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With a roster of local breweries, local and national musicians and on-site food trucks, Well Crafted adds up to a celebration of local craftsmanship in a unique, character-driven venue that few can boast.
Amy Bugg, director of marketing and communications at Shaker Village, sees the festival as an intriguing option for an untapped demographic segment and an opportunity to introduce the site to new visitors while continuing to sustain its current patrons. The event follows an advent of recent activities such as bonfire gatherings, candlelit yoga and various happy hour events –– all geared to attract a new audience to the historic site.
“We see it as an opportunity to diversify the experience of Shaker Village while bringing in a new demographic to reach new audiences,” Bugg said.
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Amy Bugg, director of marketing and communications at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
In an effort to celebrate the dynamism and quality of Kentucky’s music and its upstart craft beer culture, the festival will offer attendees a chance to sample the many local flavors from both the brews and the music itself. The enticing beer roster includes Falls City, West Sixth, Blue Stallion, Country Boy, Rooster, BBC, and Against The Grain breweries.
The festival is a collaboration between Shaker Village and Shaker Steps, a local music video production crew that focuses on promoting grassroots musical artists. (While not directly affiliated with Shaker Village, Shaker Steps’ moniker comes from a Shaker drawing found in the home of its co-founder, Mark Rush.) The idea of a joint-attraction festival featuring craft beer and local artists had been on the table since February and will become a reality this month following months of pursuing the focused vision.
Derek Feldman of Shaker Steps and Delight Hanover (founder of Alias Records and local concert promoter Pistolier Productions) were both instrumental in shaping the festival’s musical line-up. The roster includes many local and familiar names, such as Small Batch and Coralee and the Townies, intermingled with national artists to provide an array of musical styles speaking to the desired diversity of the festival.
“Derek and I share similar tastes in music,” Hanover said, noting that though the artists represented at the festival share sonic traits, the eclecticism of genres is still present with representatives of folk, roots, Appalachian, and even Appalachian rock genres.
“Out of all the bands we booked, the one common thread is the amount of particularly strong songwriters,” Feldman said. “Songwriting is a craft unto itself, which fits perfectly with this festival.”
Initiatives of both parties were unified in their aim to introduce new blood to the many delights of Shaker Village.
“We jumped at the opportunity to be involved with such a beautiful, historic site,” said Feldman. “This also opens Shaker Village up to connecting to a younger audience.”
Musical performers will include Ben Nichol, frontman of country-punk act Lucero; Louisville native Dawn Landes, who is now based out of New York; Louisville-based alt country outfit Freakwater; punk-influenced songwriter Austin Lucas; Lexington-based experimental folk singer Wooden Wand and a wealth of others. Friday night’s festivities, billed as the Meadow View Barn Dance, will take place in the barn initially developed to house the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass and will feature a more intimate vibe, while Saturday’s shows will exist in a more “open air” fashion, with bands playing in one of Shaker Village’s Town Center areas on the northwest section of the property. Individual night tickets as well as weekend passes are available.
Environmental sustainability, a hallmark of the original Shakers, will also be a focus of the event, with an educational area featuring demonstrations and information.
The festival itself seeks to operate in that very spirit of sustainability. All proceeds of the festival will benefit Shaker Village’s agricultural and environmental educational programs.
According to Bugg, “this will be a low-waste event that will allow us the opportunity to promote dialogue between the patrons and our staff.”
If the festival emerges as an annual event, it will join the already rich tradition of the 200 year-plus lineage of Shaker Village’s now 3,000-acre expanse, which the Shakers settled for the promise of its fertile soil and plentiful resources. Architecturally advanced and masters of harvest, the Shakers were marked by their sense of community and preternatural ingenuity that continues to inspire to this day.
Though Well Crafted brings the possibility of new audiences to Shaker Village, it falls squarely in-line with the inventiveness of the Shakers themselves, a group often overlooked for the progressiveness they have long fostered. Although attendees may be coming for the beer and sounds, they will no doubt depart having been touched by the peaceful elegance and tradition of Shaker Village.
See the Full Festival Schedule Here