Conscious Party: GoodyAcre Farm Music Festival

TUNES FOR HEROES: Saluda's Aaron Burdett is one of five musical acts playing the inaugural GoodyAcre Farm Music Festival on Sept. 30 in Waynesville. The daylong event doubles as a benefit for Haywood County fire departments. Photo courtesy of Burdett

WHAT: A music festival to benefit Haywood County fire departments

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 30, noon-9 p.m.

WHERE: GoodyAcre Farm, Reed Cove Road, Waynesville

WHY: Imagine selling nearly everything you own to start a new life in the Smoky Mountains, only to have those dreams nearly go up in literal smoke. That’s the predicament that faced Nicole and Joe Yerry upon moving from Raleigh to a farm on the Waynesville/Canton border last November, when a substantial fire crept within 1,000 feet of their property.

Fortunately, members of multiple Haywood County fire departments were quickly on the scene but had difficulty getting to the flames. Granted access to set up camp on the farm, they preserved the Yerrys’ plans for a Montessori/Waldorf school, animal rescue sanctuary, animal therapy services and concerts on the grounds of GoodyAcre Farm.

“It was amazing to see them all work together,” says Joe Yerry. Grateful for the crews’ efforts, he and Nicole have organized the inaugural GoodyAcre Farm Music Festival for Saturday, Sept. 30 as a benefit for their brave neighbors.

A professional musician for most of his life and a respected talent broker for clubs in Raleigh during his Triangle years, Joe has put together other small festivals and arranged a mix of two acoustic performers (Aaron Burdett; Chip Robinson) and three full bands (Matthew Ryan & the Northern Wires; 6 String Drag; Scoundrel’s Lounge) for the day. There will also be food trucks, vendors as well as bouncy houses for children.

The goal is to raise $10,000 for the firefighters, and the Yerrys plan to turn the festival into an annual event with a new beneficiary each year. “My hope is for the next one to benefit the fight against the opioid epidemic in this area,” Joe Yerry says.

The GoodyAcre Farm Music Festival takes place from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at GoodyAcre Farm in Waynesville. $15 general admission includes round-trip shuttle service from Canton Town Hall, provided by Leap Frog Tours. Children ages 2 and under get in free. Advance tickets available online and at BearWaters Brewing Co. and the day of at the shuttle site.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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