Nelsonville Music Festival, Ninth Annual, May 30-June 2, 2013
Coming just a week after DelFest, the 9th Annual Nelsonville Music Festival is set for May 30-June 2, 2013 in the beautiful rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio, and just a few miles up the road from Ohio University in Athens, where, I like to remind folks, the 1960’s never went away.
Set on the campus of the Hocking College, the festival expands to four days and, so that the weather may be less of an unpredictable factor, has been pushed back two weeks.
As always, the festival is a mixture of electric and acoustic, nationally known and local, instantly recognizable and eclectic, from the broad, rich spectrum of American and World music.
(Photo by SWAE Photography)
While technically Wilco is the fest’s headliner, it is Cat Power who is drawing the most buzz from my neck of the woods as she rarely plays Ohio venues, and of late it seems she has been concentrating on non-US dates.
Other notable artists include John Prine who closes the fest down on Sunday, Gogol Borello who headlines Thursday night, Mavis Staples, Calexico, Sharon Van Etten, Anais Mitchell, The Honeycutters, Jonathan Richman, The Flying Clouds of South Carolina (a gospel group that must be seen to be believed), Joe Pug, Lucius, Tift Merritt, David Wax Museum and my personal fav, Michael Hurley.
These are just some of the 75 artists scheduled to perform over four days on three stages, with 27 of those performers being from Ohio and West Virginia. Here is the full schedule, day by day, stage by stage: http://nelsonvillefest.org/2013-schedule.html
(Main Stage crowd on a late afternoon)
The fest has three stages, the main one with an open field, a medium size one and the fabulous No-Fi cabin where acoustic/non-electricity performances happen all weekend long in a small, historic, schoolhouse cabin. The No-Fi Cabin is a perfect example of what makes this festival special, even at a festival with almost 6,000 people you can still see an intimate performance with just 25 other people in a cabin, no mic, no amps, no lighting just the natural sound of acoustic instruments and human voices.
(Micael Hurley on the Cabin Stage)
The festival began in 2005 and was held in the downtown Nelsonville Historic Arts District. The festival served to bring the community together to celebrate the revitalization of the Arts District with music and artisans. Years two and three were held in the field behind a local shoe outlet, Rocky Boots, which remains a primary supporter of the festival. Speaking of support, one of things makes the Nelsonville Fest outstanding is its community support — in addition to its many volunteers no fewer 62 local businesses and individuals support the festival so that it may be a success. Plus, if you think you know what friendly is, you need to visit southeast Ohio. If it sounds like I am a fan, it is because I am.
(Vendor area at night)
The festival is produced by Stuart’s Opera House which is the cornerstone of the historic Public Square in Nelsonville. Despite being so close to a college town, Stuart’s Opera House is the regional leader in the arts community and a center for public expression. When Stuart’s Tim Peacock and Brian Koscho say that the Nelsonville Music Festival is an extension of their strong belief that by celebrating music and art, they celebrate life.
The 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival continues to be the most unique festival in the region, offering attendees a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy great live music and much more.
The Nelsonville Music Festival also has way more going on than the invigorating music. Local art vendors and artisans are featured, local organic food eateries featuring locally grown food and a local organic dairy. The festival is also child and family friendly. Besides offering free passes to everyone 12 and under, there is an area for children to listen to and create their own music and art.
The kids stage features performances and workshops all three days, a community mural project (that becomes the backdrop to the back porch stage this year) invites kids of all ages to paint a spot and leave their mark, there’s instrument making workshops and much more.
Like most other music fests, the Nelsonville Music Festival is working hard to be green and lower its waste and carbon footprint. Extensive recycling system, re-usable cups, free water, just bring a water bottle.
More information, including location, accomodations and directions: http://www.nelsonvillefest.org/