3 Things We Learned About This Brand New Montana Festival
Last week we told you about a festival that's coming to Montana in June of 2023. Since then, we've heard from the festival organizers and we have some more information about what looks to be an interesting and unique event.
1. This Is the Inaugural Old Salt Festival
The good news is the group behind the festival is planning on making it an annual event. "The idea for Old Salt Festival came from both Cole and Andrew [co-founders of the Old Sale Co-op]. Old Salt Festival is about people coming together to support the art of land stewardship in Montana," said Kristina Wiggins, Old Salt Events Manager. They are hoping to host 2,000 people per day of the 3-day festival.
2. The Festival is Hosted by the Old Salt Co-op
If you aren't familiar with them, the Old Salt Co-op is a Montana rancher-owned meat company. "We want to break out of the commodity system, better support our stewardship of soil, wildlife and water by increasing the price we earn from livestock and increase our stability by diversifying our markets, " said Cole Mannix, co-founder of the Old Salt Co-op. "With over 400,000 acres of private and leased public lands under management amongst our member ranches, we aim to add more producer-owners as the demand for Old Salt meat grows." The operation is far-reaching, with an aim to connect with like-minded individuals, provide custom livestock and meat processing, and connect to the community through their restaurant, with plans to open a second restaurant in 2023. They also hope to connect with others through the Old Salt Festival.
3. The Purpose of the Old Salt Festival is Connection
Much of what drives the co-op is what Mannix describes as a "responsibility to steward land responsibly, leaving it better for future generations."
"We can't do that alone," Mannix said, "and therefore we must find more powerful ways to connect with the many others who also care about and depend on this land. Old Salt Festival is one way to do that."
Connecting with others who care about the land inspired the impressive roster of musicians, chefs, speakers and panels for the event.
"Picture this," Mannix said. "A 40 foot cinder block cookfire with three grand meals centered around local beef, lamb and pork prepared by Eduardo Garcia of Montana Mex, Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions, Jarret Foster and Mona Johnson of Tournant PDX." But that's not all. 14 bands. 6 speakers. A "general store" of local makers and artists.
"Come hungry leave inspired!"