LIVEstock Music Festival gears up for third-annual event
When Josh Willer started LIVEstock Music Festival two years ago, of course bringing music to his family farm was part of the motivation.
However, Willer also wanted to find a way to support the community. With the proceeds from the 2019 show, he was able to do just that, donating to Project Cultivate, a non-profit started by Parker Black when he was still a Greencastle High School student.
“I started this festival and I wanted to get it attached with a 501C3 of some sort,” Willer said. “I thought about starting my own to feed kids at school and someone said Parker had already started one.”
The connection was natural. Black’s band Dreadful Greta played each of the first two LIVEstock festivals. Combine this with a shared passion for helping feed kids in local schools, and Willer had the organization he wanted to support.
Project Cultivate first came to public attention in the spring of 2018 when Black, then a 17-year-old junior at GHS, organized a concert of his own to help Greencastle students who might be running a little short on lunch funds.
Since then, the organization has been able to help not only Greencastle students, but also Cloverdale as well as the Mary Allison Children’s Trust.
So, the money from LIVEstock was a welcome addition for Black, now a DePauw University student, and the cause he’s still championing.
With hopes of continuing to support the community, Willer is forging ahead with the 2020 edition of LIVEstock, set for Sept. 18 and 19 at Timber Ridge Hemp Co. and Willer Timber Ridge Cattle Ranch, 4700 S. CR 300 East, Greencastle.
While COVID-19 has restricted many such gatherings, Willer and his fellow organizers plan to follow current state guidelines, keeping in mind the health and safety of all festival goers.
Last year’s festival drew a little more than 1,200 people over two days.
“That was pretty good for our second year,” Willer said, noting that people came from states such as Michigan, New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina and Louisiana.
In fact, last year’s headliners were the Natural Born Leaders from Asheville, N.C.
With the uncertainty in the world, this year’s lineup is still coming together. However, through the website, www.livestockmusicfest.com/, potential acts, vendors (food and non-food), sponsors and volunteers may find out how to get involved.
One big addition for 2020 will be a songwriters’ contest. The contest will be conducted virtually, with entrants submitting videos of one song, no longer than five minutes in length.
Five winners will be chosen, with the first-place entry getting a paid 30-minute set on the festival main stage. Those finishing second through fifth will get a paid 30-minute set on the songwriters stage, sponsored by Moore’s Bar.
For more information, visit www.livestockmusicfest.com/songwriting-competition.
Just like in 2019, Willer hopes to continue to support the Putnam County community through the funds raised at the festival.
Last year, that included Concepts The Cabinet Shop and Waypoint sponsoring LIVEstock and Project Cultivate shirts, with all proceeds going to Project Cultivate.
Additionally, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the one platinum sponsor in 2019, donated the vodka for the festival.
“In turn, all those sales were donated to Project Cultivate,” Willer said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the 2020 LIVEstock Music Festival can go to the website, or look the festival up on Facebook or Instagram.
Tickets are available through eventbrite.com.