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Stable Studios: new home of Wuhnurth Music Festival



All Photos by C-Style Photography.
Wuhnurth map rendered by Dan Sockrider.
Special thanks to Jess Wesley at Stable Studios.

  • C-Style Photography

In its relatively short-lived life, the Wuhnurth Music Festival has hosted thousands of people and fostered the creation of countless memories. Wuhnurth’s inaugural show in 2008 attracted nearly 1,000 festival goers and boasted an impressive first-year lineup that included west coast big timers Tea Leaf Green. In 2009, attendance numbers grew to 3,000 and headliners included Pnuma Trio, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Future Rock, and Kyle Hollingsworth. 2010 guarantees another noticeable jump in crowd numbers and a fresh batch of distinguished artists- notably That 1 Guy, Papadosio, and Cornmeal. In addition to an ever-increasing fan base and always-phenomenal band lineup, Wuhnurth continues to top itself with a vast assortment of local, high-quality food and merchandise vendors, as well as nighttime entertainment featuring fire dances, poi spinners, and hoop twirlers.

But this year, one thing will be different. In a big way.

Due in part to misunderstandings between The Waterbowl (home of Wuhnurth since 2008) and Springfest (Wuhnurth’s smaller sister festival produced by Nick Armogida) earlier this year in April, Springfest was forced to shut down an entire day early; campers were shooed away before Sunday festivities had begun.

  • Dan Sockrider

Rather than jeopardize the positive reputation Wuhnurth has garnered for itself, Nimmer decided to relocate the festival 2.5 hours south and east of Muncie (1.5 hours from Indianapolis) to Stable Studios in Spencer, IN- an announcement that came less than two months after the Springfest fiasco.

Nonetheless, Nimmer says that he and the venue parted ways on good terms. “The owners of The Water Bowl are still really fine with Wuhnurth happening there. After everything that went down, it was in the best interest of everyone to just kind of take some time off and find a new venue for Wuhnurth. I can’t say that we’ll ever… we might go back to The Waterbowl one day. You never really know what’s going to happen in the future. But, for now, I like Stable Studios.“

Curious to see the lay of the land for the new home of Wuhnurth, I made arrangements for a personal tour of Stable Studios with Jess Wesley, head of promotions, event coordinator, and office manager. Courtney Hughes (of C-Style Photography) joined us as well.

As the name suggests, Stable Studios was, until 2005, an estate dedicated to showing and breeding World Champion Morgan horses. The building has since been transformed into a state of the art recording studio, live music lounge, and one of southern Indiana’s premier locations for outdoor events.

  • C-Style Photography

Stable Studios live music lounge will serve as the green room for Wuhnurth bands
  • C-Style Photography
  • Stable Studio's live music lounge will serve as the green room for Wuhnurth bands

  • C-Style Photography

Rather than filling in the vast emptiness of The Waterbowl, this year Wuhnurth will be built around existing structures and landmarks full of history and character. The studio building still dons the iron bars that covered the windows of each individual stable stall. The main concert stage served as a horse-showing arena in a past life; walls have been removed for efficient air flow and mulch has been replaced with fine gravel. The structure remains roofed, ensuring the festival will go on rain or shine.

Wuhnurth 2010s Main Stage
  • C-Style Photography
  • Wuhnurth 2010's Main Stage

The Meadow Stage, adjacent to the Main Stage
  • C-Style Photography
  • The Meadow Stage, adjacent to the Main Stage

A near-by building that currently serves as the property’s chicken coop will be converted into a general store. An open grassy knoll adjacent to a small garden will be populated by food & craft vendors. A large, murky pond serves as the epicenter of the Stable Studios estate, ruled by a towering weeping willow tree and beautified by a small island in its middle. The pond will be open for swimming (complete with a lifeguard) although I question whether the dark water will be enticing to many or not.

Stable Studios chicken coop will be transformed into a general store
  • C-Style Photography
  • Stable Studios' chicken coop will be transformed into a general store

Due to forested camping, attendees will not be permitted to camp with their vehicles as they have been able to at previous Wuhnurths. The scenario will be similar to the Summer Camp Music Festival, except the hike will be much shorter and the woods will be more primitive. Bring something to transport gear (a wagon, a wheeled garbage can, etc) and also be prepared to clear your campsite (removal of brush and sticks) before erecting your tent.

  • C-Style Photography

After parking, festival goers will enter the grounds at the northwestern-most corner of the property adjacent to the back of the main stage. A foot path running along the northern edge will lead the masses past the pond and through the trees, dumping into a large clearing in the middle of the woods. Here, the Woodland Stage will be constructed in front of five different trailheads entering the forest, all of which meet up and intertwine together. By nightfall on Friday, this area will have blossomed into a maze of tents echoing with laughter and music, blanketed by the mind-altering mystique of the woods.

The foot path leading to the Woodland Stage
  • C-Style Photography
  • The foot path leading to the Woodland Stage

Although Stable Studios are prepared to accommodate the large crowd that will be in attendance, it is important to understand that Wuhnurth is being hosted on personal and private property. Be mindful of restricted areas and leave no trace in those which are accessible. As the festival’s mission proclaims, this is a gathering of positive-minded people who are stepping up to support the Midwest music scene and enhance the beauty of their communities. Do your part to make this statement a living truth.

Directions to Stable Studios:

From Bloomington: Take 46 West through Spencer. Stay on 46 West (turn right at Wendy's). It's 8 miles from WalMart. Look for signs at 246 stating mileage to entrance. You will be turning left on Dubois Road. You will then be directed to parking & the festival grounds.

From Terre Haute: From Interstate 70, take I-59 (exit 23 for Brazil/Linton). Turn right onto 59. Take 46 East (left) approximately 12 miles. You will see signs directing you to Dubois Road, turning right and then you will be directed to parking & festival grounds.

From Indianapolis: Take Interstate 70 to Cloverdale/exit 231. Go south approximately 17 miles on 231/In-46 to Spencer. Take a right in Spencer on 46 West. Stay on 46 West (turn right by Wendy's). It's 8 miles from WalMart. Look for signs at 246 stating mileage to entrance. You will be turning left on Dubois Road. You will then be directed to parking & the festival grounds.


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