WALLSBURG, Utah (ABC4) – The time has come to break out your acoustic guitars for the 7th Annual Wasatch Music Festival that’s returning this weekend.
Set to run from July 8 at noon through the afternoon of July 10, the festival will take place at the Richard W. Erikson ranch in Wallsburg. Offering guests a wide range of tunes from Folk, Contemporary, and Country, to Jazz, Funk, and Latin, the festival’s three stages are sure to host something for everyone.
Saturday night’s headlining performer, Ryan Shupe of Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand, told ABC4 that the festival provides a “kind of collaborative, music-community feel.”
Shupe initially proposed the idea of the Wasatch Music Festival to his father, Ted, after he had been to a few collaborative music festivals himself and realized “there was nothing quite like that here in Utah.” By 2016, Ted had brought the festival to life.
Every year the event features jam sessions, a game area, food vendors, and a variety of diverse music groups. Guests are welcome to camp on site. A singer-songwriter competition and a state fiddle contest will be held on Saturday, while tours will be available for the Richard W. Erickson Antique Power Museum as well. A free pancake breakfast will be offered to all campers on Sunday morning, followed by a Gospel Music Jam.
When speaking to Shupe, he emphasized the sense of commonality and friendship the festival brings about, saying, “My favorite part is seeing all of the different bands and meeting them all. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.”
Shupe told ABC4 that the festival’s freestyle aspect adds a special hint of collaboration to the overall experience. “Our band will play and then I’ll start bringing up guests. By the end of the night, it’s just one big jam session.”
The festival also incorporates a learning aspect for those looking to expand their musical knowledge. Headliner Tim O’Brien and his wife will be featured on the workshop stage to answer questions. Throughout his career, O’Brien has written music for Garth Brooks and The Chicks, formerly known as The Dixie Chicks. “It’s cool, people can sit down with him and pick his musician brain,” said Shupe.
According to Shupe, the festival’s set-up is extensive. The performer compared the layout to that of a circus.
When talking with ABC4, Shupe laughed, “I want to rename the festival ‘Ted Fest,’ since my dad, Ted, is the one who started it. It would only make sense, and that would be a lot easier to say than ‘The Annual Wasatch Music Festival.’”