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The 8th Annual Festy Experience Unveils First Half of Artist Lineup
Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017
at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, VA

The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band,
The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band & more
www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA — The Festy Experience is excited to announce the first half of its music lineup for the 8th annual festival, happening October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia. The lineup comprises a carefully curated blend of national and local roots music acts, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band, Cabinet, Billy Strings, Love Canon, Carl Anderson, and The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour. And this is just half of the artist lineup. The next installment of artists will be announced on Wednesday, June 14th. Tickets are on-sale now.

The Festy Experience came about as an idea between Virginia-native Michael Allenby and The Infamous Stringdusters in 2009. Allenby’s Charlottesville-based company, The Artist Farm, was working with the band at the time in management. They got to talking and wanted to organize an event that grew out of the band’s shared experiences with fans over the years on the road. Music was a focus, but it was always more than music to them. Some had started raising families and community has always been at the heart of their involvement in the festival scene.

Throughout the event’s seven-year history, The Festy Experience team has worked hard to produce a festival experience that illustrates its core values: a love of craft food & beer (they will be offering a variety of Virginia’s award winning craft beer), appreciation for the outdoors, and stellar music. A family-friendly atmosphere is key; along with a family camping area, there will be a large kids area, a teen zone, special programming, a kids instrument making workshop, as well as other family activities.

With acres of meadows and miles of trails, The Festy Experience is crafting a full weekend of outdoor activities that will include Disc Golf and many other outdoor activities… plus Guided Nature Tours, Trail Runs, and Hosted Bike Rides. Of course they’ll still have an amazing YOGA program, plus the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k)! Stay tuned for more information on activities, workshops, and special accommodations.

This will be The Festy Experience’s second year at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, VA, located in the Nelson County Preserve at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia adjacent to the site of LOCKN’ Festival. The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. The Festy is fortunate that Infinity Downs Farm has been 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. It is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg.

Tickets are on sale now and there are plenty of options including Weekend Camping, Car Camping, Family Camping, RV (powered or non-powered options), Individual Day, and Weekend-Day Passes with addition parking fees added on depending on your needs. Kids under 12 are free and there are special rates for teens (13-17). If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.

The Festy Experience is excited to announce that All Weekend Access Tickets now include FREE Thursday Arrival (making it 4 days total over Columbus Day weekend). This is made possible because of a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) who recently awarded sponsorships to 32 Virginia music festivals, including The Festy Experience.

Anyone that purchases an All Weekend ticket will also receive a FREE commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner Klean Kanteen. This is part of the festival’s commitment to environmental sustainability and used for beer purchases and water from free filling stations throughout the event.

Watch out for a series of events throughout the year in central Virginia to keep The Festy Experience around all year such as Bluegrass Brunch, listening room shows, and other special family friendly events.

The Festy Experience ~ First Half of 2017 Lineup:

The Infamous Stringdusters
Drive-By Truckers
Sam Bush Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Jerry Douglas Band
Cabinet
Billy Strings
Love Canon
Carl Anderson
The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour
More TBA in June!

Tickets: www.TheFesty.com

Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

More information and updates:
www.thefesty.com, www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience

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Introducing “The Festy Presents!”

In response to amazing feedback from the first two years of The Festy Experience, the talent, party, vibe, and hospitality of The Festy Experience will be brought to you throughout the year in the Charlottesville area. The Festy Presents will feature artists who have performed at The Festy as well as artists you can anticipate for The Festy 3 (October 5-7, 2012)

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On Saturday, December 3rd, The Festy Presents brings two-year veterans of The Festy, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge to The Southern along with The Founding Fathers (featuring Chris Pandolfi and Andy Falco of The Infamous Stringdusters). The night will feature draft beer from Devils Backbone Brewing Company and ALL advance ticket purchasers will be entered to win a pair of ticket to New Years Eve at The Jefferson Theater with The Infamous Stringdusters or a Festy merchandise package.
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Original, and from the soul, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge joyfully ride the changing tides of traditional bluegrass, country, jam rock, roots reggae, and even the currently emerging indie-alt scene always honoring the pioneers that introduced Bluegrass and Mountain Music into popular culture. Larry Keel is an award-winning Acoustic Americana flatpicking guitarist, well known for his entirely unique song-writing, gravelly voice and lightning fast licks and is “consistently touted as the hottest, most provocative and most entertaining bluegrass (artist) of this decade.” Joining the award-winning Flatpickin legend to make up Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies.

