Libby Terrell’s gathering at her family’s historic 30-acre farm outside Athens combined her favorite things: a farm-to-table supper, live music, the company of friends.
One evening last fall, as the group nibbled on heirloom tomatoes with basil and locally raised pork and later made vanilla ice cream under a dark sky lit up by a campfire with the sound of bluegrass filling the space, the group wondered: Why can't more music festivals be like this?
Why must music festivals be awash with greasy, overpriced, processed food? Why is there so much trash — piles of plastic bottles?
Terrell, 32, and friends posted photos from their potluck on social media and people responded: Do it again, they pleaded. Make it bigger. Invite more people.
That’s how Terrell, older brother Jesse Collier, and friend Brooke Holder got the idea for organizing the Wildwood Revival, a festival that mixes farm-to-fork dining, live music and an open-air barn for an evening billed as a truly Americana experience. The July 19 event will be held at Cloverleaf Farm, featuring flowering magnolia trees, tree-lined lanes and wide-open space. It’s a place reserved a few times a year for high-end weddings.
Terrell calls the event a cultural revival, adding, “what’s old is new again.” In fact, here’s one throwback: Water is free — and will be served in glass Mason jars. (Georgia brews also will be served in the Mason jars.) Food will be served on eco-friendly plates made out of only fallen palm leaves and water. (They go through a steam, heat and pressure process.) After the festival, the plates — designed for a single use — will be used for compost in a garden on the property.
Tickets for the event cost $38 and cover the festival and music from several bands playing Americana with a blend of country, rock, bluegrass, folk and blues. (You can go online to buy tickets at www.wildwoodrevival.com.) There is no additional cost for camping overnight. The entry fee doesn't cover dinner or drinks. Organizers are limiting this inaugural event to 400. They plan to host more, larger events during the coming months.
People can stay at primitive camping areas on the farm, which includes a wooded area with cleared trails. People can bring a tent or trailer (vintage encouraged) with them. A limited number of tip rentals were snatched up quickly. Food will be provided by A Divine Event, a catering company also owned by Terrell’s family. The meal, whose cost will range between $8 and $10, will include locally raised pork smoked on charcoal barbecue grills, locally grown greens and macaroni and cheese. King of Pops also will be on hand selling icy treats.
“Part of the inspiration is wanting to preserve certain aspects of our culture and not let it disappear,” said Terrell, who wears vintage clothing and eschews listening to pop songs on the radio and instead prefers the sounds of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Terrell, marketing director for A Divine Event, recently moved to Nashville, Tenn. Her brother lives outside Athens and her friend Brooke is in Atlanta.
The artist market will feature vintage clothing and rustic, antique goods brought to you by one of their favorite pickers, Atlanta Vintage Clothing. Festivalgoers also will have a chance to get an 1800s-era tintype portrait by Kendra Elise using an individually hand-crafted technique — one of the oldest ways to create a photograph.
Tiffany Atkinson, a 28-year-old preschool teacher who lives in Atlanta, plans to go with a group of friends and camp overnight.
“I don’t know if I am more excited about the food, music or general atmosphere,” Atkinson said. “I know it will be a real authentic, Southern atmosphere and it’s such a beautiful setting. I just love this idea of what’s old is new again.”
Atkinson plans to get her photograph taken, enjoy the good food, sleep under the stars and get in touch with a slower way of life.
Atkinson said she’s been to plenty of music festivals.
“And this one sounds pretty unique.”