Load remaining images Music, magic, mountains… FloydFest delivered on all three this year, plus so much more. For the 17th annual edition of the event in Floyd, VA, FloydFest really did have it all: amazing music from a wide range of genres, outdoor activities to keep the body active, and a plethora of other things to keep one entertained. The weather varied across the weekend from chilly rains to sunny, but that didn’t impede the one thing that truly makes FloydFest truly unique—the vibe. Everywhere you turned, you could see smiles on faces, attendees enjoying themselves, and strangers becoming friends, making for an overall atmosphere that is often sought but rarely equaled at other music festivals. There was even love in the air; not only was there a wedding on-site on Saturday, but there was also a marriage proposal on stage during Michael Franti and Spearhead’s set (she said yes). For FloydFest guests this year, this last weekend in July proved to exceed the high expectations that each previous FloydFest has set.Thursday, the first full day of the festival, kicked off with some great sets from The Hip Abduction, McLovins, Big Something, and headliner Thievery Corporation. The Hip Abduction brought their eclectic rock-island sound to the main stage and immediately had people dancing. Listening to their music, it was easy to close one’s eyes and imagine the Blue Ridge Mountains transformed into a beach in the Caribbean. The McLovins also had a great set, showcasing how the group has evolved since their early YouTube-sensation teenage days. To close things out, Thievery Corporation played a great set despite the continuous rain throughout. Though the group was missing the stage presence of Rob Garza, Thievery still brought the high energy for which they are known.Friday continued the event, offering a diverse lineup sampling acts from across genres. Some of the best sets of the day included the progressive electronica of TAUK, the pop reggae rock of Michael Franti of Spearhead, and the Colorado slamgrass of Leftover Salmon. Despite not having one lyric in any of their songs, TAUK managed to have one of the biggest crowds at the Hill Holler Stage. They played their typical festival set, but that’s not to say that it was typical by any means. Most notably they played a great version of “Afro-Tonic” that included some ambient improvisation. Having done an intimate yoga session with around 100 festival-goers just hours before his set, Michael Franti was electric for his performance. He invited people to dance with him and made one little girl’s dreams come true by having her sing “The Sound of Sunshine” in front of thousands of people. Later during the set, one photographer came on stage and, in the middle of a feel-good song, gave a heart-tugging proposal to his insanely talented hula-hooping girlfriend. Congrats Roger! Although Franti and Spearhead played an excellent performance, it was not the end of the night. Leftover Salmon continued the good vibes at the Garden Stage. As the name describes, plenty of trees surround the stage, making it a very inimitable venue. Their late-night set featured an excellent rendition of The Band’s “Rag Mama Rag” as well as a fast and furious “Good Night to Boogie” to close out their set at 2 am. Despite it being late, the crowd absolutely ate it all up and wanted more.Saturday had some stellar sets from soloists such as Xavier Rudd and Zach Deputy, Americana specialists Railroad Earth, and a hodgepodge amalgamation of artists in the Buffalo Mountain Jam. Before that could all go down, two attendees who met each other in 2016 at the festival tied the knot at the intimate and rustic Ferrum Workshop Porch stage. Getting married at festivals is nothing new, but this one was incredibly classy. Friends and family of the bride and groom, as well as perfect strangers, were able to share the moment of happiness and bliss with the union of these two FloydFest lovers. Perhaps the most exciting set of the night was the Buffalo Mountain Jam. It was one year ago that Gregg Allman was slotted to play a headline set at FloydFest 16. He was ill and had to cancel at the last moment, so various musicians came together as the Buffalo Mountain Jam to play a set of music rather than leaving fans with a gaping void in the Saturday slot.Fast forward to 2017, and we all know of Allman’s recent and unfortunate passing. In the same vein as the previous year, various musicians came together and delivered a rocking set. This year included Keller Williams, members of Leftover Salmon and Railroad Earth, and Larry Keel to name a few. Even Swedish sisters Baskery were invited up to perform, making it an international collaboration. The highlights of the set included a firing “Midnight Rider” opener, a stirring rendition of Allman’s “Melissa,” and a cover of “For What It’s Worth” to give a nod to the Buffalo name. The Buffalo Mountain Jam is something that hopefully will become a staple of FloydFest for years to come.On Sunday, the sun finally shined bright and high, making for a beautiful day to end the festival. The final day brought a great set from Fruition and showed the guitar mastery of Keller Williams. Williams played in multiple sets throughout the weekend, all in different formations. Sunday, he first played with the Keels. They played an excellent rendition of the Garcia/Hunter staple “Loser” that began and ended with Beck’s famous “Loser” lyric: “Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me.” After he finished that set, he ran to the next stage to do another set with his four-piece band, KWahtro, who ended their set with jam band staples “Bird Song,” “Birds of a Feather,” and “Best Feeling.”Besides all the music mentioned, there were so many others good acts that many fell in love with. The on-the-rise competition opens up the smaller stages to smaller groups, and honorable mention must be given to Jaewar & the Vibe Riot as well as Chris Ross & the North. And if all that music wasn’t enough, there were plenty of other things to do including bike rides, a 5K, and nine-hole disc golf tournament. If your thing is music and outdoor activities, then FloydFest is absolutely for you. This year was a magical, smashing success. This small community in rural Virginia knows how to do it right. As of this exact moment, the countdown for FloydFest 18 begins.You can check out photos from this year’s FloydFest below, courtesy of Ojeda Photography.