Multiple Musical Tastes

Multiple Musical Tastes
Photo courtesy Grav Weldon Dirtfoot performs at a previous Highberry Music Festival.

Photo courtesy Grav Weldon
Dirtfoot performs at a previous Highberry Music Festival.

Highberry offers variety plus community

Highberry is coming home to The Farm. Back in 2010, Highberry started out as a Fourth of July party at the home of Jon Walker, CEO of Deadhead Productions, north of Eureka Springs. Since then, Highberry has taken place at either the Byrd Sanctuary or at Mulberry Mountain. In the years since, the event has grown into a mature music festival complete with multiple stages, art classes, vendors and enough camping space to accommodate thousands.

The Farm is located north of Eureka Springs, just south of the Missouri border. The property spreads from the top of Shrine Hill down an expansive Ozark mountain valley. Its location makes The Farm one of the coolest places in the state, with plenty of camping and RV space, a general store, a large main stage, a shrine to Jerry Garcia and so much more. The terrain of Shrine Hill and the valley below creates an extraordinary acoustic resonating bowl. Regardless of which stage is playing, you can always hear the music clearly wherever you go on site. While dancing in front of the stage is fun, there is something magical about enjoying your own private concert in one of the numerous hideaways and grottoes scattered throughout the property.

There is always an eclectic selection of musical acts which play Highberry, and this year is no exception. The groove-centric music of Aqueous and the transcendental rhythms of Perpetual Groove will open up tonight and should put the audience in the perfect mood for the Floozies, with their premiere electrofunk sound, which will be headlining later in the evening.

If improvisational jam bands are your thing, then you will not want to miss Saturday night. Jon Walker is a huge Grateful Dead aficionado. I cannot think of any Deadhead Productions festival which I have attended that did not have at least one good Grateful Dead cover band. This year, Dark Star Orchestra will be playing a four-hour set! For those not familiar with Dark Star Orchestra, the band is famous for re-creating whole Grateful Dead shows from the past. That performance will be immediately followed by the genre-bending psychedelic sounds of Dopapod. There will also be a selection of bluegrass and electronic music available as well, so regardless of your musical tastes, there will be something you will like playing at this venue.

For music festival newbies, here are a few tips. As with any camping trip, check all your equipment ahead of time. Bring more water than you think you will need and stay hydrated. Camping is first come, first serve, so get there as early as you can manage. Bring an extra camping chair or two. These festivals are made great by the communities they create as new neighbors and friends bond together over the love of music they share. Bring food, but also bring cash. Plenty of healthy and tasty cuisine can be found in the vendor area. Finally and most importantly, bring a good attitude. Be prepared to not just enjoy the music, but also to experience it as an active participant.


Highberry Music Festival

WHEN — Today-Sunday

WHERE — The Farm north of Eureka Springs

COST — $55-$160



Special to The Free Weekly!


Grav Weldon is a freelance photojournalist and artist from the Little Rock area. When he isn’t covering music festivals and regional cuisine, he is creating new ways to meld art and technology at the Arkansas Innovation Hub.

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