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2 Music Festivals Coming to Arrowood Farms

Hudson Valley music fan Scott A. Mackenzie of Ulster County is looking forward to attending two upcoming music festivals at Arrowood Farms in Accord, a roughly 20-minute drive from his home in Stone Ridge.

“It’s local,” says Mackenzie, who will be joined by his wife at the Dirt Farmer Festival on May 21 and Follow the Arrow on June 18. “I like smaller, I like intimate. I like natural surroundings. To have live music out in nature, on a farm, that, to me, is perfect.”

Arrowood is a farm brewery that grows its own hops. It’s also home to a distillery, bar, tasting room, and an outdoor stage with room for 1,000 attendants.

The farm’s two late-spring festivals build upon the agriculture, tourism, open space preservation, and family entertainment that Arrowood is known for.

“What we’re trying to do with our food and beverage program, and what we’re trying to do with the festivals, is connect people back into a sense of community, and back to this sense of agriculture and camaraderie,” says Jacob Meglio, co-founder and managing partner of Arrowood Farms.

The local flavor of both festivals is underscored by the organizations presenting the events: both are partnerships between Arrowood Farms and Ulster County-based Impact Concerts. Working with Impact and Arrowood, Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock is presenting the Dirt Farmer Festival, while Ulster County keyboard whiz Marco Benevento is presenting the Follow the Arrow.

The Dirt Farmer Festival invokes the legacy of Levon Helm, the late drummer for the Band who grew up on a cotton farm in Arkansas and titled his 2007, Grammy-winning comeback album “Dirt Farmer.” Helm lived in Woodstock for decades.

This gathering will feature a lineup that includes Mavis Staples; Helm’s daughter, Amy; and the Midnight Ramble Band, which includes members of the Levon Helm Band. Jackson Browne, Amy Helm, and the Midnight Ramble Band performed at the inaugural Dirt Farmer Festival, in 2018.

Benevento, the headliner of the Follow the Arrow, has developed a loyal following of his own, and has also performed with Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead and Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish. Benevento is also a member of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute ensemble that will perform at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Aug. 25. Karina Rykman, the Slip, and Mikaela Davis & Southern Star are among the other acts set to perform at Follow the Arrow.

“Marco,” says Mackenzie, “is talented beyond talented.”

The notable names set to take the stage at Arrowood will anchor themselves to a site that Meglio says is designed for family convenience and fun throughout the year. The farm is open year-round, and Meglio says it caters to families with a 9 p.m. closing time during the week, and 10 p.m. closing time on Fridays and Saturdays. And while mom and dad are enjoying a beverage, the children can watch the farm’s chickens or play on an idle tractor. There is also corn hole, a pond, picnic tables, and hammocks. An outdoor pavilion bar and kitchen are open from March to December.

Meglio, who grew up in Accord and graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz, says Arrowood prioritizes local ingredients for its beer and spirits, and contracts with local farms for growing after learning what works on site.

“Our mission,” he says, “is to produce great beer and spirits, showcase local ingredients, and showcase local agriculture.”