In October 2014, Brian Mastrosimone bought a plot of land without a specific vision in mind, except, as he puts it, to “hunt the land.” Today, Lincoln Hill Farms, a 95-acre property located minutes away from the Canandaigua Lake, has become a popular venue for weddings, live music, craft beer and glamping.
“All the farmers around here, the old boys, always tell me that in 1980 it was being farmed like a regular farm, but when I bought it, there was nothing on it,” Mastrosimone says. “It was all overgrown with a bunch of random pine trees on it.”
With roughly 75 seasonal employees and several others who live on-site, the farm has grown into something much bigger than it once was—the original settlers, the Dewey family, owned the farm for a century. The space now boasts a wedding area in the heart of the farm, each wedding complete with a private space including catered food served by specialized chefs.
Lincoln Hill Farms is booked for weddings almost every Friday and Saturday. The farm has sleeping accommodations for wedding goers, making the experience contained and walkable.
The new nighttime sleeping sensation, known as glamping, stays true to its namesake at Lincoln Hill Farms. The only aspect that it takes from camping is the use of a tent—a 10-foot, fully furnished shelter with a king-size bed. The quarters are fitted with electricity. For weddings, a special tent for the bride and groom is the size of a small home.
“Yeah, there’s some hotels, but then they have to drive down there, and then they’re going to hang out in a lobby, and it’s not going to be as exciting as hanging around a fire pit with Adirondack chairs,” Mastrosimone says. “And everybody that’s around the fire is everybody you know, there’s no outside people.”
The farm is close to being self-sustaining, with visitors not having to leave the farm for basic needs such as food, water, lodging and beer. Mastrosimone affectionately refers to it as “the cool cult.”
The inspiration for an all-in-one farm wedding venue comes from Mastrosimone’s own experience.
“My wife and I got married in the middle of a farm. We just pitched a tent and kind of did the same thing,” he says.
Weddings are not the only draw to Lincoln Hill Farms. Now, it hosts nightly live music, and not too far from the music lies a hollowed-out silo stocked with craft beer on tap.
“We try to get a variety of musicians, but the reality is our base is jam band, bluegrass,” Mastrosimone says. “That’s what we enjoy the most, and where we are always heading towards.”
Even so, Lincoln Hill Farms has been testing the waters with country artists and other unique acts, such as Enter the Haggis, a Canadian celtic rock band.
This weekend, the farm’s largest live music and beer annual event BrewFest will feature 60 local breweries, more than 1,000 different beers, and music all day long.
“We’re going to have (a competition where) people choose the best New York beer, and then next year we’ll feature that beer for our BrewFest,” Mastrosimone says.
BrewFest’s headliner is Tim Reynolds, lead guitarist of the Dave Matthews Band.
“We even got a mechanical bull coming this year, so it’ll be an interesting year for us, to say the least,” Mastrosimone says.
With large events such as BrewFest, Mastrosimone has plans to evolve Lincoln Hill Farms’ infrastructure into a full-fledged site.
“We want to do more corporate events and we’d like to do bigger festivals, so we’re preparing to improve the infrastructure of parking, sewers, bathrooms, bars, restaurants, things like that,” he says.
Mastrosimone believes that the lack of a complete sewage system is what’s stopping the farm from becoming a large-scale venue space. He plans to work with Ontario County officials to facilitate the process and have things in place by 2024.
Alex Schneider was a Rochester Beacon intern. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.