Rhizome Productions has added a new event to its festival roster, which already includes the Winter Warmer, East Nashville Beer Festival and other regional fests. They are bringing Touch of Brews to Sevier Park on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and it sounds like it will be a whole day of family fun.
Terrapin Beer has committed to a three-year sponsorship of the event, which will feature six different Grateful Dead cover bands, food trucks, crafts vendors, a kids’ zone and, of course, Terrapin’s roster of beers. Unlike most tasting festivals, this isn’t an all-you-can-sample event. Instead, a completely reasonable ticket price of $20 in advance/$25 week of, with children under 10 for free, grants entry to the whole day where you can purchase your own beers for just $6 apiece.
The focus is certainly on the beer, but only in addition to the music from six bands who will be playing Dead music from specific eras of the band’s repertoire or even re-creating sets from iconic performances. Who knew we had six Dead tribute bands in town? Mr. Steve the Music Man will play a kid-friendly set of versions of his originals and Dead songs to kick off the performances, followed by the Tennessee Warblers, who specialize in the more bluegrass-adjacent music of the Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. Mike Miz Duo will present a set of Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan music, while Hooteroll? will put on an early era-tribute to the music of Merl Saunders and Jerry García. Tennessee Dead prefers to focus on the jam songs of the '70s, and The Stolen Faces will apply their virtuosic talents to a broad selection of the band’s repertoire. (Keep your ears peeled for the guitar work of beloved Scene stalwart Jack Silverman with TSF.)
Comestibles will be offered by Edley’s, Ben & Jerry’s and an assortment of rotating food trucks throughout the afternoon and evening. For your tie-dye purchasing pleasure, a gathering of crafts vendors will showcase their wares in a section appropriately named Shakedown Street. Before the gates even open, the community is invited to the site for a free yoga class presented by Fahrenheit Yoga and BeWell in School at 10 a.m.
A portion of every Touch of Brews ticket goes to support BeWell in School, an initiative that "teaches mindfulness and movement as a proactive behavior-management system." The organization provides students with "an alternative approach to traditional discipline by teaching effective strategies for self-regulation" and "the tools they need to be successful in the classroom, and beyond, by making wellness strategies available to all."
The large festival site is designed to offer plenty of comfort and space for attendees to enjoy the festival. In a nod to the family aspect of the event, masks are suggested, especially for guests under 12 who are not able to be vaccinated. Organizers will offer free tie-dye disposable masks for the kiddies at the entrance to the festival. Get your tickets for Touch of Brews at the event website soon so you can save that $5 and buy an extra beer!