Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

July 31, 2013

Bacon Blues & Brew Music and Arts Festival at Walhill

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

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The first annual Bacon Blues & Brew Music and Arts Festival ( takes place Aug. 16-18 at Walhill Farm, reports owner Peter Hillenbrand. 

"This is going to be a very cool fest that will feature outstanding music from internationally-known artists, nationally touring fine artists as well as the best of the local art scene and, of course, the best in Walhill farm fresh food and local breweries."

Organizing group Bacon Blues & Brew, based in Batesville, is a crew made up of art lovers and music fans. Members include Walhill Farm events manager Ashli Brahman; Pepe Paras and Alyssa Wissel, Batesville; and Penny Lane and Jean Straber, Shelbyville.

Paras notes, "Together with Walhill Farm, we decided to organize a festival inspired by the roots of American music ... Although our goal is to emphasize the blues as a general and inspirational tone for our project, and one that we hope will become more evident each year, our selection of performers this first year is rather hybrid with a mission to present the living spirit of classic American music in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary." Throughout the weekend, attendees will hear jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, country, swing, rockabilly and rock and roll sounds.

"Junior Brown is our Saturday night headliner," Hillenbrand says. The Kirksville, Ind., native now lives in Nashville, Tenn. The primarily country guitarist and singer has released nine studio albums. He explains, "Brown's signature instrument, which he invented, is the 'guit-steel' double-neck guitar, a hybrid of electric and lap steel guitars." 

Other bands in the lineup include Honey Honey, The Iguanas, Noah Hunter & the 420 All-Stars and the Dex Romweber Duo.

Spectators can bring lawn chairs, blankets, mats and pillows to use at the outside stage only. Umbrellas are not permitted as they obscure views. These items will not be permitted at music sets in the air-conditioned barn. 

Attendees also may bring guitars, kazoos, washboards, mandolins, banjos and other instruments to a “jam tent” near the pond. 

Paras imagines art mediums ranging from drawing, painting and sculpture to glass blowing, jewelry making, leatherwork and woodwork. "Whether classical or eccentric, we are looking to showcase art that is uniquely handcrafted, and preferably noncommercial." Hillenbrand says about 24 artists will display their works for sale in tents around the farm's pond. Some of the artists can be viewed at

Two stations will offer beer and Ertel Cellars Winery varietals. Beer, wine and liquor also can be purchased in the lodge bar. 

Of the food, Hillenbrand says, "Everything is made from scratch and most of it is raised or grown here on the farm." 

Outside food, coolers and pets are not allowed.  

Ticket prices are Friday, $25; Saturday, $40; Friday and Saturday, $50; VIP, $25 extra. VIP ticket sales are limited to 125.

The Rural Alliance for the Arts is a fest sponsor, "but this first year is a for-profit production of Walhill Farm," according to the owner. "If the area does indeed support the venture, we will plan on bringing on a charity (to benefit) next year."