The 2012 installment of The Festy Experience, the annual gathering in Nelson County, Virginia hosted by the progressive bluegrass music group, The Infamous Stringdusters, and produced by Cereberus Productions and the Artist Farm, takes place October 5-7, 2012. With the 3rd annual event, The Festy continues to carve a unique and growing niche for itself, with a seamless and authentic integration of great music and outdoor living. This year’s Festy Experience is the launch of a big fall season for The Infamous Stringdusters, with their very special Silver Sky-Deluxe Edition to be released October 16, 2012, just as the band embarks on a massive fall tour in support of the album.
“The sure sign of a great festival is if you really don’t want to leave, and as we all packed our cars, this was the collective feeling. Two things had become clear; the bending of bluegrass is not the devil’s work, and that backbone does curve into the promised land.” – Jambands.com (2011)
Produced by Virginia-based companies and curated by a band that calls Charlottesville home, The Festy Experience is rooted by its locale. Cereberus Productions’ Justin Billcheck and The Artist Farm’s Michael Allenby went to school together as Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, VA. Cereberus Productions helps organize site operations for such major festivals as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands and produces local events including the Blue Ridge Oyster Fest and the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest. The Artist Farm is the management team driving The Infamous Stringdusters’ hugely successful fan-centric approach. Working together, The Festy’s vision as a unique, fall-flavored Experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains comes to fruition.
“We all tried to imagine the best weekend we could and then make it happen,” explains The Infamous Stringdusters’ bassist Travis Book about The Festy Experience. More than a music festival, the band emphasizes the “experience” aspect with a celebration of outdoor living in an idyllic, consciously intimate natural setting near Charlottesville.
This handcrafted, eye-to-the-details philosophy infuses The Festy Experience, from the carefully chosen lineup of road seasoned kindred spirits to the locally sourced food to outdoor activities like the Blue Ridge Burn, a 5k/10k trail race that winds up old logging roads. The Infamous Stringdusters have imagined their ideal festival and put their backs into making every aspect as engaging and enjoyable as possible.
“We found this beautiful location, which is fairly unique for the East Coast in that it’s a lot like the wonderful lush, mountainous spots one finds in California and Colorado, and we felt the need to share it with our friends,” says Travis.
Besides the Dusters, The Festy 2012 lineup includes Trampled By Turtles, Leftover Salmon, Keller & The Keels, Rubblebucket, Lake Street Drive, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Elephant Revival, and 17 others. With their position as one of the premiere acoustic music outfits today, The Infamous Stringdusters might have been tempted to make The Festy folk/bluegrass focused but the band aims to showcase the diversity of the festival scene, presenting the best in up & coming talent alongside veterans like Salmon and Keller Williams. Authenticity, raw talent, great songs, and a good nature are the hallmarks of the artists chosen by the Dusters, who get their fingers into every aspect of The Festy.
The Festy is nestled on the private Concert Ground at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, a renowned brewery and full service restaurant that serves food and international award winning microbrews throughout the festival. In addition, there are local food vendors and artisans to further extend the personal touch and sustainability aspects of The Festy. While camping – ranging from Reserved Car Camping to Family Camping to Quiet Camping - is emphasized so participants can fully settle into the Experience, there are bed and breakfasts, inns and rental options nearby for those seeking a less rustic approach. Showers at BaseCamp help keep attendees fresh to enjoy the action on three stages, including The Workshop Stage, which hosts interactive experiences centered on the pillars of The Festy: Music, Outdoor Living, and Local Sustenance.
Besides the Blue Ridge Burn, the other flagship outdoor competition at The Festy is the Devils Backbone Challenge, a mountain bike test of endurance and strength that’s just one of many unique elements to what the Dusters have put together at this late summer/early fall gathering. In fact, the band is so dedicated to shaping the perfect festival that Travis Book lives on the property year-round when he’s not on tour, working on carving out trails, clearing ground, and other small aspects that reflect the always-fine-tuning mindset behind The Festy, where each year builds upon the last to cement this weekend as one of the can’t miss experiences for festivarians.
“We try to create that intersection between lifestyle and music,” Dusters banjoist Chris Pandolfi says. “You get a 5k run, a mountain bike race, a rock climbing wall, lots of yoga, hikes, lots of sustainable food operations and craft beer vendors, and just a general overriding acknowledgement that these things are important and they make for a great quality experience over the long-term. It's about more than just trying to usher as many people in as possible.”
“We really respect and appreciate our fans and the community around us,” says Travis. “The Festy is our way of expressing that in a tangible, fun, enriching way.”
The Festy Experience
October 5-7, 2012
Nelson County, VA
Featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, Trampled By Turtles, Leftover Salmon, Keller & The Keels, Rubblebucket, Lake Street Drive, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Elephant Revival and others.
*Day Passes, 3 Day Passes, and 4 Day Passes available now at www.thefesty.com
*Visit the website for full lineup of bands, schedule of special events, ticket & camping info, and more
The Infamous Stringdusters’ constant, relentless, revelatory musical evolution – is revealed on October 16, 2012 in a very special Silver Sky-Deluxe Edition. Delivered by SCI Fidelity and the band’s own High Country label, Silver Sky-Deluxe Edition includes a previously unreleased bonus track, “He’s Gone,” and the bonus live album, We’ll Do It Live. Working with an unlikely studio partner – hip-hop producer Billy Hume (Ludacris, Nas) - Silver Sky (first released in March of this year) finds The Infamous Stringdusters’ powerful rhythms and vocal melodies at the forefront of the music. Paired with We’ll Do It Live – a seamless live recording culled from four epic 2011 performances - Silver Sky-Deluxe Edition eloquently demonstrates a band whose artistic voice has fully emerged, and offers a riveting glimpse of just how, and where, The Infamous Stringdusters are leading the bluegrass revolution.