In a matter of hours, the magic of live bluegrass & Americana music will grace the legendary land that is VanHoy Farms.
North Carolina based event production company Mtn Roots Management has partnered with VanHoy Farms to bring GRAMMY award-winning jam-grass outfit The Infamous Stringdusters to the foothills of Harmony, NC, for a socially distanced performance spanning two nights on Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th. The double header event will include special guests Sierra Hull & Justin Moses, a chart-topping Americana power duo (Friday), and legendary bluegrass pickers The Travelin’ McCourys (Saturday), joining a long history of treasured live music experiences at the 107-acre property.
With public health at the forefront, event organizers have developed a “pod-style” ticketing structure with 8×10 viewing plots available for purchase. Tickets range from $200-$320 for a group of four, and pods will be spaced six feet apart on each side. Additional measures will include requiring masks to be worn anywhere outside of the pods, mobile beverage sales, and a food pre-order system to limit contact.
With the COVID-19 pandemic nearing one year, Mtn Roots Management CEO Bob Robertson hopes to pioneer an opportunity for live music lovers to get their fix without compromising safety. A seasoned industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, Robertson was inspired by the “show must go on” spirit of his colleagues who were producing drive-in concerts and other adapted events nationwide, and felt called to bring that experience to his own backyard. His vision is to extend the program through the Summer under the bill “VanHoy Farms Revival Music Series,” with a promising lineup of artists to be announced soon.
We got the chance to ask Robertson and Casey VanHoy some questions about the event and more.
So how did this music series all come together, and what particular hurdles did you face in organizing such an event?
Bob Robertson: Casey VanHoy and I are long time friends. We produced several music festivals in the early 2000’s at the property. We felt it was time to bring music back to VanHoy Farms. Honestly, our biggest hurdle is putting protocols into place to ensure the safety of our guests. NCDHHS has been great to work with and have outlined guidelines that are easy to follow.
How many attendees is VanHoy Farms expecting for the series?
BR: Currently we are working on other shows as part of our series. We expect 2500 to 3000 people for our first weekend event, coming up this April 23rd and 24th.
How did you land on the chosen artists?
BR: The Infamous Stringdusters are long time friends of mine — we worked together on a festival in Virginia several years ago. It was an easy match for us to produce these shows together. Adding The Travelin’ McCourys just made sense as they have a great history in the bluegrass music scene, and Sierra Hull and Justin Moses are honestly one of my current favorites, so I guess that booking was for me! Mason Via is the son of David Via, who played some of our early festivals, which Mason actually attended as a kid. He’s making great strides on the scene right now, having competed on American Idol this season, and more recently, he’s been inducted as the newest member of Old Crow Medicine Show.
How have these annual events evolved over time?
BR: This show will be the first in the series, though Casey has hosted many acts on his property over the years. We look forward to growing this event and having it join the long line of music memories at VanHoy Farms.
What does the Old Time Fiddlers Convention entail, and is it still present and thriving today?
Casey VanHoy: The Fiddlers Convention is a national showcase for musicians that compete in front of a set of judges for prize money. It was started in 1924 as a fundraiser for Union Grove School, here in Iredell County. It outgrew the school and we moved it to my dad’s farm here in 1970. Eventually, it also outgrew this venue, with 1979 being the last year we hosted the convention. 1924 will be the hundred year anniversary, and we’re thinking about doing some type of celebration.
Would you say that’s the primary reason VanHoy Farms is the destination it is today?
CVH: We owe a lot to the legacy of the Fiddlers Convention. The farm has become a hallowed ground for musical collaboration, and we try to incorporate that heritage into any new events we have here. We’ve been very fortunate throughout the years of having wonderful artists and working with some of the finest producers in the country to bring these artists to this area of North Carolina.
What are some of your fondest memories of hosting events on the farm in years prior?
CVH: Meeting all the wonderful people that come here — whether it’s a reunion of sorts, or folks coming to see their favorite artists. Getting to see old friends and meeting new faces is the best part of having events at VanHoy Farms.
Are there plans for more events throughout the rest of 2021?
BR: Yes. We are hard at work trying to secure a few more shows for 2021. Our hopes is to have a full schedule to roll out for 2022.
The Infamous Stringdusters with special guests Sierra Hull & Justin Moses and The Travelin’ McCourys will take place at VanHoy Farms Family Campground (742 Jericho Road, Harmony, NC) on Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, respectively. For information and updates, visit www.mtnrootsmanagement.com/stringdusters. For tickets, visit www.aftontickets.com/stringdusters.