Arts & Culture

A Music Festival Like No Other

Mark your calendar, Wildwood Revival features more than a dozen rock and roots musicians

More of an old-fashioned backyard barbecue or laid-back house party than a sprawling, sweaty Coachella-style rager, Wildwood Revival (August 29-30), offers a boutique music festival experience. “It’s a festival for people who don’t like festivals,” says founder Libby Rose. “It’s an anti-festival.”

The relaxed two-day gathering is held at Cloverleaf Farm, a thirty-five-acre spread just outside Athens, Georgia, that’s owned by Rose’s family. (The property’s 7,000-square-foot antebellum farmhouse was built in 1859. Rose’s brother, and fellow festival founder, tends the large kitchen garden.) With a blues soul, country spirit, and rock and roll swagger, Wildwood, now in its third year, draws everyone from UGA students and parents with kids to, yes, hipsters, and even the stray celebrity, taking a break from filming in Atlanta, to hear a lineup of more than a dozen rock and roots musicians.

Nathan Bob Jones

Bands take the stage inside the farm’s open-air barn and perform all day Saturday and Sunday. Rose, who contributes to the live music website,, and does video for musicians on the side, spends the year between Wildwood traveling the country listening to music and meeting musicians to curate just the right mix of talent. This year check out up-and-coming country artist Kelsey Waldon and North Carolina-based American Aquarium. Beyond the stage lights, there are late-night picking sessions around the campfire and a Saturday night dance party with Electric Western, a Nashville-based DJ collective that spins 50s and 60s rock and roll hits, soul standards, Motown favorites, Doo Wop, and more.

Courtesy of Wildwood Revival

Around the grounds—you’ve got the run of the place—there’s plenty of good food and cold beer to be had. You won’t pay outrageous marked-up music festival prices either. A beer from the Terrapin kegs at Wildwood costs just $4, and water is free. Stop by the farm’s outdoor kitchen run by Rose’s mother, where meals are made with local produce, including that grown on the family’s own land. Heirloom Cafe and Market, a father-daughter run restaurant in Athens, will be on hand as well. And there’s a Sunday brunch complete with a build-your-own biscuit bar. If that’s not enough, you can shop the artisan market, enroll in a yoga class, or join one of the pick-up wiffle ball games. Camping is encouraged—Rose rents a handful of teepees in the farm’s pecan grove—but if you prefer a king bed and AC to a shady patch of grass, there are plenty of lodging options in nearby Athens.

Courtesy of Lyle Foto