The Cripple Creek Music Festival is coming to Fort Mitchell, KY, on October 20th. The inaugural festival is still in the late stages of planning, but festival organizer Tom Miller has an impressive party on tap for us, which he’s developed with a little help from his friends. It doesn’t hurt that his friends are the organizers of Pickathon, the independent music festival in Portland, OR, that is one of the longest running and most successful festivals in the country.
I took a few moments this week to chat with Tom about music, beer, bourbon, purpose, and his plans to serve plenty of all four at Cripple Creek.
The 2-stage full day festival will take place on the DCCH Grounds in Fort Mitchell, KY. The main stage will be outside in the cool fall air and will host a diverse lineup of headliners. The Restless Leg Stringband will bring their jamgrass/bluegrass sounds up from Lexington, KY. Goose is a funk/folk/jam band from Connecticut that will return to Northern KY after a recent show at Octave that left everyone (including Tom) blown away by their huge sound. Goose’s name has been popping up everywhere recently due to relentless touring and stellar performances and I am especially excited for their set. Finally, soul powerhouse DeRobert & the Half Truths will bring their strong vocals and tight horn section to the CCMF after they rest up from upcoming European summer tour.
The indoor “barn” will house a smaller stage and see sets from members of The Turkeys, The Faux Frenchmen, Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band, and more. The barn stage will cap off with a performance from Arlo McKinley.
Tom is a self-professed bourbon lover. So, if he’s going to throw a music festival, you better believe there will be a bourbon cart. This current Cincinnati heat wave makes the thought of sipping bourbons in the breeze on a cool day seem like a distant daydream. Ludlow’s BIRCUS Brewing Company will provide the good beer for us on that day, and Budweiser will also be available for those who don’t prefer delicious Kentucky-made bourbon and beer.
Tom’s ultimate goal for Cripple Creek Music Festival is to be zero-waste. He admits that he won’t be fully there in year 1, but he is taking steps in the right direction such as requesting attendees to bring refillable water bottles, dispersing one mug per person for alcoholic drinks, and choosing food vendors that minimize waste. Beyond food and drink, Tom is selecting vendors that support causes such as fair trade, sustainability, and more.
Finally, Tom was diagnosed with ALS three years ago. His response to that diagnosis was to start the 501(c)(3) foundation Winning with ALS, an organization that soon hopes to begin awarding grants to school-age children who have a parent diagnosed with ALS. Proceeds from corporate sponsorship of the Cripple Creek Music Festival will help support these grants. Those interested in corporate sponsorship should reach out to Tom at WinningWithALS1@gmail.com.
Tickets will go on sale later this month- for now, click here to save the date by RSVP’ing for the event on Facebook. All details on ticketing, lineup, vendors, and more will go through the Facebook event page. See you in October!