2 music festivals are coming to Arrowood Farms

Hudson Valley music fan Scott A. Mackenzie of Ulster County is looking forward to two upcoming music festivals at Arrowood Farms in Accord, about a 20-minute drive from his home in Stone Ridge.

“It’s local,” says Mackenzie, who will be joined by his wife at Soil Farmers Festival May 21 and follow the arrow June 18. “I like the little ones, I like the intimate ones. I love natural environments. Having live music in nature, on a farm, that, for me, is perfect.

Arrowood is a brewery farm that grows its own hops. It also houses a distillery, a bar, a tasting room and an outdoor stage that can accommodate 1,000 people.

The farm’s two late-spring festivals build on the agriculture, tourism, open space preservation, and family entertainment that Arrowood is known for.

“What we’re trying to do with our food and beverage program, and what we’re trying to do with the festivals, is bring people back to a sense of community, and come back to that sense of agriculture and camaraderie,” says Jacob. Meglio, co-founder and managing partner of Arrowood Farms.

Jacob Meglio, co-founder and managing partner of Arrowood Farms.

John Barry

The local flavor of both festivals is underscored by the organizations presenting the events: both are partnerships between Arrowood Farms and Ulster-based Impact Concerts. In collaboration with Impact and Arrowood, Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock presents the Dirt Farmer Festival, while Ulster County keyboard genius Marco Benevento presents Follow the Arrow.

The Dirt Farmer Festival invokes the legacy of Levon Helm, the band’s late drummer who grew up on a cotton farm in Arkansas and titled his 2007 Grammy-winning comeback album “Dirt Farmer.” Helm lived in Woodstock for decades.

This gathering will feature lineup that includes Mavis Staples; Helm’s daughter, Amy; and the Midnight Ramble Band, which includes members of the Levon Helm Band. Jackson Browne, Amy Helm and the Midnight Ramble Band performed at the first Dirt Farmer Festival in 2018.

Benevento, the headliner of Follow the Arrow, developed a loyal following and also performed with Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead and Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish. Benevento is also a member of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute ensemble that will perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 25. Karina Rykman, the Slip and Mikaela Davis & Southern Star are among the other artists performing Follow the Arrow.

“Marco,” says Mackenzie, “is talented beyond talent.”

Notable names taking the stage at Arrowood will be anchored at a site that Meglio says is designed for year-round family comfort and enjoyment. The farm is open year-round, and Meglio says it caters to families with a closing time of 9 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And while mum and dad have a drink, the kids can watch the chickens on the farm or play on an idle tractor. There is also a corn hole, a pond, picnic tables and hammocks. An outdoor pavilion bar and kitchen are open from March to December.

Meglio, who grew up in Accord and graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz, says Arrowood prioritizes local ingredients for its beer and spirits, and contracts with local farms to culture after learning what works locally.

“Our mission,” he says, “is to produce great beer and spirits, showcase local ingredients, and showcase local agriculture.”

To visit arrowwoodfarms.com/music to learn more.

Hudson Valley Art, Music and Culture

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