The following appeared in The Floyd Press on July 19, 2012 and was written three weeks before the start of the four-day festival, July 27th.
Josh Newsome worked at Floydfest for six years before becoming a full-time year-round employee of Across the Way Productions, the event management company that puts on the annual four day festival at milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
At the 80 acre festival site on Sunday (July 8th), Newsome, a resident of Catawba, took a break from spreading mulch with a tractor to describe his job as the site operations manager. “I oversee all the on-site construction, beautification and maintenance,” he said. Newsome is also the festival’s ABC manager, something he has done in the past. “I oversee the tents, water and electricity too.”
A few, volunteers working for festival tickets, spread mulch with rakes as Newsome explained that there was a workday in May and one in June that each drew about 75 volunteers. Floydfest will continue to have prep volunteers, but not as many as those who attended the workdays, until the start of the festival (July 26 – 29), the former catering business owner said.
“We built a new set of showers, made new pathways and lined the pathways with timber. We just put up shade sails (pieces of canvas fabric) on the Workshop Porch stage and cleaned out new areas in the woods for campers,” said Newsome. “We needed more space.”
Pointing out the new “Top of the Hill” beer deck that overlooks Hill Holler Stage, Newsome explained that it was built by Jeremy Loveland of Moneta and is handicap accessible. He reported that the festival site had no major trees down after recent storms and didn’t lose power, as so many in the region did. But the recent heat wave has had an impact. “It’s taking a toll. We’ve been drinking about a case of water every day,” he said.
Post notes: The first day of the annual music festival at milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway starts tomorrow, July 27, and runs through Sunday July 29th. For past posts and photos on Floydfest click HERE.