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Back to the Farm

Second ValStock festival set for June 30-July 5

KITTS HILL — With summer approaching, preparations are under way for the second annual ValStock music and arts festival at Green Dragon Farms.

This year’s event is scheduled for June 30-July 5 at the venue and, so far, 18 bands have signed up to take part, Cayela Sherman, the resident artist at the farm and an organizer of the event, said.

ValStock takes place on the Kitts Hill farm, owned by Sherman’s father, Homer Jenkins, and is named in memory of his wife, Valerie Jenkins, who died in an auto accident in 2015.

“We’re trying to keep it going,” Jenkins said of the event, which was the dream of his wife, Valerie, whom he married in 1994.

Mrs. Jenkins ashes are interred in the foundation of the farm’s stage, which was constructed prior to last year’s festival.

Sherman says that Homer, who served in the military in Korea as a combat engineer and sergeant in the 1980s, has dedicated himself to the farm.

“My dad has put everything he has into this, his home and his wife’s final resting place,” she said. “Others may see just a farm or a wild patch of country, but I’ve found a place where I belong, where everyone can belong.”

Last year’s inaugural event drew hundreds to the farm and featured bands, an art gallery, laser shows, LED performers and hot air balloon rides.

This year’s line-up will feature returning bands String Therapy, Let’s be Leonard and Qiet!, as well as  The Recipe, Creek Don’t Rise and the Sour Mash String Band, among others.

One band Sherman was excited to see is Axis, of Ashland.

She said the band, comprised of teenagers who had to get their parents’ permission to play at the site, recently performed at the farm for a Black Forest Event.

“They blew everyone out of the water,” she said, adding that a video shot of their performance at the farm was seen by organizers of the Kentucky State Fair, who booked the band based on it.

Also on site is the Undercorn Apothecary and General Store, which Sherman runs.

Opening for last year’s festival, she said it is stocked with food, camping supplies, lights, firewood and other supplies.

In addition to events at the farm, she said the store is open on weekends, Friday-Sunday, from noon to midnight.Sherman said other upgrades to the site are expanded parking and more accessible camping for attendees.

One of the sponsors the farm has partnered with is GVNG Records, an Ashland label, for their events.

“They’ve been pushing new artists toward us,” Sherman said, noting that new sponsors are welcomed for this year.

A five-day pass for the festival costs $80 per person. Day passes are available for $30 and can be purchased through the Green Dragon Farms website at www.greendragonfarms.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GDragonFarms/. She said she also expects tickets to be on sale at area businesses as the date approaches.