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Madden Road Fest continues homegrown spirit

Daniel Dye plays host again in Mutual.

From its stages built from trees off the property they were grown on to the singer-songwriter-based original music to the family-friendly atmosphere, the Madden Road Micro Music Fest defines homegrown.

A Champaign County summer tradition, the sixth Madden Road Music Fest will be back on the old Madden Farm, 2-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, with nine acts and a slate of activities to keep people busy.

Now in it’s the second year at this new sight, the festival has become what Daniel Dye, who hosts the fest, imagined.

“We’ve grown more every year into what we envisioned years ago,” said Dye, who will perform twice. He will play once with his group, the Miller Road Band, and once with his sister, Sarah Kelly

Returning bands will be Bob Lucas and Family; The Zach Whitney Show; Jill and Micah; and Kurtz.

Newcomers include The Willow Wacks, traveling in from Florida; Sweet Betsy; and Hebdo. The latter played last year’s fest as a solo performer but is returning with a full band and will close the festival.

Dye said the music will be heavy into varieties of folk (international, roots, folk rock) as well as roots music, music with soul.

“It’s good, original music grandparents and kids can enjoy. Anyone with an appreciation for music will find something to enjoy,” he said.

One of last year’s popular side attractions was a workshop, so they’ve tripled them in 2016.

Offered are workshops in folk music with Bob Lucas and Family, folk dancing with the Millers and banjos with Paul Race.

Also available will be food trucks, coffee roasters, walking trails, the mural wall that is part of the event tradition, and hay bails and kid-friendly activities.

Coinciding with the fest, Dye will have a new EP available, “Webber’s Basement,” featuring new music he recorded with his sister, Sarah.

Last week, Dye performed in one of the more unusual locations in his career — a Pokemon Go event in downtown Springfield, along with fellow musicians Jill and Micah.

Dye said he had fun and met a lot of new people and he hopes they’ll come join him on his turf this weekend to discover other performers.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs or a blanket for seating.

Contact this contributing writer at

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