Nelson County, Virginia
Steve Crandall, owner and founder of Devils Backbone Brewing in Roseland says 2015 was the last year for The Festy Experience at the original location. “The Festy was started by four partners. Devils Backbone had a 25% stake in ownership. Micheal Allenby of The Artist Farm owned 25% as did Justin Billcheck Productions, and The Stringdusters owned 25%. We all brought different skill sets to the table. After two years we gave up our ownership. We had a five year contract to have the event hosted on our site. This was the last year for that contract,” Steve told us by phone while away in North Carolina.
BRL reached out to the founder of DB after rumors about the change swirled around as a backdrop to this year’s festival.
Crandall told us he will begin another festival next fall in 2016 that’s more in tune with the local community.
“Allenby bought the remainder of The Festy out earlier this year from other partners. It’s too much stress on our infrastructure. Michael’s idea is to do a large event. It will go on, in another location. But we want to do something that’s more about our local community.”
Rumors have been flying for weeks that The Festy will relocate to Oak Ridge Estate where Lockn’ is held annually, but Crandall says he’s not sure where the event will eventually land since he hasn’t had ownership in it for a number of years.
When we talked to Michael Allenby by phone on Wednesday afternoon, he echoed what Crandall said. “No decision has been made on where The Festy will go. We are very interested in Nelson County and we know there is a lot of interest from the South Rockfish Valley area in having us stay nearby. While Dave Frey (Lockn’) has the cool infrastructure in place, we want to look at that, no decision has been made about where we will go.” Allenby said he wants a place where he can put down roots and have a permanent infrastructure where bringing in so much gear isn’t a necessity. “It’s an extremely risky venture, but with a good venue we can do it. We want people in the area to tell us what they want,” Allenby added.
Crandall says he wants an event that is more in line with what they do, “We want an event that’s about our brand and what Backbone is about. And, something we can take on the road to other areas where we sell craft beer. Nashville, Chattanooga, North Carolina, etc,”
BRLM will share more as we know, but it sounds like exciting changes in the wind!