The festival is at the Stony Fork Campground, so you can stay right there. A friend of mine has a cabin very near there and knows the owners. We drive by there all the time and stop in sometimes. Nice people, nice place.
I assumed most people who attended the hickory fest stayed at the campground on site. I am sure there are those who get day passes and attend only a day of the event, but I think most people camp for the weekend. I haven't attend the event myself but some of my family have in the past. Living here they still stayed at the campground.