The week winds down – FloydFest begins!

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FloydFest is a three-day World Music Festival held annually in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, showcasing great examples of World, Bluegrass, Reggae, Folk, African and
Appalachian music, as well as quality local Arts and Crafts.

The festival started late today and the FloydFest business office across the hall from my office sits empty and silent after months of non-stop activity.

People would ask me how I could stand working near so much noise and commotion, and I would laugh. There was so much energy pouring out of that office it was electrifying.

It was like mainlining espresso to be in the vicinity of tireless
Linda DeVito who wears marketing and public relations hats in addition
to being the sponsorship director of FloydFest.

I would hear her coming up the hall in the morning, juggling two
conversations on her cell phone and she would pick up the ever-ringing
phone on her desk and would smoothly handle a third call from someone
who wanted to know why their tickets hadn’t arrived.

The soul of tact, she humored the clueless people demanding favors
and soothed the hordes of last-minute "volunteers" who showed up
expecting a free weekend pass.

In the midst of handling confused ticket buyers, "No, the price is
no longer $25, that ended in May, the day ticket for Saturday is $50
and that no longer includes parking", she fielded calls from her
daughter, "Turn the oven on and set it to 350 degrees", then returns to
answer a third call from a vendor, "Vendor selection closed four months
ago. Would you like to get on the list for next year?"

Being across from the FloydFest office was like being plugged into
Mission Central at a satellite launch except the FloydFest crew never
stopped the clock. No matter what crisis erupted, they would work out a
handling on the fly and forge on through.

The FloydFest team is just one of our tenants at the Jacksonville
Center for the Arts. Their activities provide an interesting synergy
with the artisans and craftspeople who populate the Center because the
artisans exhibit at the festivals put on by the FloydFest team.

Since one of the main goals of the Jacksonville Center is to guide
artisans in  connecting to the marketplace, we welcome all
opportunities for artisans to appear in venues where they will be
exposed to new audiences.

It is a great learning experience for our artisans and our staff to
see what goes into staging an event the size of FloydFest. This year
they expect more than 10,000 attendees based on ticket sales to date.

Gretchen and I plan to attend on Sunday when the musicians of the
Crooked Road will be playing. It promises to be a good time and I will
be taking pictures.

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