Middle Tennessee has been a hotbed for music festivals of late and one of its newest creations, Music in the Middle, will be another one to pencil into the "to-do" list.
Taking place Oct. 4-6 at the Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury, festival promoters intend to have a party like no other and aim for it to be as collaborative as can possibly be.
"We believe that Music in the Middle Fest will be the one festival that stands above the others in guest interaction. We like to say MiM also stands for Modern Interactive Music. When someone goes to an event like a music festival they expect to see new and exciting music, art and technology. We are going very far over the expectations of a normal music festival by including our guests in as many aspects of the event as possible," Neon Stanza President Cameron Sloan said.
Festival attendees are encouraged to bring art-oriented items with them such as costumes, spray paint, lights, musical instruments and anything else that can assist in painting their own canvas of sorts, whether musically or visually.
"The one untapped resource that most festivals forget to display is the people. People are amazing and capable of some fantastic things. We aim to tap into this resource by allowing creativity to flourish within the grounds. We want people to be more involved than just having a social media wall post. We have great things planned this year, and already have ideas for next year's festival," Sloan added.
The lineup for the inaugural festival includes top act The 1975 from London, Aeroplane from Belgium and Hockey from Portland along with an assortment of rock, electronic and DJ acts with another headliner announcement planned in the coming weeks.
"We could not be happier about the scope of talent we have this year. We want to encourage people to listen to the artists they don't know of in the lineup prior to the festival. We have some great additions of side projects that we are very honored to premier such as Ryan Ross from Panic at the Disco, and Julian Casablancas' new project COLOR," Sloan said about the lineup.
"In addition, all of our local musicians are extremely good and we are excited about showcasing them and helping to further their careers as musicians. We feel we have a very diverse selection of music and have something to offer just about anyone. "
In the same manner as other Tennessee festivals, MiM will be held on the rolling hills of Short Mountain Distillery over a few hundred acres of land. Like the rural town of Manchester, where Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is held, Woodbury offers a similar landscape and setting.
"All you have to do is look up at the stars," Sloan said about the ideal location.
"Short Mountain Distillery is a gorgeous venue. It is a perfect representation of Tennessee's beautiful culture as well as its great outdoors. The guys up at Short Mountain Distillery are genuine, kind, and have become great friends as well as great partners with MiM. We respect their craft as well as their alluring landscape."
Alongside the music, there are many more activities and features planned for the festival that include laser displays, late night laser tag and even artificial snow. The Great American Craft Beer Tour will also be another activity on hand, but Sloan indicated that more details will be revealed and doesn't want to give away too much of the mystery of things to come.
With all of these facets in place, MiM is poised to be a one of a kind festival for the early fall, all the while representing the mid-tier acts and local artists.
"There has always been a humongous gap between the local music scene and the music business. A festival is the perfect medium for bridging this gap. We believe that by mixing local unheard talent with national talent, in the middle you will find the understanding that fame and good music are two very different things. Every band has a chance to showcase their talents to a large audience, regardless of their location on the music businesses totem pole. Local music feeds the music industry; we think it's about time local music is respected and represented for its involvement in the growth of the industry. This is why Music in the Middle Modern Arts Festival was born, it is our purpose," Sloan said.
Early bird tickets are on sale now for $75, but the price will increase after July 15. Camping passes are available for $50 that covers all three days, while The Great American Craft Beer Tour will cost $35 for festival-goers. Group pricing is also available too for groups of eight or more.
For more information on Music in the Middle, visit musicinthemiddlefest.com.