By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
This has been a tough year for many and the entertainment industry was hit pretty hard. In an effort to bring back the festival energy of days gone by, a couple in Stockbridge has decided to host a concert at their home, which also happens to be a hemp farm. The appropriately named “Croptober” festival will happen on Oct. 16. The stage will be located in a large field abutting the White River, with the beautiful Green Mountains as a backdrop.
This isn’t the first festival Chris and Matt Lillie have run — they also put on the Notown Music Festival. Croptoberfest however will be the first festival hosted on their property. Of the upcoming event, Chris said, “This is a hemp farm and our home. We only ask that all attendees be respectful of our neighbors and the land.” They wanted to do something, and this came to mind. It will be small, but there’s room to spread out and observe social distancing, if need be. This is a kid-friendly event and there’s lots of room for kids to run around and jump in the river. Instead of one big bonfire, there will be multiple fires for people to stand around while listening to awesome music.
Chris said, “It will be nice to get people in the community together because a lot have moved in during the pandemic that you don’t know. It will be nice.” She’s hoping to have this every year.
The gate will open at 11 a.m.; music is set to start at 1 p.m. and go till 9 p.m. All the musicians will be playing original music. The musical lineup includes Jenny Porter, who is releasing her first ever CD the night before at the Pickle Barrel Nightclub in Killington. Porter hails from Belmont and has been singing since she was a little girl.
You might know Heather Lynne as the owner of the Wild Fern in Stockbridge and the bassist for The Luv with Rick Redington, but here you’ll see Lynne perform solo.
Liz Reedy is the only performer on the bill I’m not familiar with but I really enjoyed the song I listened to on Facebook.
Local Stockbridge musician Bow Thayer is an American songwriter, guitarist, banjoist and multi-string instrumentalist. His career spans over two decades. Thayer is also the founder of the Tweed River Music Festival, which is where the Notown event was held. His band will be performing a blend of Americana, bluegrass, folk, indie and rock.
Rick Redington and The Luv perform regularly at the Wild Fern. They started a Saturday night drive-in show there specifically due to the pandemic. They describe themselves as “An Organically Homegrown Green Mountain Rock & Rastabilly Trio of Free-Range Human Beings hell bent on doing it all on their own.” Redington is Vermont through and through. He grew up here and has been playing here for over two decades.
Last but certainly not least is the Krishna Guthrie Band. Krishna’s great-grandfather is Woody Guthrie, the folk legend who wrote “This Land is Your Land,” and his grandfather is Arlo Guthrie, who is famous for “Alice’s Restaurant.” I’ve seen Krishna perform “This Land is Your Land,” and it’s my favorite song he does and his typical closer. Chris said, “He’s going to bring it home. It’s a nice feel.” That song is really special to Guthrie, and he said, “It’s one of those songs that even if he wasn’t my great-grandfather, it’s one I would want to play. It’s so cool to know that comes from my family and I’m able to carry it on a little bit. It’s a powerful song and I feel we’re needing it more and more these days because the country is so divided.” Krishna has played all over the world with grandfather Arlo, but now feels right at home in the Killington and Rutland region. He’s about to start his eighth season in Killington.
If you live in town you are probably familiar with these talented folks, and if you’re new in town, come meet these local artists and neighbors. “There’s a lot of talent in Vermont,” said Chris.
Croptoberfest will also feature a solid lineup of participating vendors, which include; The Wild Fern Luv Wagon, Vermont Fairy Hair, Susie’s Kitchen and Dana Decker’s Tie-Dye.
As there is limited parking space, Chris and Matt are asking that you make a reservation ahead of time so they can be sure to accommodate. Tickets are a $35 suggested donation per attendee, which will go directly to the bands. No day of tickets will be sold at the gate. No dogs/pets on-premises. This will be a pack in, pack out event.
If you’re interested in purchasing a reservation, vending, or sponsoring this event, please reach out to Chris Lillie by email at [email protected] or call her at home, 802-746-8368.