Ben Sollee's Ditch The Van Tour Presented By Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe Tour Map

Over the years, the Kentucky Coffeetree Café has played host to a number of bands and artists, establishing themselves as a gathering place for live music and good conversation within their community of Frankfort, KY. This fall, they are taking their vision of sustainability and appreciation of live music to the next level by sponsoring Lexington-based artist Ben Sollee’s Ditch the Van tour.

The tour, which began August 18th in San Diego, finds Sollee literally ‘ditching the van,’ and strapping his cello instead to the back of his trusty bicycle for a trek that spans the entire breadth of the country. But he isn’t making the two-month endeavor alone; Frankfort’s own Jordon Ellis is accompanying him, equipped with a 90 pound drum kit in tow. Katie and Marty Benson of Fits Productions are also along for the ride, keeping a video/photo blog of each day’s progression. Footage from the first two weeks is already online and can be found at, along with updates as the tour progresses and a downloadable live track from Ben Sollee’s June 11 performance in Frankfort, Kentucky.

“Fits Productions and myself are thrilled to team up with the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe for the Ditch the Van Tour,” says Sollee of the partnership. “We share their vision for livable, vibrant communities and the belief that sustainability is about localization.” Not only is the team reducing their carbon footprint by leaving the gas guzzling van behind, but they are reveling in the local communities they pass along the way, two concepts that the Coffeetree can fully stand behind. And because of the limitations of traveling solely by bicycle, the tour makes a point of visiting small towns and vibrant communities across Middle America that are often overlooked by other national tours.

As always, the Kentucky Coffeetree Café strives to join people together through an awareness of live music of all genres and by providing a space for the community to gather and organize missions of sustainability. Sollee reiterates their sentiments saying, “Frankfort, KY is benefiting greatly from the Coffetree's commitment to arts and bringing high quality performers to its historic downtown. We're hoping that touring by bike will offer just the kind of limitation we need to find other community oriented venues in towns across the country.”