Show details at a glance:
The Festy Presents:

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
The Founding Fathers
Saturday December 3, 2011

Doors at 7:30pm
$12 in advance/$15 day of show
Limited Seating Available
Advance tickets are available for pickup at The Southern, Rapture, and Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Or online at:
www.thesoutherncville.com
www.thefesty.com
www.thefestypresentslarrykeel-larrykeel.eventbrite.com

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Here’s a fun message from Larry and Jenny Keel:

It’s been an absolutely beautiful and magical fall festival season for the Keel crew, rolling around America’s hills and dales and doing our thang!

The Festy in Roseland, VA was an epic weekend of ideal festivating! Hosted by the wildly talented Infamous Stringdusters, this event represents all the best best elements of a great and inspiring music festival- loved all the collaborations the jams and pickin around the campfire were wide open and memorable, to say the least (larry’s guitar head stock smells like barbecue now! it’s got some awesome mojo in it forever more!) .. a stage highlight was seeing that nuclear jam during the Toubab Krew set, when Larry and members of the String Dusters got up with em and blew the roof off the place.. our new favorite version of ‘Cluck Ol Hen’!

Then we bolted across the middle of the country and headed over to Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Fest, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.. spectacular autumn scenery, awesome property there at Mulberry Mountain- and a perfect music festival, complete with amazing stage acts, killer art and vending everywhere, and lots of spontaneous pickin jams among the world class artists- Larry and Will Lee, Scott Law and Darol Anger spent a whole late afternoon jammin away behind the main stage… late night picks included Keel, Mark Schimick, Will Lee, Drew Emmitt, Bill Nershi, Andy Thorn, gals and guys from Elephant Revival and Railroad Earth! all crammed into an RV ! super fun- look out for flipped out video on all that- coming soon! Stage highlights included Larry and Adam Aijala’s guitar duo set, with special guest Darol Anger, our Keel and Natural Bridge set, with a grand finale including almost all of the Greensky Bluegrass dudes, and then a wonderfully deep and spiritual set by Peter Rowan, on his own- he got Larry up to do some tunes with just the 2 of them.. on their guitars- Pete said he wanted to test drive a new tune he had just written that morning, and he wanted Larry and he to explore it together, on the spot.. it was awesome- look out for footage on that soon too!

And now! Stokin the home fires back in VA (well, getting the wood ready for the winter, more like it!), and preparing for our next adventure! Bass and Grass down on our favorite lake in the South: Goose Lake, near Perry GA.. join us and fishin/pickin/partyin instructors Jeff Mosier, David Blackmon, Steve McMurry and Gove Scrivenor as we dig in for a weekend of country style resort music and nature retreat together ! no need to know how to play an instrument- you just gotta know how to smile! bring it on, Oct 27-30!

Larry Keel Tour Dates:

Fishin and Pickin
Larry Keel, Jenny Keel, Mark Schimick, Will Lee
10/27-30/11 BASS and GRASS 4 Green Bell Bed and Barn Perry, GA

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge
10/16/11 LKNB HARVEST MUSIC FESTIVAL Ozark, AR
11/03/11 LKNB Boone Saloon Boone, NC
11/05/11 LKNB Private Eastern, NC
11/10/11 Eric Anderson’s Birthday Bash O’Neill’s Pub Lexington, KY
11/11/11 LKNB 123 Pleasant Street Morgantown, WV
11/12/11 LKNB Coffeepot Roanoke, VA
11/18/11 LKNB Gottrocks Greenville, SC
11/19/11 LKNB Private Somewhere, GA
12/09/11 LKNB Legal Grounds Rutherfordton, NC
12/10/11 LKNB Pour House Charleston, SC
02/04/12 LKNB Shepherdstown Opera House Shepherdstown, WV

Keel Brothers
Larry Keel – Guitar and vocals Gary Keel – Guitar and vocals
11/25/11 Larry & Gary Keel Bulls and Bears Pub Hagerstown, MD
11/26/11 Larry & Gary Keel Richardsville Firehall Richardsville, VA

