFest experience on Instagram. Teens can learn more and connect with other teens in the Teen Scene tent, found near the Outdoor Experience area.
Insider Tip: Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts offers free stilt working workshops and leads a kid’s parade on Saturday afternoon through the festival.
Pack A Few Things:
You’ll be walking across the festival grounds, and will want a backpack or bag filled with a few creature comforts. A refillable water bottle will allow you to enjoy refreshingly cold water stations located throughout the festival to stay hydrated. That sun can creep up on you, so pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Cash for food and merchandise is ideal but you’ll find ATM machines if you need them. Bring a ground cloth or chair you can bring from stage to stage to sit on. FloydFest takes place rain or shine, so plan accordingly. A lightweight raincoat or poncho is a great addition to your bag, and it gets cool when the sun sets, so pack an extra layer.
Insider Tip: Flipflops are not a good choice in case things get muddy. Sandals that tie on your feet or all-weather shoes or boots are a better choice.
Consider Accommodation Choices
Campers can camp, glamp, RV, and even reserve tents and gear through vendors to make it simple. I have used Dancing Dance’s Festival Camping in the past, and it was so simple to just show up and find a tent, cots & lantern ready for my use. There’s even an area where VW busses camp together! If you’ll plan to camp, you can get an idea of where the “family” area and “not so quiet” area camping is on the map. I made that mistake my first year and it was pretty loud well into the morning! In addition to the main festival area camping, lots A and B where you’ll park and shuttle in offer camping which tends to be quieter and is my choice. No matter what you choose, the earlier you get there, the better your location option will be as space gets cozy! Learn more about camping options here.
Insider Tip: Know how to identify poison ivy before you choose your campsite.
If camping is not your thing, consider staying at nearby hotels or at Ferrum College. Ferrum partners with FloydFest with an inclusive package called Learn & Lodge which allows guests to stay in dorm rooms and includes linens, breakfast, and shuttle service plus educational programs at the Blue Ridge Institute & Farm Museum on campus.
Plan To Experience Activities
There is much to do other than enjoy great music at FloydFest. There are a variety of workshops you can attend at no cost that may include yoga, cooking, meditation, Tai Chi and self-defense. Purchase a massage or Reiki session, listen to speakers on a variety of topics, or silkscreen a shirt (fee applies). Bring your mountain bike or hiking shoes and explore the trails. Runners can hit the trails anytime, or join the Ferrum College 5K Saturday morning (free). There are also chartered hiking, kayaking and canoe trips available for a fee that include shuttle service.
Insider Tip: Plan to play Disc Golf on Innova’s course (free). Bring your own discs or purchase special FloydFest Innova discs there.
Carpool And Make New Friends
FloydFest attracts fans from all over. Find or offer a ride by using RideSolutions, a free app that offers instant ride-sharing matches and you’ll start the party before you even arrive! For more information on the FloydFest carpool matching program, visit WWW.RIDESOLUTIONS.ORG/FLOYDFEST.
Above all, leave yourself plenty of time to simply poke around and see what calls to you. Get lazy in the hammock village. Linger over lunch at a picnic table with new friends. Have your hair braided, learn to juggle, try walking on a slackline and take a workshop on something you know nothing about. Check out the vendors and see what’s new in adventure gear. You never know what you’ll find! I have a fabulous artist print I purchase at FloydFest a few years ago that makes me smile every time I look at it. Part of the beauty of FloydFest is the leisure of simply being there and taking it all in. To learn more about FloydFest visit HERE.