Madden Road Music Fest returns Saturday in Champaign County

Credit: Courtesy

Credit: Courtesy

The sound rebound from the pandemic will continue this weekend with the renewal of a Champaign County music festival tradition reaching a milestone.

The 10th Madden Road Music Fest will be back with a mix of music including folk, bluegrass, rock, Americana and more with 10 acts, activities and fresh infrastructure, 2-10 p.m. Saturday at the Madden Farm, 1791 Madden Road, in Cable. Tickets are available.

While the restrictions of the past two years from the pandemic have affected everybody, performers were especially hard hit, with limitations on where, when and if they could play. Festival founder, host and performer Daniel Dye felt the full effect.

He organized an abbreviated fest with three bands and 100 attendees last year that barely scratched that itch. Things have picked up in 2022 with more opportunities and venues to play, most recently performing at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company.

“It’s good to see people out again. I tried to play virtual but it just isn’t the same without a live audience,” he said. “People are ready and we’re expecting a good crowd.”

The farm will boast a brand-new stage in addition to the two others, making it like two main stages, and better parking options added.

The lineup will bring in a mix of returning favorites and new additions. Dye will perform with Sister Sarah and with his group, the Miller Road Band. He still puts out a new song each month and the band has been recording and will play new music from the forthcoming LP.

Other returnees include Springfield group The American Landscape, which just recently began playing together again, Champaign County music legend Bob Lucas and Bill Purk of the Muleskinner Band. Zach Whitney and Joelle Hochstedler have been at nearly every Madden Road Music Fest, while Dr. Chris Bingman will return for the first time since the initial fest in 2011.

New performers of note include The Pinkerton Raid, traveling in from North Carolina, and Joe Waters.

While the music is the main attraction, activities are a part of the fest including bluegrass and folk dancing workshops, walking trails with guided walks, hammock grove, straw bales for kids to play in, a campfire, tree-planting ceremony and more.

With people eager to attend shows and be out again and good weather predicted, Dye expects a strong reception. And while he’s glad to have it back, don’t anticipate this fest growing anywhere near that other famous festival from 1969.

“It’s still not huge, but we’re not trying to make it huge,” Dye said. “It’s the sort of festival people have access to the bands to talk to them and not overwhelming. That’s what this festival is about – the music.”


What: Madden Road Music Fest

Where: 1791 Madden Road, Cable

When: 2-10 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $15 ages 18-older; $5 ages 6-17; $35 family admission

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