Keller and the Keels
Keller Williams – Guitar and vocals Larry Keel – Guitar and vocals Jenny Keel – Bass and Harmonies
12/31/11 Keller and the Keels Brooklyn Performing Arts Center Wilmington, NC
01/09/12 Keller and the Keels JAM CRUISE 10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL


myspacelogologo_reverbnation

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Interview with Larry Keel at the Festy

by Diane Farineau

Author, Diane Farineau, is  researching & co-writing The Festival Project, a photo book project which features the combined works of photographers Chester SimpsonMilo Farineau
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One of the highlights at the Infamous Stringduster’s new Festival “The Festy” was a Sunday appearance by Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. The trio quickly became a quartet as they were joined on stage by guitarist and Larry’s brother, Gary. When asked if they played together a lot, Larry responded “It’s rare. But when we do festivals in the area, he comes out and does some picking with us, it’s always so fun! ”

After their rousing set, the band spoke with members of the press and then settled in to just hang out for a little bit. “Everyone’s just here to want to hang out for a bit, which we don’t get to do much” said Mark Shimick. “The Stringdusters will play a lot of traditional bluegrass festivals, where we play some jam band festivals, so we don’t get together that much so it’s nice to see
them.”

The band is known to end up picking in the parking lot on occasion, which they enjoy, and Larry explained; “when I started going to festivals/fiddlers conventions, that’s what it was all about, before being a performer at them it was about all our friends getting together, making a big ol’ pot of soup or something, playing a bunch of music all night and then all day, then playing all night again. That’s where you get your chops down, where you learn to play. It’s very special.” Jenny agreed “That’s a great place to go when you’re just learning, listening and absorbing and getting in to the pulse of it all, watching others, the old-timers, new-timers and everything in between, and then slowly you start picking yourself, it’s a great way to absorb it and take it further, if you want to or just enjoy it for what it’s worth. “

The band has had a busy but fun year, listing some of their highlights “we’ve had a wonderful season this year, Telluride, Grand Targhee, Music on the Mountaintop, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco was really awesome too, French Broad, Watermelon Park.”

I couldn’t resist asking for a fishing update as well, “I haven’t done as much of that as I’ve wanted to,” said Larry, “I did some out in Idaho, fly fishing. I fish every kind of way I can, I do a lot of bass fishing, I did some fishing in the Outer Banks this summer, some saltwater fishing. I caught a lot of bass in Georgia. Every chance I get, I go!”

I wondered what it was like to be on the road as a musical couple, Mark pointed out (and Larry agreed) “Jenny is the bedrock of the band, seriously, she takes care of a lot of stuff to let Larry have his creativity and she’ll let me know if I have something I need to do.” “We wouldn’t want it any other way,” explained Jenny, “we knew, one way or another, we wanted to work together
and be together, so here it is!”

When asked about the noticeable absence of a banjo in the group, Larry explained: “We had our banjo player for a while, he’s out in Colorado now, he’s restarted up his old band and we’re back to our trio that we’ve had for 10 years, and that’s our core part of the band but we have a few very special guests we like to bring in to make it a quartet. Today it was Nate Leath on the fiddle, which, he’s as great fiddler player as there is, really. We have quite a few special guests we like to get out, like Will Lee on the 5 string banjo, he’s a master and a wonderful singer too. We sort of switch it up, have trios, have a banjo or a fiddle, we like to mix it up. And I think our audience likes that. It keeps it fresh for them and it keeps it fresh for us.

When asked where their evening was headed, Larry smiled “I’m looking forward to picking with as many of these folks as I can, we don’t always get to hang out, so it’s sure nice when we do!”

Also, check out this article by Diane about the Festy itself: https://dreamspider.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/introducing-the-festy-experience/

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Check out this great article about the inaugural Infamous Stringdusters Festival, The Festy, that took place this past weekend in Nelson County, VA.   Diane Wildman Farineau is the author and Milo Farineau is the photographer that took this amazing shot!  The two of them have joined forces with Chester Simpson Photography and are working on a book called, The Festival Project to document the music festival lifestyle and to chronicle all types of music festivals, with an emphasis on the revival of bluegrass music... Also click here for Diane’s complete interview with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at the Festy!

Introducing The Festy

by Diane Wildman Farineau

Incredible music, a breathtaking venue and promotional visionaries got married about a year ago and gave birth to a baby this weekend and its name is The Festy.

