The Festy Experience has enjoyed eight years of success and the ninth year was no different. Over the past October weekend, families, bluegrass lovers, and Blue Ridge vendors gathered on the field of Infinity Downs Farm to celebrate fall weather, great tunes, and relaxed community.
We arrived on Thursday to set up and ease into the weekend. The Festy downsized this year and really emphasized that family feel. By Friday afternoon, there was tie-dye clad adults and flower children setting up chairs and blankets to enjoy the tunes from the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine stage and smaller, Almost E-town Stage next to it. On the BRO stage, acts had an hour and a half to get the crowd dancing, and then a different artist would play a thirty minute set on the Almost-E town stage while the big stage was set up for the next act. It was a smooth transition, with constant entertainment. The genius behind the two different stages was getting two totally different feels from artists at the festival. The Almost-E town stage gave a small, cozy feel where you were standing only feet from performers, and the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage had a larger than life feel, with artists showing off their talent.
The first two days, the clouds covered the hot early October sun and blessed us with beautiful, warm days. We played the boardgame Chickapig while sipping kombucha, sat on the lawn to watch the sounds of the fiddle drift into the autumn air, and explored what the other vendors had to share.
On Saturday morning, active festival goers gathered at the LOVE letters on the grounds to run in the Blue Ridge Burn, an event that is older than the festival. We stationed ourselves a mile in and handed out water to the hard workers. We saw so many familiar faces run by. Congratulations to everyone who ran in the morning, for both running, and having the strength to get up and force yourself to do it!
Sunday, the sun decided to get its revenge. When it’s October, you don’t expect there to be blisteringly hot days. Think again. Luckily, everyone was so exhausted from the weekend, we were all happy to find shade, cold water, and pass the hours under the tent chatting about the weekend. When the sun went down, everyone had the energy for one last night of celebrating. With such a great line up, it was almost mandatory!
We enjoy going to The Festy Experience every year. The festival is small, so it opens up the opportunity to see faces again and again, which allows us to get out of our comfort zone and make new friends. While we have spent quite a few months out on the East Coast, it is always nice to have a hug and a ‘How’ve you been’ from a friendly face after spending a few days isolated in the wilderness!
We only have two events left! If you haven’t been able to catch us at a festival yet, we have the Roanoke GO Outside Festival in Roanoke, Virginia this weekend and Bridge Day in Fayetteville, VA next weekend. Then we head back to Colorado to finish up the tour. Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun.
There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win