Community experiences don't happen nearly often enough, and great ones are downright rare. That's because the level of infrastructure, coordination, and resources required to pull off a large-scale event frequently overwhelm the core vision of the event. At The Artist Farm, we live and love the details. We create events where that vision—the shared passion and joy of a transcendent communal experience—always comes through loud and clear.
The Artist Farm is a team of talented individuals coordinated to design and manage community experiences. At its core, The Artist Farm Producing Team is Michael Allenby, Collean Laney, Delia Stephenson and Tim Sutton. However, The Artist Farm is designed to incorporate the expansive number of artists and subcontractors who are required to pull off large community events. From the street teamer to the lighting director; from the craft brewer to the fiddle player; all of these artisan professionals must work together to produce the experiences that we love. The Artist Farm is the hub.
Each great product and service starts with great design, and community experiences are no exception. The Artist Farm works to define the intended experience and then coordinates with its vast artisan network to fully conceptualize the event, paying special consideration to five main areas: Programming, Marketing, Operations, Administration and Hospitality. Each of these areas require distinct attention and organization to ensure the event can match the expectations. The purpose and goals of the event must be quantified, articulated and translated into a comprehensive story and budget. The Artist Farm considers this process of discovery, articulation and translation to be Event Design.
Once the Design of the event is approved, execution begins with Event Management.
A perfectly designed event has little value without great Event Management. Once an event has been clearly Designed and approved, the Design phase is complete and execution of the event begins through masterful Management of the same 5 focal departments used during Design:
The Programming department manages and executes all aspects related to sources of entertainment for the event, from start to finish. Talent buying and artist hospitality, ancillary activities (think rock-climbing wall, guided hikes or a fly casting demonstration), and sponsor/vendor acquisition and coordination all fall under the purview of Programming.
A masterfully designed event can still lack in success if its message fails to resonate with the audience. Enter the Marketing department. With a specifically targeted mix of traditional ad buys and PR, grassroots marketing, charitable contributions and event integration, The Artist Farm’s Marketing team hones in on the target audience and clearly communicates the story behind the event.
Planning, building, operating and breaking down the infrastructure to support the Design of an event falls squarely on Operations. This includes everything from venue and equipment rentals, site building and production, to waste management, parking and traffic plans.
The heart of the guests’ full experience is managed by the Hospitality department. Careful consideration and attention to detail is applied across concessions, aesthetic layout, security and emergency services, transportation, and all other applicable guest tough points within the event.
Administration manages financial accounting for the event and ensuring compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. The scope can range from broad topics like insurance, licenses and permits, taxes and music rights, to event-specific needs like credentials, staff accommodations, and venue/service fees.
The Artist Farm works with each client to define the intended experience, and then coordinates with its vast artisan network to design and execute it. From the volunteer to the event director; from local craftsman to the nationally-touring band; all of these artisan professionals must work together to produce the experiences that we love. The Artist Farm is the hub for this collaboration.
Celebrating its seventh year in October 2016, The Festy Experience is a 3-day outdoor lifestyle and roots music festival that also integrates environmental consciousness and sustainability with some of the best local food, craft beer and wares the area has to offer. With a generous focus on kids’ interests and activities for the whole family to enjoy together, the warm welcoming vibe around the festival grounds has led The Festy to be called “The music festival for people who think they don’t like music festivals.”
The Artist Farm worked with Idaho River Adventures and various environmental non-profits and progressive bluegrass artists to craft an annual off-the-grid river experience called Pickin' On The Middle Fork. The inaugural trip partnered AmericanRivers.org with The Infamous Stringdusters along with Patagonia, Osprey Packs and Klean Kanteen for a 7-day float down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Twenty lucky and motivated fans were able to join for a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience to raise money for American Rivers. Idaho River Adventures continues to offer Pickin’ on the Middle Fork excursions each season.
The Artist Farm worked closely with The Infamous Stringdusters to break through the traditional perception of bluegrass band to reach a larger audience. A ‘Dusters fan enjoys spending time outdoors, is environmentally conscious, and appreciates quality experiences, craft beer and products with integrity. The Artist Farm designed a strategy to expose The Stringdusters to a larger pool of these like-minded individuals through partnerships with brands like Klean Kanteen, KEEN, Osprey, Patagonia, Icelantic, and Oskar Blues Brewery, The Artist Farm formed branded tours such as The American Rivers Tour, an annual Ski Tour, and The Road to Boulder Tour with each tour benefiting progressive non-profits the likes of The Conservation Alliance, Leave No Trace, Protect Our Winters, American Rivers, and CAN’d Aid Foundation.
Since 2014, The Artist Farm has worked each year with Oskar Blues Brewery in producing Encore—an official nightly event at the annual Craft Brewers Conference—to help grow and reinforce Oskar Blues’ brand recognition within the craft beer industry. With a carefully curated cross-section of music, beer, biking culture and “do-goodery,” these highly sought after, invite-only events have solidified the Oskar Blues culture within the world of craft beer, and will continue to make the OB name synonymous with a fuh-CAN good time!
Michael Allenby is the driving creative force behind the full conceptual design of all of The Artist Farm events, and serves as Programming Director in executing those events. His extensive experience in the events world during his professionally formative years ultimately led to his co-founding of The Artist Farm in 2008, aiming to provide elevated management services to touring artists. Having now evolved into an Events Design & Management business, Michael & TAF have worked for the past four years developing alliances in the outdoor industry (creating programs with outdoor industry partners like Mountain Hardwear, Klean Kanteen, KEEN Footwear, Osprey Packs, The Conservation Alliance & Leave No Trace) & the craft beer industry (most notably an exclusive partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery).
Collean Laney has been working in the Entertainment & Events Management industries for over a decade, focusing on National Sales & Marketing programs across the United States and Canada. She has gleaned professional experience across a wide variety of organizations including two years marketing for The New York Times, two years managing Group Sales and three years as National Director with LiveNation’s Broadway Across America, and three years as a venue manager for Red Light Management. Her achievements in multi-million dollar sales through national & international marketing coupled with her swift rise through the ranks at Red Light has led her to be recognized as one of Charlottesville’s Top 15 Power Players under 40.
Collean’s passion in this industry comes from connecting people to key life experiences through unique events that speak to the core values of their lives.
Delia Stephenson joined The Artist Farm team in 2013 and brings with her over 15 years of experience providing high-touch customer & community services, including three years designing, implementing & managing company-wide customer service training programs for white collar fashion trend-setters J.Crew—a Fortune 500 company renown for their stellar customer service. Strong interpersonal skills & efficient organization make Delia an ideal Director of Admin for all of The Artist Farm’s events.
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology & master’s in education, Delia has always had a passion for community wellness & enriching the lives of others. Her love of craft experiences with an outdoor flare originally drew her to the nationally touring band The Infamous Stringdusters in 2007, & her growing enthusiasm for “The High Country lifestyle” cultivated there led her to pursue a career with The Artist Farm (then-manager of The Stringdusters).
Tim joined the The Artist Farm in 2015 after three years at Red Light Management spearheading Local & Regional Grassroots Marketing programs for various live music initiatives. Tim's attention to detail and passion for producing integrity community experiences makes him a great addition to The Artist Farm team, mainly heading up Operations and Logistics for events of all sizes. When he's not procuring quotes on tents and staging options, he's lending a hand on our Marketing Team for clients such as Lockn' Music Festival and Oskar Blues Brewery. Tim is a big fan of all things music as well as the outdoors and spends his time exploring new experiences to share with us.