Music on the Mountaintop postponed till 2014

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Article Published: Apr. 11, 2013 | Modified: Apr. 11, 2013
Music on the Mountaintop postponed till 2014

Railroad Earth, featuring, from left, Andrew Altman, Carey Harmon and Tim Carbone, performs at 2012's Music on the Mountaintop.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

This August, it’ll be all quiet on the mountaintop.

Music on the Mountaintop, the annual music and art festival held in Boone, officially announced its postponement for 2013. “Though we could have produced the sixth annual (festival), we felt it best to take a year off,” festival director and founder Jimmy Hunt said. “We need to recoup, recharge and reorganize our business model.”

Over the last 5 years, MOTM has grown to be one of the premier music festivals in North Carolina and the largest in Boone history, Hunt said, adding that at its height, MOTM drew nearly 7,000 fans over the course of three days.

The idea for the festival and Hunt’s business, Yellow Dog Entertainment, spawned from an entrepreneurship course at Appalachian State University in 2007.

“Though I’m sad to take a year off, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world,” Hunt said. “I’ve been doing what I love everyday for the last five years. Like any business, we’ve had ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I genuinely enjoyed going to work. I’m extremely blessed.”

In 2012, MOTM partnered with New Jersey-based Americana band Railroad Earth in attempts to expand its overall exposure. “The partnership with RRE was an interesting one; definitely a learning experience,” Hunt said. “In the end, it was great working with those guys and their camp. It’s a great group of really hard-working and super talented individuals – from top to bottom.”

Since its inception, MOTM distinguished itself by trying to produce the festival in a sustainable fashion and donating a portion of its proceeds to local nonprofit organizations.

“The best part of the business was writing that check (to the nonprofits),” Hunt said. “Before the festival, I was generally unaware of who was doing what in the sustainable and ‘green’ movement. It was incredible to work with AIRE, Appalachian Voices and Mountain Alliance. I can’t say enough good things about those organizations. I’m proudest of donating $11,250 to those guys.”

MOTM plans on returning in 2014, “hopefully, with a revamped business model,” Hunt said. “I started the company when I was 21. I’ve learned a lot since then, sometimes the hard way. The festival business is cyclical. We fully plan on being back in 2014.”

Hunt stressed the importance of the countless organizations and people that have helped grow MOTM over the years.

“There are too many to thank,” he said. “The professors at ASU, especially Julia Rowland, the non-profits, especially Jeff Deal and Appalachian Voices, the generous local sponsors, the media and the artists – all played a vital role in our success. Personally, my family, staff, and friends – especially the Herring family, were vital to our success every step of the way.”

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