MusicMusic Features

Wildwood Revival is an ‘Anti-Festival’ For the Rest of Y’all

For many, the concept of a music festival becomes less attractive with age; standing all day in the hot sun in a dusty sea of substance-addled 20-year-olds with $5 bottles of water as one’s primary means of hydration is not an entirely appealing option to those who have crossed the drunken college student/working adult divide.

But a handful of smartly curated boutique events have sprung up across the country in recent years which aim to provide a festival atmosphere without the unpleasantries and which eschew the typical waste-heavy experience for a more eco-friendly model.

Chief among those is Pickathon, a three-day festival that takes place in Oregon each August and features a lineup of critically acclaimed musicians, as well as a sustainably minded model that includes local food vendors, reusable utensils, camping and free drinking water for all attendees.

Organizers say that particular happening was the inspiration for the inaugural Wildwood Revival, which happens this Saturday, July 19.

“Wildwood is sort of an anti-festival,” says Libby Rose, a Pickathon vet and one of the local event’s founders who also runs the live music website “The feedback we hear the most from Athens folks is that the city really needs a festival like this. Something with this kind of atmosphere and backdrop.” 

That backdrop is Rose’s family’s property, a 30-acre event space known as Cloverleaf Farm, 15 miles southeast of Athens, just outside the tiny town of Arnoldsville. A popular spot for high-end weddings, on Saturday the farm’s open-air barn will host a lineup of regional rock and Americana notables, including ex-locals The Whigs, Atlanta bluegrass collective The Whiskey Gentry and New Orleans boogie upstarts The Deslondes. (For the full lineup, see the Calendar.)

In addition to all the music, Wildwood aims to shine a light on local artisans and their creations; organizers will offer guests a full farm-to-table supper for an additional price, and there will be an artists’ market featuring clothing and antiques, among other attractions. 

“My brother is in the midst of creating an acre-large garden at Cloverleaf,” says Rose. “The tomatoes you’ll eat at the festival will have come from about 200 feet away.”

Like its cross-country forebear, Wildwood is an environmentally minded event, with no single-use bottles or plates and free drinking water for all. Organizers encourage concertgoers to camp in tents or trailers, and there will be a small number of tipis available to rent for the night, too.

Hold that cringe: If this all sounds a little too “Portlandia,” Rose stresses that there will be something for everyone.

It may come across… that it’s a little bohemian, vintage-y, gypsy style festival,” she admits, “but we have all types of people coming. UGA students, parents, rockers, country folk, hipsters, whoever. If you love music, good food and hanging in a beautiful setting with a beer in your hand, then you’ll love Wildwood Revival.”

Beyond the first installment, Rose says the goal for Wildwood is that it will become a regular concert series featuring performances from some nationally recognizable names, as well as spotlighting lesser-known talents.

“Our long-term goal is to have about half the musicians as people you recognize and would love to see in this type of intimate setting, and the other half as musicians we’ve encountered around the country that we think people will absolutely love,” says Rose. “We’ve got some very unique ideas up our sleeves.”

Rose adds that she sees the festival as a chance for people not only to experience an unusual musical and culinary experience but also simply to get back to nature, as it were.

“You feel small in the world when you see and hear all the life around you that you miss or overlook in a city,” she says. “It’s a beautiful thing. We’re happy to share it with everyone.”

Cloverleaf Farm is located at 536 Wolfskin Road, just south of U.S. Highway 78. For directions and more info, visit

[Editor’s note: This article has been changed to reflect the fact that the farm-to-table dinner is not included in the $38 ticket price.]

WHAT: Wildwood Revival
WHERE: Cloverleaf Farm
WHEN: Saturday, July 19, 2 p.m.


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