‘The Voice’ alum Jordy Searcy headlines inaugural Harvest Music Festival

Harvest Music Festival

Harvest Preserve — Saturday, July 7 at 2 p.m.

Jordy Searcy headlines the inaugural Harvest Music Festival. — photo courtesy of the artist.

Local artists will join with a pair of Nashville acts this weekend for the first Harvest Music Festival, a festival designed, according to its mission statement, to be “all about music with a soul, in a sacred place.”

The festival will take place at the Harvest Preserve (1645 N Scott Blvd), a spiritual sanctuary situated at the northeast edge of Iowa City. Managed by the nonprofit Harvest Preserve Foundation since 2009, the preserve covers 100 acres of Iowa landscape. It’s dotted with artwork and host to a variety of private events and public classes. The Harvest Music Festival is the first event of its kind at the preserve.

“Steve [Cook, festival organizer] approached me about the idea behind the music festival … Since Harvest Preserve’s mission is to preserve and protect the land as a spiritual sanctuary, I am hoping that the music and the people who attend will reflect and respect that mission,” Julie Decker, Harvest Preserve Foundation executive director said in an email.

Cook shared the impetus behind the festival in an email. “The reason I decided to do this, and somehow got some incredible people to help, is because I felt I needed to do something positive in the world,” he said. “And this is it.”

Decker said that Cook’s goal “certainly aligns with Harvest Preserve’s mission.”

“The artists and the music and artists all have a positive, upbeat focus. If anything, it’s kind of a spiritual type music fest,” Cook said. “I’m of the opinion that the Preserve is also a pretty spiritual place. I mean, how can you deny the spirituality of nature?”

Headlining the festival is The Voice season 7 contestant Jordy Searcy. The Alabama native, now based in Nashville, imbues his singer-songwriter aesthetic with a spiritual focus. Opening is Nashville’s self-described “indie sparkle pop” duo Sawyer. Kel Taylor and Emma Harvey fill their sweet tunes with lyrics embracing positivity. The full festival line-up is below. Cook notes that local artists Dave Zollo and Scott Cochran “are both doing songs that ‘not many have heard before’.”

Sawyer will be playing the Harvest Music Festival on Saturday. July 7. — photo courtesy of the band

Organizers are encouraging those planning to attend the festival to walk, bike and carpool, to minimize impact on the land. There are only 100 parking spaces available. The festival will have transportation available from the parking area to the stage area for concertgoers with mobility challenges.

The Harvest Music Festival is a free event, but freewill donations will be accepted to support future years of the festival. Leashed dogs and coolers are allowed.

Cook notes that the festival “embraces the location and the artists as one theme.” The festival’s mission statement also ties the two together, saying, “The Preserve’s mission states that it is a place to feel ‘welcome, embraced and open hearted.’ We desire to bring the Iowa City community music that does the same.”

Harvest Music Festival Schedule

Dave Zollo — 2 p.m.
Scott Cochran and the Asylum Seekers — 3 p.m.
Chuck and Alicia Brock — 3:45 p.m.
James Tutson and the Rollbacks — 5:15 p.m.
Sawyer — 6:45 p.m.
Jordy Searcy — 8:15 p.m.

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