Big To-Do gears up for inaugural run

Big To Do Festival

Sam Osborne

It’s been nearly two years since nearly five thousand flocked to Ballance Farms in Oakland for the fourth annual Starry Nights Festival, curated by Bowling Green’s own Cage the Elephant.  

While Starry Nights isn’t back yet, there’s a new event focused on celebrating local music and arts. The Big To-Do Festival is set for Sept. 19 and 20 in the same space with the same intent: good music and good vibes. 

The Big To-Do Festival will be put on through a partnership by live music venue Edge Hill Farm, formerly Ballance Farms, local advertising agency Yellowberri and Musician’s Pro, a local music retail store. 

Yellowberri CEO David Downing said the idea for the event was sparked about six months ago. 

“We were tired of people saying there isn’t anything to do in Bowling Green,” Downing said. “We wanted to create something a little bit different, but also something the community can get behind.”

Sean Thomas, Musician’s Pro general manager, said it is crucial to have a permanent venue for local talent in a festival setting in Bowling Green.

 “We think it’s really important to showcase local music and arts,“ Thomas said. “A marriage of three entities is needed to really pull this off and to make it happen three times a year is our goal.”

 Thomas said the alliance of Yellowberri, Edge Hill Farm and Musician’s Pro hopes to put on an event at this location in the spring, summer and fall each year moving forward.

 The 120-acre property has undergone many changes since hosting the Newgrass Festival in 2010 and 2012’s Starry Nights Festival. There is no longer an ATV track, green grass has been spread throughout the property and two stages have been constructed to make the space more conducive to a music festival atmosphere.

“The idea was to create a space to camp and stay,” Downing said. “There aren’t many venues you can do that with.” 

The Big To-Do will feature 27 acts, with Bowling Green’s indie rock outfit Sleeper/Agent, fresh off a David Letterman performance in July, headlining the festival.  

Morning Teleportation, who played several dates with Grammy-nominated alternative rock band Modest Mouse this past May, and Buffalo Rodeo are also slated to perform. 

“We need something consistent and something that people can get behind and really take pride in,” Downing said. “I want to integrate the community into it and the idea is to show off some of the great things we have in our area and region.” 

Tickets for the festival are $40, and can be purchased at The festival is open to all ages and children 12 and under get in for free. Admission to the festival includes first come, first serve primitive style camping. 

The Big To-Do festival is still looking for sponsors for events. Inquiries are welcomed and asked to be sent to [email protected]