Nestled at the foot of the Blue Hills, the large grassy fields at Prowse Farm in Canton have hosted a wide variety of events over the years, from equestrian competitions to Native American powwows. When considering possible locations for a landmark music event on the South Shore, James Macdonald, the founder of the Boston-based entertainment company Six Chair Productions, knew the historic estate had everything he was looking for.
“I’ve always loved the location,” says Macdonald, who grew up skiing at the Blue Hills and taking yearly hikes to the summit with his family. A graduate of Braintree High School, Macdonald developed his love for music while working at the Curry College radio station in nearby Milton. He went on to work for Virgin Records and later, the Life is Good Company. Dubbed the “Director of Good Vibes,” he was tasked with running the annual Life is Good Music Festival, which attracted large music-loving crowds to Prowse Farm from 2010 to 2013. Macdonald subsequently moved on to a new job in artist management and the concerts in Canton ended.
Macdonald believed there was a large population of young parents and professionals on the South Shore and in the greater Boston area craving fun and affordable entertainment opportunities. And with the launch of his own festival and artist management company in 2016, he set out to bring music back to the farm.
This year’s Festival at the Farm will take place on September 16th and 17th and will offer a lineup of roots and Americana-style bands from across New England performing on two stages. Saturday acts include Lettuce, Brett Dennen, Lee Fields and the Expressions, The Ballroom Thieves, Julie Rhodes, Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas, LuxDeluxe and Dwight and Nicole. On Sunday, the festival will feature The Wood Brothers, Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau, The Marcus King Band, Kat Wright, Session Americana, Twisted Pine and Sean McConnell. Families with young kids will enjoy performances by Josh and the Jamtones on both days of the festival.
In addition to music, the Festival at the Farm will feature a farmer’s market with products from local vendors, culinary demonstrations by acclaimed chefs, backyard games and more. Building off his past experiences hosting major music festivals, Macdonald made a few deliberate changes, such as providing free onsite parking to guests and limiting the overall capacity of the event. “This event is more intimate than some other festivals,” says Macdonald. “And I like the idea that parents can feel comfortable bringing their kids to this show.” New family features include a Free Range Kids Zone complete with kid-friendly entertainers, hands-on games, magic shows, storytelling, animal shows, a pop-up bookstore and more.
Tickets are $45 per day and $75 for two-day passes. Kids under five are admitted free of charge. Tickets for kids aged 6-12 are $15 for a single day pass and $20 for a two-day pass. A limited number of VIP passes will be available for $110 for a single day ticket and $200 for a two-day pass. VIP ticket holders will enjoy preferred concert viewing, a private bar and lounge along with other amenities and an exclusive dinner, created by Nookie Postal, owner/chef of the award-winning Commonwealth Cambridge.