The first cries issued forth from this newborn on Saturday, October 9th on the double stages in front of the Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, in beautiful Nelson County, Virginia were soft and sweet, with performances by Sarah Siskind, Robinella and Crooked Still, but as the evening and weekend progressed, the cries turned lusty and ferocious culminating with stage thumping and fist pumping performances by the Infamous Stringdusters (the event’s curators and hosts) and Railroad Earth.

Like most newborns, this baby didn’t get much sleep this weekend, as the jams went on well into the wee hours both on stage and in the form of impromptu campfire performances throughout the campground. “I was walking back through the camp zone after it got dark and I saw all these fires, and heard the sounds of picking and people hanging out and that’s a big piece of the whole puzzle that makes a great vibe,” said Stringdusters guitarist, Andy Falco, “there are not enough facial expressions that we can make to show how excited we are about this festival.”

That the award winning Stringdusters could line up a few friends to “gig for a weekend” wouldn’t surprise anyone. The true indicator of success, however, lay not only in the breadth of talent represented, but also its depth. Included in the line up were legendary flat pickers Larry Keel and Tony Rice. The crowd was in awe, as were a number of the performers. Said Keel about their involvement: “We were called by the Stringdusters and they said they were having a festival up here…I couldn’t believe it, I love playing in the hills of Virginia, and they said they really wanted us to be a part of it, so we worked it out and we’re real glad we did.”

Unlike some festival events, where bands roll in and roll out in a dizzying cloud of dust, the goal of these organizers was to create an environment and a vibe where performers would want to stick around, not only to catch up with friends, but also to sit in and jam with one another, something so many love to do, but for which they don’t always find the opportunity. Said Jenny Keel; “The hanging out factor was good. Having the band mastermind it all had a great impact and a very positive one.” There was a veritable love-fest backstage, between artists, organizers, the production team, and volunteers and this vibe flowed from behind the curtain out across the stage and into the crowd which sang and danced their hearts out for two full days and nights. Said Allan “El Ron” Ronquillo, promoter from Running Smooth and good friend of Railroad Earth “When an event is done well like this, everyone, from the band to the fans, walks away feeling empowered.”

More than just a concert, the Festy was designed as a lifestyle, wellness and music experience. In addition to music, the event hosted both a trail running and mountain bike race on the two mornings. Yoga classes were free and available to all participants. A climbing wall, massage therapists, a host of food and beverage vendors, instrument workshops and educational workshops on environmental sustainability were all in the mix. “What we’re doing here” said Michael Allenby, (owner of The Artist Farm, and event co-producer) “is creating an experience for people who love the outdoor culture.” Said Devils Backbone Brewing Company owner and venue developer, Steve Crandall, “we’ve done a lot of work to point event participants in the direction of local resources here, we’re about creating sustainability.” With crisp fall weather and access to hiking and biking trails, participants took full advantage of what the area had to offer. “People come to this area and fall in love with it instantaneously, we can’t manufacture or fabricate any of these mountains around us, that’s their dream, the Blue Ridge Mountains, when folks pull in here…..it’s overwhelming ” said the event’s production company, Cerberus’s co-owner, Justin Billcheck.

Great time, great music, great location, this nascent event just knocked it right out of the park. Go ahead and mark your calendars, this baby will turn one next year on October 8 & 9, 2011 and that’s going to be a birthday party no one should miss!

Click here for the post on the Bluegrass Blog with more photos from Milo and here for photos from the Festy staff photog Tom Daly.

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The word is out about The Festy Experience this past weekend hosted by the Infamous Stringdusters featuring the music of Tony Rice, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Toubab Krewe and lots more!  All opinion points to a fabulous festival experience with some fantastic music! Check out this blog post from the Bluegrass Blog below and be sure to follow the link to see the GREAT Photos!

Photos from the Festy Experience

posted by John Lawless in  the Bluegrass Blog

Milo Farineau took in the debut Festy Experience, the recently-concluded three day music event headlined by The Infamous Stringdusters adjacentent to the Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Nelson County, Virginia.

The entertainment featured a who’s who of modern bluegrass and jam grass acts – Tony Rice Unit, Crooked Still, Railroad Earth, Larry Keel, Packway Handle Band, Old School Freight Train and more. The ‘Dusters served as amiable hosts and performed both days (10/9-10) on the main stage.

Milo sent along a gallery of images from the musical performances. CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT.

Also Check out these Fantastic shots by the official staff photog for the Festy, Tom Daly: http://www.thedalydose.com/?p=479

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