MusicMusic Features

Wildwood Revival: A Curated Deep South Excursion

“Get out of the city and into the wildwood,” boasts the Wildwood Revival music festival’s manifesto. Keeping close proximity to the fabled Athens music scene, this carefully curated three-day event takes place at the historic 30-acre Cloverleaf Farm in nearby Arnoldsville.

Since the festival first took place in 2014, Wildwood has earned a reputation as the antithesis of the usual music festival experience, and as an “Adult Summer Camp” or a staycation in an idyllic country setting. In line with this, the organizers and patrons take a respectful approach to communing with nature by remaining plastic-free and ecologically mindful.

Although the main attraction is a star-studded lineup of artists primarily spanning the country, blues, folk and rock genres, the Wildwood experience is a holistic one from outdoor activities to workshops and campfire songs. The festivities kick off on Friday, Sept. 30 with a seven-mile guided expedition down the Oconee River at 9 a.m. with boats and gear provided. This voyage wraps up just in time for the gates to open for the official festival on the farm grounds.

Local food and beer selections are offered, and the culinary inclined can sign up for food and beer/cocktail workshops. The artisan market features handcrafted goods, unique jewelry, vintage clothing, folk pop art and more. Each night wraps up with s’mores, folk stories and late-night picking sessions around the campfire. Saturday and Sunday provide attendees an opportunity to start the day off refreshed with morning outdoor yoga sessions. 

Those looking for the most authentic experience, or not wanting to trek back and forth to the farm, can stay on the grounds with different tent, trailer and RV camping options. Don’t have camping supplies? There are furnished and unfurnished rentals in the Glamping Village from a bare bones set up to a fully decked out retreat including a luxury queen mattress. This event experience is highly customizable to suit different types of festival goers’ needs, and there are enough performances and activities to stay as active or relaxed as desired.

Silva Artist Management Jenny Lewis

The musical highlights range from local heroes to national sweethearts. Friday’s headliner is singer-songwriter, musician and actress Jenny Lewis, who is known for forming rock band Rilo Kiley after semi-retiring as a child actress. Lewis also was a member of The Postal Service, Jenny & Johnny and Nice As Fuck in addition to releasing four solo albums. On Saturday, Athens-based Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers will end the night, and local cosmic country band The Pink Stones will do the honors of closing out the weekend on Sunday.

Other acts to catch while they’re passing through include country singer and radio host Elizabeth Cook. She has made over 400 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry since her debut in 2000, and has appeared four times on “Late Show with David Letterman.” Also performing is emerging Texas artist Zach Person, known for his contemporary, pop-rock approach to blues and American roots music. Then New York City-based American roots band The Wood Brothers is bringing its blend of folk, gospel, blues and jazz led by brothers Chris and Oliver Wood.

See the full daily lineups and schedule below. For more information about the festival, visit