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HemlockFest brings an array of world music to the mountains
A fire dancer entertains visitors during last year’s HemlockFest at Starbridge Retreat in Dahlonega. The festival kicks off Friday afternoon and ends Sunday afternoon. - photo by For Get Out


When: Friday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Nov. 9

Where: Starbridge Retreat, 396 Starbridge Road, Murrayville

Cost: Weekend passes $55 and includes camping; Day pass $20 Friday, $30 Saturday and $10 Sunday. Children 15 and younger are admitted free.

More info: or 706-867-5157

An eclectic mix of rock, blues, folk, bluegrass and world music will echo throughout Starbridge Retreat in Lumpkin County as the 10th annual HemlockFest gets underway.

HemlockFest is a family-friendly event that allows visitors to come for a day, or camp out for the weekend. While on the 50-acre private resort in the foothills of the Appalachians participants can listen to almost 20 bands, duos or single artists from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

Along with the music, other activities offered include art, educational workshops, canoeing, camping and hiking the area’s walking trails. Dozens of booths sell art and handcrafts from Georgia and all over the world. Or visitors can learn more about the biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians with guided nature walks, live animals, storytelling and environmental education activities. Participants also may taste the unique food and beverages under the verandas of the old cabin.

For children, the natural play space of Kid’s Nature Village allows youth to connect with the world around them. Based on the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s Nature Explore Classroom, the children can join the activities with themes such as imagine, create, build, jump, perform, plant, explore, play and dig.

All activities take place on the retreat’s land at 396 Starbridge Road in Murrayville.

HemlockFest begins at 2 p.m. Nov. 7 and ends at 4 p.m. Nov. 9. Gates close each night at 12:30 a.m.

Weekend passes are $55 and includes camping. Day pass prices are $20 Friday, $30 Saturday and $10 Sunday. Camping is restricted to weekend pass holders only. Children 15 and younger are admitted free with a supervising adult ticketholder.

Tickets are available at, Xorbia Tickets and at the gate. Cash and most major credit cards are accepted. Camping is limited.

HemlockFest is the annual fundraising and educational benefit festival for Lumpkin Coalition, which supports the preservation of a clean and healthy environment, responsible living and responsible growth. All proceeds are applied to saving the hemlocks and preserving the integrity of the Southern Appalachian ecosystem.

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