Rediscover your wild side at FloydFest

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By Brian Funk, Editor

FLOYD — Just down the road from Galax, music fans can answer the call of the wild this week at FloydFest 18~Wild, an outdoor music festival featuring an eclectic mix of superstars and local favorites, including Foster The People, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gov’t Mule, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Tyler Childers and Greta Van Fleet.


The award-winning festival features 100 bands on eight stages over five days, right in the Blue Ridge Mountains town of Floyd, from July 25-29, 2018.

As for this year’s theme, “this is ‘wild’ as we find in nature — it’s an essence, it’s an energy, it’s an authentic state of being,” Kris Hodges, co-founder and CEO, explained. “Our lives these days get so disconnected, so discordant, so consumed in a rat race, that we forget to stop and enjoy and embrace this life. We invite you to recall your ‘wild;’ be as a child.”

For 2018, FloydFest was named Best Festival and Best Kid-Friendly Outdoor Destination in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s Best of the Blue Ridge Competition, as well as Best Music Festival and Best Place to Hear Mountain Music in Blue Ridge Country’s Best of the Mountains Competition. FloydFest also recently received accolades from TIME Magazine and Fox News.


The full lineup also includes: ZZ Ward, Hiss Golden Messenger, Keller Williams’ Petty Grass featuring The HillBenders, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Antibalas, Buffalo Mountain Jam, Langhorne Slim, Nikki Lane, The Steel Wheels, Son Little, Nicki Bluhm, The Lil Smokies, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, NO BS! Brass Band, The Mother Hips, Devon Gilfillian, Lindsay Lou, Kaleta & Super Yamba Band, Songs From The Road Band, Mr. Jennings, South Hill Banks, Dharma Bombs, Mapache, The National Reserve, The Native Howl, The Broadcast, Erin & the Wildfire, Travis Meadows, Mama Said String Band, Che Apalache, The Harmed Brothers, Fireside Collective, Sol Searchers, Blue Mule, The Floorboards, My Radio, Black Mountain Revival, Dead Reckoning, OmegaWolfe, Morgan Wade & the Stepbrothers, Los Chupacabras, GOTE, Jordan Harman, The Jam, Mad Iguanas, The Wildmans, Einstein’s Monkey, The Change, Jefferson Center Music Lab, Community High School Band, Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia, Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute Young Players (Ella & Mary, Blue Devil String Band, The Childress Family), Imagine Circus, Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts, Gypsy Geoff, Magician of Life, Becki the Balloon Lady, Gravity Check Juggling, Ambrosia Farms and more.

Also, the FloydFest 18~Wild On-the-Rise Competition Class of 2018 — presented by Ferrum College and Peluso Microphone Lab — includes Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats, The Antecedents, Common Center, The Company Stores, Dalton Dash, The Dirty Grass Players, The Freeway Revival, Frenchie & the Holy Gems, Graham Stone Music, Gryzzle, Harwell Grice Band, The Highballers, The Hills & the Rivers, Jesse Daniel Edwards, Kendall Street Company, Kid Brother, Magnolia Boulevard, Metaphonia, Old Heavy Hands, Sid Kingsley, Stray Local, Striking Copper, Travers Brothership, Vintage Pistol, Virginia Ground and Willie DE Band.

Jam on the Mountain

The Buffalo Mountain Jam returns in 2018 for its third-annual installment. Conceived in the wake of Gregg Allman’s failing health and subsequent show cancellation in 2016, the jam was devised to celebrate the talent and legacy of The Allman Brothers Band, and now annually features impromptu artist collaborations, super jams and special guests.

Vendors & Outdoor Fun

As always, FloydFest will also include vibrant and varied vendors, quality craft brews and chews, healing arts, camping and community, workshops and whimsy, children’s activities, onsite art installations, as well as myriad Outdoor Adventure programs, including its popular On-the-Water Guided Float Trips and Belcher Mountain Beatdown mountain-bike excursion.

FloydFest 18~Wild is produced by Across-the-Way Productions and Blue Cow Arts, along with numerous partners and sponsors.

A limited number of tickets for FloydFest 18~Wild remain at floydfest.com or floydfest18wild.eventbrite.com. If any tickets remain this week, prices will increase at the gate upon initial opening on Wednesday. FloydFest is located at 894 Rock Castle Gorge Road in Floyd (Milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.) For more information, call (888) VA-FESTS or email info@floydfest.com.