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Business is lighter than normal, some neighbors say, because the festival is so self-contained.
JILL NANCE | The (Lynchburg) News & Advance
Mike Roy of Texas welcomes the band Further, featuring Grateful Dead veterans Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, at the Lockn' Festival on Friday.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
ARRINGTON — Some local business owners in Nelson County said Saturday that, so far, they have not reaped the expected benefits from the Lockn’ music festival.
Taylor Smack, the co-owner of Blue Mountain Barrel House, said while the festival itself has been fun and exciting, it’s not having the effect on business he would have liked.
The brewery, only a few minutes from the festival site, is hosting a Lockn’ Festival Party with extended hours, live music, tours, tastings, food and shuttles to and from the event site.
“It’s not going well,” Smack said.
He said the brewery would be busier in the middle of a snowstorm in winter than it is right now. Not only has the festival brought in little to no new business, but regular business has been slower than normal. The brewery’s shuttle service mostly has been used by staff.
“I wish the local breweries had been given a more prominent spot at the festival,” he said.
The only Nelson County brewery or business that is a main vendor at Lockn’ is Afton’s The Blue Toad Pub.
“I think it’s a great festival,” Smack said. “I would just like to see it benefit the local businesses more.”
Bob Taylor, the owner of Rapunzel’s Coffee Shop & Bookstore in Lovingston, said the company saw some festival goers come in Wednesday night prior to the start of the event, because they were looking for something to do. However, he said business Friday and Saturday had been slower than normal.
He said, in general, Lovingston has been “quiet,” which he attributed to the fact that the festival is mostly “self-contained.”
Like Smack, Taylor said he was not opposed to the festival, but didn’t feel like it has been necessarily good for business.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a great drain on us one way or another, but I don’t think it’s going to be a great thing for the community,” he said.
However, employees from Wild Wolf Brewery who were manning a booth on Saturday to sell merchandise and advertise for the Nellysford brewery said they felt the festival had given their business good exposure.
“I think it’s certainly drawn in some random people who haven’t been there before,” said Emily Plecker, the marketing manager for Wild Wolf, although there has not been a major increase in clientele.
She said the event also has been useful in “letting [people] know who we are and what we do.”
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