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Music and mediation: Hagerstock event set for June 15

June 12, 2013|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • DJ Allen, left, and Izzi Sevco are event coordinators for Hagerstock, a music festival held this weekend on the Breezy Acres Herbst Farm near Hagerstown.
Ric Dugan /

On most summer days, the only sounds carrying across the countryside north of Hagerstown are the cawing of crows and the wind whistling through trees.

But soon, the solitude will be broken by other, less familiar sounds: the riff of amplified guitars and the muffled bass backbeat of drums.

The aroma of food cooking on a grill will fill the air, new friendships will be made and hundreds of people will savor some 11 hours of nearly nonstop music.

It’s not Woodstock, the 1969 festival where nearly half a million concertgoers uncorked their generational exuberance in a celebration of peace, love and bell bottom jeans.

This weekend’s event is Hagerstock — and one of the things it does have in common with Woodstock is that it takes place on a farm.

The rolling fields of Breezy Acres Herbst Farm on Old Forge Road will provide the setting for the outdoor music venue on Saturday, June 15.

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The event, which begins at noon and continues until 11 p.m., benefits the Washington County Community Mediation Center, which helps resolve disputes at no cost to Washington County residents.

Concert tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Organizers have set a goal of raising between $5,000 and $10,000.

Because this is the first year for Hagerstock, “we’re not sure how many people will attend,” said Jack Carpenter, the Mediation Center’s executive director. 

“But we’re hoping to see about 1,000 people throughout the day,” Carpenter added.

About 15 acts are expected to perform during the concert, with music ranging from bluegrass and country to rock, heavy metal, rap and hip hop.

The event also will feature food and nonalcoholic drinks, raffles of autographed band memorabilia and an opportunity to get a tattoo (for those 18 and older) or a massage. Souvenir vendors also will be on hand.

Carpenter said the response from the community, “has been amazing.” Local businesses have been happy to post fliers in their windows and organizers have received support from the many individuals, groups, organizations and businesses, he noted.

Much of the publicity for Hagerstock has been done online. Organizers have continually updated the Hagerstock website — www.hagerstock.com — with information about bands, activities and how to purchase tickets.

In addition to the website, “Hagerstock Facebook page is nearly doubling in popularity every week,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said organizers wanted the event to appeal to a cross-section of the community, “so we found a wide variety of acts from many genres and made the tickets inexpensive so the event would be as inclusive as possible. We booked local artists because we are proud of our local community and want to showcase, not only the talent of our local musicians, but the strong sense of community they share.”

Some of the performers are acquaintances of the Mediation Center’s volunteers and staff.

“But once the word started to get around, other performers heard about what we were doing and liked the idea so well, they asked to be included,” Carpenter said.

“This is probably the best gathering of all-local talent I’ve ever been a part of,” said Josh Morningstar, one of the Hagerstock performers.

Carpenter said Herbst Farm was suggested as a possible concert location by one of the center’s volunteers.

“We fell in love with the place as soon as we pulled up,” he said. “The farm is in a beautiful area with lots of open space and a great outside stage with a smaller, more personal stage inside. (Right Choice Ministries) is the perfect venue for this event, and owner Susan Herbst has been consistently wonderful and a bigger help than we could have ever expected.”

Although this is the first year for the event, organizers are hopeful it will become an annual fundraiser. Carpenter said the Washington County Community Mediation Center offers mediation services free to local residents. 

“Mediation at WCCMC is a voluntary, confidential process for resolving disputes in which professionally trained, neutral mediators help people to build understanding and reach agreements that satisfy their needs,” he said. “Last year, we helped hundreds of people through mediation.”

About 80 percent of mediations at WCCMC lead to an agreement, he said, and more than 80 percent of mediation participants report satisfaction with their results.

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