Stick to your roots

Indie and Americana at Lost Creek Music Experience

By CC Hutten

Photo: Joe Mullins and the Radio ramblers will headline the Lost Creek Music Experience; photo: Alane Anno

The Lost Creek Music Experience is everything an avid festivalgoer could ask for: food trucks, locally-brewed beer and almost-famous bands. Except, this festival is only one piece of the 400-acre range of nature the Lost Creek Reserve has to offer.

Sept. 6, Lost Creek Reserve in Troy will host the first-ever Lost Creek Music Experience. It all started with the reserve’s ongoing Fall Farm Fest, put on by Miami County Parks. There was a portion of the festival devoted to bluegrass music that started to attract music-oriented audiences, and Miami County Park Marketing Administrator Amanda Smith said they decided to make a day out of it.

“We felt it was popular enough we could break it off into its own music day,” Smith explained.

Fall Farm Fest featured about five years of singer/songwriters, followed by two years of primarily “bigger name” bluegrass performers. Now, with the Lost Creek Music Experience, they can cater to a more diverse music fan base.

“We decided to expand from bluegrass to American roots music to widen the audience,” Smith said. “Start the day with bluegrass and folk, then end with an indie-folk and pop. It should be really incredible.”

The festival includes a multitude of bands that range from the indie to Americana genres, with national recording artists and local favorites. Three performers stand out as headliners: Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Clark Manson and Hey Monea!.

“They’re all on the verge of getting way too big to get for this event,” Smith said. “And that’s important for the atmosphere. Part of the experience is getting to see a variety of music with high-quality performers.”

Joe Mullins and his band, originally from Xenia, have played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., five times this year already, and crowds really love ’em. Mullins and the Radio Ramblers have an inventive sound that combines bluegrass, gospel and a capella quartets.

Clark Manson is a country singer and songwriter from Covington, Ky. who dreams of following in the footsteps of his idol, George Straight. Manson recently performed at County Concert in Fort Loramie, Ohio, in a sought-after 7 p.m. spot with other country stars this past June. Smith said they’re lucky to have known him before he moved to Nashville and started scoring hit gigs.

Hey Monea!, an indie rock ‘n’ roll band from North Canton, won the Hard Rock Rising global battle of the bands to open for Bruce Springsteen in 2012, and is set to go on tour with Bronze Radio Return in the spring of 2015.

Smith said they feel incredibly fortunate to have them now, and are more than excited to have solid, high-quality headliners, especially in the beautiful venue the Lost Creek Reserve provides.

“Music just fits with nature,” Smith said. “This venue, it’s the perfect setting to experience.” The festival is all about getting people outside and to get them to explore the park.

According to Smith, the total property is made up of more than 400 acres, but the festival will be enclosed in the Historic Knoop Holmstead portion. How often can one just put a blanket down in the middle of nature surrounded by music and food?

Smith insists the beauty and history of the farm truly holds the charm of “getting lost” in an experience – the Lost Creek Music Experience, specifically.

“Imagine a sloping hill, 1800s-era Victorian house, white fences, a historic red barn, tree canopies and putting a blanket down to sit in the shade with great food and great music,” Smith said. “The way we envision it is to show up at the beautiful park and to be immersed in a creative atmosphere, letting your senses run.”

She means the sounds of music, the beauty of nature, the feel of sun, the smell of food – it’s all quite different from a normal concert experience, even in the town square. Lost Creek Reserve feeds all the senses.

“Music is a great way to get people out,” Smith said. “Someone who may have never visited may go to the concert and say, ‘Wow, next time I come here I might go for a hike!’ It gives people an opportunity for a new outdoor experience.”

The Lost Creek Music Experience will take place at Lost Creek Reserve, 2645 E. State Route 41 in Troy from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Admission is $15 for presale tickets, and $20 the day of the show for patrons of all ages. Tickets can be purchased at For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at

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Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at

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