News

All ears for annual Cornstock event

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

The crew at Wagon Wheel Produce and a group of dedicated volunteers are ready to host the 13th annual Cornstock music festival just outside of Simcoe this weekend. In the photo are Arden Koptik (left), Tony Duclos, Heidi Nobes and Rikki Bridgwater. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

The crew at Wagon Wheel Produce and a group of dedicated volunteers are ready to host the 13th annual Cornstock music festival just outside of Simcoe this weekend. In the photo are Arden Koptik (left), Tony Duclos, Heidi Nobes and Rikki Bridgwater. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

SIMCOE - 

The feature event presented by Wagon Wheel Produce and Corn Maze continues to roll along.

Cornstock – an annual three-day gathering of local musicians – will return for its 13th year at the Wagon Wheel farm just outside of Simcoe beginning Friday.

At this point, Arden Koptik – a part-owner of the Wagon Wheel operation – said Cornstock runs like a well-oiled machine.

“It’s an amazing event and it all just falls together,” Koptik explained.

“The musicians have really been the ones who keep it going. We never have to call and say, ‘Can you be free?’ We don’t beg. People call us and say, ‘How do we get on a stage?’ And that’s amazing.

“We started with a one-day event and it grew within five years to a three-day event.”

As has been the case since its inception, Cornstock raises money for children’s music and art initiatives within Norfolk County. In recent years they’ve sponsored a stage for local youngsters at the Lynn River Music and Arts Festival.

Organizers have been donating money and instruments to schools for so long that the very students using them have become part of the lineup.

“Now what we’re seeing is, these young kids have found their talent,” said Koptik, adding that they’re “playing on our stage and a lot of them are writing originals.”

“(Our) stage was (set up) to allow them to play their originals so they could get out and get heard and get familiar, then it’s easier to play them in the bar scene.”

Things get started at 7 p.m. Friday with Dharma Road and run until Old Cut takes one of the two stages on the property Sunday at 5 p.m. While the lineup focuses mostly on classic rock, Koptik said fans also will hear some blues, country and other popular genres. Cornstock also includes an outdoor kitchen, beer tent and the property’s popular corn maze.

When the performers begin to gather, it’s a special moment that everyone looks forward to, Koptik said.

“It’s like a family reunion now,” she added.

“A big part of it is that we’re all committed to it, we all enjoy it and it has a great purpose.”

Koptik credited all volunteers but especially Tony Duclos for the event’s longevity.

She said that Duclos has done a masterful job organizing the bands and overseeing the beer tent among his other duties. In the beginning, he even donated his sound equipment for the event.

“It’s just getting bigger and better every year,” Koptik said.

More information on Cornstock can be found at wagonwheelproduce.com/cornstock.

Wagon Wheel Produce is located at 1371 Charlotteville Road 7.

jrobinson@postmedia.com