WALLSBURG, Wasatch County — This isn’t Ted and Sandy Shupe’s first music festival. Not by a long shot. Descendants of pickers, strummers and fiddlers dating back five generations — and parents themselves of five pickers and strummers who are carrying along the beat — they’ve sat in front of, on or behind more stages than a U2 groupie.

But this is the first festival they’ve been a part of that includes tractor pulls, a vintage vehicle parade and antique aircraft fly-bys.

The event is the Wallsburg Music Festival/Richard Erickson Antique Power Show, scheduled to take place, rain or shine, next weekend, July 15-16-17.

Side by side, daily visitors and campers can plunk down in front of two stages to hear nonstop “bluegrass, folk, old timey, country, blues and American” music played by 27 bands, or they can stroll on over to Dick Erickson’s massive antique museum that includes hundreds of vintage cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, airplanes and buildings, as well as demonstrations and exhibitions ranging from hay-baling to tractor pulls to blacksmithing to vintage-car drag racing.

It’s Wallsburg’s Woodstock.

The price of admission is $15 a day and $10 for those who choose to camp on the 400-acre Erickson ranch. People who camp all three nights, starting on Thursday, July 14, also get a free roast pig dinner. So for $75 you can get sensory overload of music and history, plus a meal and a place to sleep. It may be the best bargain on the planet for the weekend.

Erickson, who might best be described as an eccentric historian, has been showing off his truly amazing collectibles — everything from intact stores that used to line South Temple to an Indian motorcycle owned by Steve McQueen to Mother Maybelle Carter’s Gibson guitar — for one weekend every summer for the past decade.

He added music to the card — separate but equal — three summers ago after a Wallsburg builder/banjo player named Rob O’Driscoll introduced Erickson to Ted Shupe.

p>It’s a toss-up whose passion is greater — the 81-year-old Erickson for old stuff or the 77-year-old Shupe for fiddlin’ music.

For sure, neither is all that passionate about making money on the deal. Erickson spends at least $100,000 every year getting everything show-ready, versus a yearly gate of about $10,000. As for the music, after two years the festival is $10,000 in the hole — most of which has been covered by none other than Dick Erickson himself.

Which brings us to year three — the make-it-or-break-it year for music festivals, according to Ted. Keep one going that long and you have a chance of becoming the next Telluride (42 years and counting in Colorado) or Bean Blossom (50 years running in Indiana).

“You just have to get past the first few growing years,” says Ted.

When he spouts off that wisdom, Ted’s wife Sandy, the practical one who keeps the books, feels prompted to add, “Ted’s the eternal optimist.”

A big part of the incentive for Ted and Sandy is the festival gives their offspring a chance to display their talents. Their daughter Tara, a fiddler, and son Daron, a banjoist, will play on main stage with the band Pony Ride. Their daughter Bonie will run the Green Room and be available to play bass for any band that might need some help.

As for their oldest son, Ryan, he will be the festival’s headliner.

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband — one of Utah’s most successful bluegrass bands ever — is scheduled to perform from 8:45 to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Other top bands include Songs of the Fall, The Barefoot Movement, Finnders & Youngberg FY5, Mike Iverson & Blue Sage, the Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Free the Honey, and a local group called Folk Hogan that plays “punk folk.”

“Wait’ll you hear them,” says Ted, “they’re amazing.”

Don’t worry about finding a nice place to camp, he adds, “There are 400 acres to choose from, but you have to share it with the deer.”

Getting there is easy. Turn east from Deer Creek Reservoir until you come to the town of Wallsburg, then turn left until you hear either the music or the tractors.

Barring that, check out richardericksonfoundation.org or wallsburgmusicfestival.com for more directions.

Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Mondays.

Email: benson@deseretnews.com