Too many rumors and false claims, so few facts about FloydFest 12

072911floydfest5Lots of public and private debate over FloydFest 12 and what went right or wrong with the festival that, for the first time, sold out all four days and ran into madness when drenching rains left grounds muddied, camping areas flooded and parking lots closed.

As happens in such situations, more misinformation than facts took center stage on the Internet as a lot of claims, many of them exaggerated or false, were  posted on Facebook and on blogs.

Some of those false claims found their way onto Blue Ridge Muse as comments posted by first-timers.

I tried to get to the bottom of the what really happened and also to report on FloydFest 12 in two stories in this week’s edition of The Floyd Press.  One story concentrated on the event and the other article focused on the parking lots situation and the weather.  In many ways, FloydFest 12 was a success.  Some areas require study and changes for next year but the folks at FloydFest have proven themselves adaptable.

Among the claims that were wrong were those that FloydFest “fired” parking lot operators Shannon Zeman and Jeff Dalton, the Sheriff and Chief Investigator for the Sheriff’s Department who ran the lots to raise money for Floyd County charities.  Zeman and Dalton made the decision to stop going the parking operations because they were tired and wanted a break.  FloydFest organizers begged them to stay.

Another false claim said the organization was turning its back on local charities.  Again, not true, as FloydFest is committing some $60,000 to needy organizations this year.  Another falsehood was a claim that local businesses were “locked out” of the event.  Many local businesses were present and featured, as they always were.  Those not present this year chose on their own to not participate.

My thanks to Erika Johnston and Linda DeVito of FloydFest, Sheriff Shannon Zeman and Jeff Dalton, Locust Grove Supervisor Lauren Yoder, School Superintendent Dr. Kevin Harris, school bus driver Julius Dickerson and others for helping me get the story.

Sadly, more rumors than facts circulated on the Internet.  Such is the nature of the beast.  It’s time to put the rumors to rest and move on.

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