Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. — creators of FloydFest, Floyd Fandango Showdown Throwdown, and 2016’s Totally Rad Roanoke Star City Concert Series — returns to Roanoke, Virginia’s Elmwood Amphitheater on Sunday, June 4, 2017, for “Giant Jam Sandwich: A FloydFest Family Picnic,” with support from Blue Ridge Beverage Company, Inc., Grand Home Furnishings, Union Bank & Trust, WSLS 10, and Martin’s Downtown. Showcasing the best in jam bands from 2017 and past year’s FloydFest lineups, “Giant Jam Sandwich: A FloydFest Family Picnic” catalyzes community with a 10-hour production featuring TAUK, BIG Something, The Werks, People’s Blues of Richmond, The Mantras, and Sol Searchers, as well as outdoor activities, such as corn hole, bocce, etc.; roaming performance art via Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts, Magician of Life, and Lunaversal.hoopz; food trucks, including OXXO Taco and Martin’s Downtown; and vibrant and varied vendors. Tickets are on sale NOW via atwproductions.com, and cost $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. For more information, click to atwproductions.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (888) VA-FESTS.
Noon — Gates open
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Sol Searchers
2 to 3 p.m. — The Mantras
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — People’s Blues of Richmond
5 to 6:15 p.m. — The Werks
6:45 to 8 p.m. — BIG Something
8:30 to 10 p.m. — TAUK
“Our first event is an extension of FloydFest as a way to introduce the Roanoke community to the music and magic of the nationally recognized festival from Floyd, Va.,” Across-the-Way Productions CEO Kris Hodges said. “’Giant Jam Sandwich’ will feature a smattering of jam bands slated for this year’s FloydFest, yet condenses them into a one-day extravaganza for the Roanoke audience. Featuring some of the best jam-style rock and roll on the scene today, tasty craft brews from a variety of breweries and incredible local food offerings, we’re certain the event will become an annual favorite.”
Showcasing the best in jam bands from 2017 and past year’s FloydFest lineups, ‘Giant Jam Sandwich: A FloydFest Family Picnic’ packs pungent programming into a 10-hour picnic-themed day at Elmwood Amphitheater:
• TAUK — (8:30 to 10 p.m.) On their third studio album Sir Nebula, TAUK tap into their singular chemistry to elevate and expand their all-instrumental blend of funk, hip-hop, progressive rock and jazz. Revealing both their refined musicality and unbridled creativity, the Oyster Bay, New York-bred rock-fusion four-piece push into new sonic terrain and build entire worlds within each richly textured soundscape.
• BIG Something — (6:45 to 8 p.m.) A six-piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through myriad musical styles. It’s no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered summer-circuit stalwarts as Umphrey’s McGee, Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph and even The B52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.
• The Werks — (5 to 6:15 p.m.) The virtuosic rhythm junkies of The Werks have released four highly acclaimed studio albums over the past 10 years, performed well over 1,000 shows and released countless live recordings. In that time, they’ve earned a devoted fan base across the world and reputation as one of the most energetic, compelling and downright entertaining live acts in the business.
• People’s Blues of Richmond — (3:30 to 4:30 p.m.) People’s Blues of Richmond is a heavy-touring, blues-psych power trio from Richmond, Va. In the past two years, they’ve signed with Madison House Booking, recorded their third full-length studio album, released a seven-inch single with sought-after rock and roll producer Mark Neill (Black Keys, The Hives, J. Roddy Walston & the Business) and have been featured at outlets such as PopMatters, Guitar World, CraveOnline, Relix and more.
• The Mantras — (2 to 3 p.m.) The Mantras, a five-piece jam machine born of Greensboro, N.C., have been conquering crowds and melting minds all over the country progressively for more than a decade. The band’s music can be described with all types of varying rock and roll terminology, but is absolutely best defined by each listener’s ear and, equally important, their experience. Since the inception of The Mantras in the mid 2000s, the band has been touring the country and building a catalog of four studio albums and more than 100 original songs.
• Sol Searchers — (12:30 to 1:30 p.m.) The search for meaning is something we can all relate to. The search for great music and inspiration is an entirely different thing. Or is it? The Sol Searchers seek to create meaning through their music, which traverses the landscape of America’s deep roots through the realms of blues, folk, rock, jazz and jam. The band itself consists of five highly skilled and experienced musicians from the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW Virginia — Foster Burton, Mark Nicholson, Jake Dempsey, Ben Hite and Kris Hodges — each with his own unique experiential background.
Peppered across the park throughout the day will be roaming entertainers to add a taste of FloydFest magic, including Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts, Magician of Life and Lunaversal.hoopz. In addition to a wide variety of craft brews, ciders and domestic libations, the ‘family picnic’ will feature a tantalizing smattering of local food trucks and food vendors, such as OXXO Taco and Martin’s Downtown. To add even more party to the picnic, outdoor activities will be present for patrons in the park, including corn hole, bocce, ladder ball and more.
“Our ‘family picnic’ event reflects the reality that Elmwood Park is a great place to be, especially on a June weekend, and we think it will be fun for folks to spend an entire day there enjoying music, food, friends and fun, as opposed to just a couple hours for a single concert,” Across-the-Way Productions CFO Erika Johnson said. “We want this to be something that brings families out and sparks a relaxed whole day of fun and togetherness.”
For more information on the lineup, click to www.taukband.com, www.bigsomething.net, www.thewerksmusic.com, www.peoplesblues.com, www.themantras.com and www.facebook.com/solsearchersband.