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After Land Dispute, Music Festival to Purchase Former Marlboro College Campus

The Marlboro Music Festival — a “world-renowned” festival and retreat for advanced classical musicians held during the summer in Marlboro, Vermont — plans to purchase the former Marlboro College campus, where the festival has been held for the past 70 years, reports The Vermont Digger.

Marlboro Campus 1 768x512 1The ownership of the 500-acre location, known as Potash Hill, has been in dispute since 2019 when Marlboro College said it would merge with Boston’s Emerson College. After the announcement, the nonprofit Democracy Builders Fund purchased the campus pledging to create a low-cost college for underrepresented students.

But, according to The Digger, the project quickly evaporated following several scandals: the project never received approval to confer degrees and the project’s founder, Seth Andrew, was accused of stealing from a charter school network. Meanwhile, Canadian businessman Adrian Stein had plans to create a tech hub on the campus and claimed ownership to the property after Andrew brokered a sale-leaseback agreement with his company.

Not knowing who to pay rent to, Marlboro Music Festival went to court where a judge settled the matter.

“We are delighted to announce this historic agreement enabling us to protect Potash Hill and our use of the campus,” Christopher Serkin, Marlboro Music’s President and Board Chair, said in a joint statement with Democracy Builders and Stein. The festival is exploring ways to use the campus year round.

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