Farm near Newton prepares for 11th annual String Break

Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy, purveyors of raucous “thrashfolk” music, will headline String Break.
Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy, purveyors of raucous “thrashfolk” music, will headline String Break. Courtesy photo

There’s a donated bass guitar on the couch waiting to be auctioned. A guy on the phone wants to know where to put the Porta-Pottys.

It’s beginning to look a lot like String Break at the Hinz Farm outside Newton. This is the 11th year that the Hinz family will host the music festival and fundraiser.

Here are 11 things to know about the event:

▪  This year’s headliner is Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy, purveyors of raucous “thrashfolk” music and one of the top bands to come out of Wichita in memory. “They’ve played it two other times, but it’s been three or four years” since their last appearance, David Hinz said.

▪ The rest of the lineup, in order, is: Ryan Windham, Taylor Martin Band, the Mischief Makers, Keen Kutter, Piper Leigh and the Smoking Section, Rosco Del Rio, Americana-Na, the Quivers and Godzillionaire. The performers play 45-minute sets, with 15-minute changeovers.

“They all donate their time for the cause,” Hinz said. After playing their slot, “most of them will stay for the rest of the day and listen to others.”

▪ String Break was started to help Kirk Rundstrom, a Wichita musician who died in 2007. Since then, proceeds have benefited other charities. A percentage goes into a trust fund for Rundstrom’s daughters. This year’s festival also will benefit the Kirby’s Steve Schroeder Memorial Scholarship to WSU and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

▪  One thing organizers don’t have to work too hard on is finding performers. It’s more about getting a nice mix of styles. “We normally have requests, people actually asking to play,” he said. “In early January, we try to whittle it down and figure out what we have and don’t have.”

▪ Musicians aren’t the only volunteers. Altogether about 100 people help out, many of them friends or relatives of the Hinz and the Eaton families.

David Hinz is married to Karen Eaton-Hinz, whose son, Jeff Eaton, played in Split Lip Rayfield with Rundstrom. Her daughter, Jennifer, also pitches in.

“It’s a family event on coordinating it,” Hinz said.

▪ There’s food for sale – turkey legs from a smoker, plus hot dogs, hot links, sloppy joes, pretzels and nachos – along with pop and other nonalcoholic drinks. Attendees are also permitted to bring their own. Glass and fires are not permitted.

▪ Auctions and raffles are held throughout the event. More than two dozen businesses donate goods and services to be bid on, as do individuals.

▪ Camping is allowed at no extra charge. “We think that’s great,” Hinz said. “We don’t serve alcohol, but if they do partake, we’re glad to have them stay.”

▪ Guitars are welcome, too. It’s a little like the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield in that event-goers play music at their campsites. “In my book, it’s the crowd that helps make it,” Hinz said. “A bunch of good people playing well together and just enjoying themselves.”

▪ This year’s String Break will be missing some supporters. Hinz said the event is being dedicated to his uncle Carey Hinz, who manned the festival’s west gate and who died on Christmas Day, and to Wichita restaurant owner Tanya Tandoc and Donut Whole co-owner Angela Mallory, both of whom died last year.

▪ The weather forecast looks pretty good, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s during the day Saturday and a chance of showers that night. Not that it really matters.

“It goes on rain or shine,” Hinz said. “We’ve actually had a year it was cold and drizzly. We moved it into the machine shed and added some tents to expand (the shed). It went quite well. We have options, and we assess those options as we feel what the weather’s going to do.”

String Break

When: Gates open at 1 p.m. Saturday; show starts at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $30 at the gate

Where: Hinz Farm, 11336 NW 150th St., 14 miles east of Newton

Information: For ticket information, directions and more, visit stringbreak.net.