Creek Rising: A Women’s Music Festival

A Saturday full of local music and food? Sound like the perfect way to spend the day? Then come out to Creek Rising: A Women’s Music Festival on Saturday, July 22nd at the Muddy Creek Cafe and Music Hall in Bethania. This will be the second year for the festival and the day will last from 11 am to 7 pm. Muddy Creek co-owners and festival creators Shana Whitehead and Bill Heath are gearing up for a fun and memorable event.

“The festival was created as a way to showcase local talent. We have music at the café and music hall, and the music in those areas has really taken off. As a woman-owned business, I wanted to include the aspect of having a focus on women artists. With the help of Forsyth Woman magazine, the idea for a women’s music festival came to life,” said Whitehead.

For this year’s event, the Creek Rising Women’s Music Festival will begin with a LuLaRoe fashion show in the music hall. The day will continue with various women singer-songwriters performances.

“There will be music in the café and the music hall. The café stage will include women singers throughout the day. As for the music hall stage, we’ll feature three big name performers, including local favorite Karon Click and the Hot Licks, Leah Shaw from New York City, and American Idol’s Chelsea Sorrell,” said Whitehead.

“We’ll have five shows, one show at every hour. In the music hall, the shows will be at 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm. In the café, the shows will be at 2 pm and 4 pm,” added Heath.

In addition to the music, attendees can shop various vendor spaces. If you want to sign up to be a vendor, applications are being taken up to Monday, July 17th. Vendor information can be found on the festival’s Facebook page and website.

“For the vendors, we wanted to invite women business owners to the festival as another way to support women in our community. Even our logo was designed by a local college student. One of our goals through the festival is to support local women, and we hope it shows through the different aspects,” said Whitehead.

The theme of inspiring and supporting women in the community can also be seen through the festival’s new name, “Creek Rising: A Women’s Music Festival.” Last year, the event was called “Girls in the Creek Music Festival.” However, according to Whitehead and Heath, the new name is a combination of the Muddy Creek Café’s location and the festival’s mission.

“In Bethania, there is a creek named the Muddy Creek that runs across the street from the café. Bill and I knew we wanted the name of the festival to celebrate the outdoors and nature, which is where “Creek Rising” comes from. The rest of the name reflects the women artists and businesses involved. Once we created the name, it felt good and felt right,” said Whitehead.

Looking into the future, Whitehead and Heath have big plans for the festival, including adding additional bigger names and acts to the lineup.

“Five years from now, we would like to see big sponsors, big names, and have this be an annual event in the community. With this being our second year, we learned a lot from the first festival and used that knowledge to improve this year’s festival experience for our guests and artists,” said Whitehead.

“We are tweaking the timing of the acts and the list of vendors. The festival is free to attend, and our hope is people will come to the festival who might not otherwise come to the café or music hall. We just want to help build a bigger audience for the artists and create a love for live music,” said Heath.

Even with the changes to this year’s festival, the purpose of the Creek Rising: A Women’s Music Festival has remained the same: to empower women in the community and to showcase the talent of women artists and businesses.

For more information about the Creek Rising: A Women’s Music Festival, visit Muddy Creek Café on Facebook. For vendor sign-up, visit