Written by: Michael Stegner
Everybody loves a success story. An underdog rising to the top in order to achieve their dreams, that’s the stuff they make movies about. Well, this August in Alexandria, Kentucky, a group of underdogs are emerging as they attempt to take the next big step in making one of their dreams come true- hosting an official music festival in their hometown.
Farmula Fest is an event that will be held August 23-24 at A.J. Jolly Park. The event, which started as a DIY farm party has grown over the years, and after a 4 year hiatus, is set to return in a much bigger way, is the culmination of countless hours of hard work by the festival founders Kyle Shultz and Jacob Doherty.
The lineup, which was released last week, is stacked with tons of local talent from the Greater Cincinnati music scene, as well as Rochester natives Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, who will bring their reggae infused jams to Northern Kentucky. Along with GPGDS, Cleveland based Tropidelic will be throwing down some funky hip-hop sounding songs.
“We think that our music lineup, which we are very proud of, encompasses the summer vibe/atmosphere we are going for at Farmula Fest,” explained Shultz.
Having national touring acts is a major improvement from the early days of Farmula Fest, which mostly saw local artists who were close friends with those involved in the event.
“The first Farmula Fest was held in Rising Sun, Indiana,” said Kyle Shultz. “It was at our friend Jimmy Brickler’s farm, back in 2013.”
It was there at the Brickler’s farm that Farmula Fest grew and developed for the next three years. As it grew each year, word spread around the local area and eventually they needed to address the event’s rapid growth.
“We loved our three years on the Brickler farm, but we knew it was time to move on in order to expand and grow into something truly special,” Shultz explained. “The following years were spent on development, restructuring, and relocating.”
While many improvements are being made, some Farmula Fest staples will make their return such as the infamous slip-n-slide that became a popular activity during previous years.
Both the venue (AJ Jolly Park) and the local government (Campbell County Fiscal Court) are very excited in the potential for Farmula Fest and have been very cooperative with the promoters in making sure this event is a great success.
“We have also been working with local breweries, universities, restaurants, and businesses alike who are all more than willing to be a part of this one-of-a-kind festival,” said Shultz.
There were several obstacles involved with taking the leap from backyard farm party to officially licensed event with permits, sponsors, and more. Now that Farmula Fest an official music festival that is open to the public, everything has to be done precisely, diligently, and on a much larger scale in regards to budgeting, licensing, planning, marketing, etc.
“It has been an incredible learning experience, both extremely exciting yet overwhelming at times,” said Shultz. “But we have full faith that Farmula Fest has the potential to become something huge… something that the city of Alexandria will be proud to have for years and years to come.”
Tickets for this event are on sale now at an INCREDIBLY affordable price of $20/day or $30/weekend, and a VERY limited amount of on-site camping is available, for an extra cost. Additional activities include canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and kids activities. Make sure to follow the official event page on Facebook for any updates.