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Crews prepare for FloydFest

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT
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PATRICK COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - By the end of the week, music will be ringing through the Blue Ridge Mountains for this year’s FloydFest.

Until then, it’s all hands on deck to transform a mountain into a music venue.

“It just gives me a purpose really, that was the toughest part about losing it for a couple of years,” staff member Richard Oakley said.

After the pandemic canceled FloydFest last year, Oakley is finally back in his golf cart ready to welcome artists and visitors to the venue.

“I like to say FloydFest kind of creates my music taste, and there’s always a surprise and friends to be made and new music to discover,” he said.

But before the crowds can return, festival organizers have to finish setting everything up.

“We’re about eight hours ahead of our build schedule right now, so we are going to be completely on time by Wednesday morning. Looks like the weather is going to cooperate with us,” FloydFest Chief Operating Officer Sam Calhoun said.

Festival regulars will notice changes in their return following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So we still have reduced capacity. We have many COVID protocols still in place. We have temperature checks, backpack sanitizers and hand sanitizer all over this mountain,” Calhoun said.

One thing that won’t change is the excitement on the mountain.

“It’s going to be emotional up here to see all the people come back because this truly is home,” he said.

Because for many, like Richard Oakley, this is where strangers and friends become family.

“We all have a little bit of our heart and soul here and like I said before, it is a true honor and privilege to help put this on,” Oakley said.

Each day of the festival is sold out; however, for the first time there will be a live-streaming option for one of the performances.

People can buy virtual tickets to watch The Avett Brothers Saturday.

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