“Wait! What? Where the heck is Nelson County Preserve?”, you ask?
Well, first of all it’s in Nelson County--between Charlottesville and Lynchburg--just off of Route 29 and is a 350+ acre property adjacent to the main grounds of the LOCKN’ Music Festival. The Preserve is less than 20 miles from our previous home in Roseland and is nestled in a majestic patch of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. To clarify, The Festy Experience will NOT take place inside the large horse race track where the main stages of LOCKN’ reside; rather it will be focused on the adjoining land that includes the Blue Ridge Bowl, Infinity Downs, The High Field & Forest Camping, The Woods and The Green Field. It’s a pretty magical spot and we’re stoked to show you around.
The Festy Experience has always been intended to be much more than a music festival. Specifically, we have strived to showcase not just great music, but also the craft beer experience and the outdoor experience. The Nelson County Preserve is investing in extremely rare infrastructure (fencing, power, roads, water, internet) that will provide a sturdy foundation for The Festy Experience to continue its mission of long-term sustainability.
In addition to permanent infrastructure, our new home will allow us the luxury of more space for everyone. In 2015, The Festy reached an uncomfortable capacity and we all felt the pain points of a venue with limited space with temporary infrastructure. With more space comes larger campsite options; dozens of acres of open fields and miles of cleared biking and hiking trails; huge, flat parking fields for day-trippers to freely come and go; and use of the Blue Ridge Bowl (a natural amphitheater located in the heart of the property).
Enough about the changes... What’s staying the same (or getting even better)?
Family Friendly Fall Festy
The Festy Experience is the remedy to “I would love to go, but I’ve got the kids”. The Festy is the festival you come to WITH your kids. Unlike mainstream music festivals, the Experience of The Festy is not escapism but rather an opportunity to dig deeper into life with your family and your community. With our new property, we have an amazing chance to expand our activities and offerings for camping and day-tripping families.
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Festy community was seeded by the fans of The Infamous Stringdusters and the music has always been focused on showcasing some of the most talented artists that we can find...including well known names and obscure newcomers. Nothing drastic will change about the direction of the lineup. The Stringdusters will still help to curate the lineup and will host with three big sets over the weekend. One of the sets will even be a “Ladies & Gentlemen” special featuring guests from the band’s latest album.
Starting with the 2nd Annual Festy Experience we committed to being creative about how we could reduce the amount of waste that our community dumps into landfills. For several years, we used a steel cup program with Klean Kanteen. This year we are trying a different approach to the same goal: CANS. The canning movement is showing how craft beverages (not just beer) can benefit from CANS. Cans help to reduce exposure to light and air...and they are portable for active lifestyle. We are looking forward to rolling out our updated sustainability program in 2016!
Craft Food & Beer
We’re taking feedback from our fans provided last year and will be adding bigger, better food areas within various spots on site. There will be an amazing coffee shop and cafe on-site serving breakfast in the campgrounds. And as always, craft beer will be a very large aspect of your Festy Experience—more news on that exciting development coming soon.
With acres of meadows and miles of trails, we are crafting a full weekend of outdoor activities that will include: Disc Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, Kickball, Soccer, Volleyball...plus Guided Nature Tours, Trail Runs, and Hosted Bike Rides. Of course we’ll still have an amazing YOGA program, plus the 21st Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k)!
The Festy will be on sale in early May with Early Bird Ticketing options so be sure to mark your calendars.
While we’ve got you, we also want to take this opportunity to say Thank You--thank you for sticking with us for the past 6 years, thank you for believing in this event and the experience we create every year, thank you for sharing your time with us and introducing this event to your friends and families. We can’t wait to see you all in October!