Before the last notes faded at FloydFest 22, the foundation was laid for the popular music festival to relocate, moving from a portion of Patrick County completely into Floyd County.
Across-the-Way Productions, which organizes the fest, announced the move in a video posted on social media in June.
“We care deeply about you. After all, this is your festival. Your number one request every year equals this: You all want to park & camp on one site, every single patron. No more shuttles. One piece of land. One family,” the video stated.
Festival organizers said the change in locale begins in 2023, with that festival to be held on a new 200-acre mountainous location in the middle of Floyd County.
“Our wildest dreams are coming true, and we’ve been working hard on it. We love our current home. The beauty is unparalleled. But we found it. And we hear you. And we love you,” the video said.
Part of the annual festival has been held in Patrick County since its start in 2002.
Patrick County Recreation/Tourism Coordinator James Houchins said the move will have a slight impact on Patrick County’s tax base.
“Once they do move” there will be a slight change “as far as the transient occupancy tax we collect from them,” he said.
Houchins said Sam Calhoun, the Chief Operating Officer for FloydFest, estimated the organization normally pays somewhere north of $10,000 annually.
“We’ve going to lose a little bit of a tax base, and of course all of the other vendors and other merchants in the county will probably see a little bit of a downturn from just people that come into the county,” he said.
The impact likely will not be as significant as some think it will be, Houchins said, adding that Calhoun emphasized the decision to move did not have anything to do with Patrick County.
“He had a good working relationship with several people here. His decision to leave wasn’t based on any animosity or any frustration with the county itself. It’s just a lot of regulations that he was under having it right off the” Blue Ridge Parkway, he said.
For instance, Houchins said he was told organizers of the event paid the parkway for access to the venue.
Rebecca Adcock, executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, said the move may cause a decrease in people passing through Patrick County to get to the festival.
“We’ve always seen an increase in people coming in, especially like into Stuart, as they get ready to go up to Meadows of Dan and onto the parkway to get to the festival, I think it may decrease a little bit with people’s directions to the new site,” she said.
If this impact is felt, Adcock believes it will probably impact Meadows of Dan, because more travelers may bypass the community.
While groups who offered services, like offsite parking and camping, will lose income because of the site change, Adcock said the biggest impact will be the use of buses to shuttle festival goers.
“Those buses of course take fuel, so the closest place was the gas stations in Meadows of Dan,” she said.
In the long term, Adcock said she’s hopeful that FloydFest will continue to use many Patrick vendors.
“I know several Meadows of Dan businesses that provide services to them onsite, so I hope they continue to work with those vendors and be able to do that,” she said.