10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival expected to be among the best ever

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As seen in Athens News:

10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival expected to be among the best ever
By: McKenzie Powell
May 28, 2014

As should come as no surprise at this point, Stuart’s Opera House is presenting the 10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival from this Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, June 1 at historic Robbins Crossing in Nelsonville.

The festival is a four-day event filled with endeavors for the entire family including the main attraction, live musical performances by more than 50 national, regional and local acts, as well as kids activities, local artisans, food vendors, a beer garden and on-site camping.

“We try to make this festival an extension of what we love about southeast Ohio, what we love about Athens community,” said Brian Koscho, marketing director at Stuart’s Opera House and the Nelsonville Music Festival.

The festival will feature more than 50 live bands and artists over the course of the four-day period.

“There’s always been the intention to be very diverse,” Koscho said regarding the wide range of performances. “We like being able to draw out very different people, very different crowds.”

This year’s line-up includes: Jason Isbell, Dinosaur Jr., The Avett Brothers, Shovels and Rope, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Kurt Vile & The Violators, The Head & The Heart, Valerie June and many more.

“It’s definitely a really good vibe,” offered Kallen Justice, a 20-year-old Ohio University student who previously attended the Nelsonville Music Festival as an Ali Baba food vendor. “Even if you don’t know all of the groups there, everyone is there for the same reason – to enjoy the music.”

While the music is the main thing every day of the fest, there will be many other highlights throughout the weekend. “There’s a lot of stuff going on other than the music,” assured Koscho.

Local artisans will have stands selling handmade items, and food vendors will be located at both the campsite and the festival grounds.

Students from Federal Hocking High School Art and Drama Club will assist in the numerous kids’ activities occurring over the course of the weekend. Last year, children worked on a mural, costume making, instrument making, ghost stories and more.

“It was important to us to have everyone in the community welcome at the event,” Koscho said.

Tickets are available for both single-day passes and weekend passes, ranging from $50 to $110. These prices do not include an additional fee on the ticket to cover parking. Reserving a campsite or buying a VIP pass involves an additional fee (weekend and Saturday VIP passes had sold out by last week).

“We offer primitive, individual camping,” Koscho said.

Camping passes are $20 per person if bought in advance, and $25 per person if purchased on-site. Individuals 15 years old and under do not need to acquire a camping pass.

All children 12 years old and under get free entrance into the festival.

The Nelsonville Music Festival began in 2005 as an effort to bring musical performances, enjoyable activities and local artisans into the community, all while drawing in a larger and more diverse audience.

The festival is a production of Stuart’s Opera House, the historic, non-profit theater in Nelsonville, Ohio. Because of this, all profits are recycled back into Stuart’s Opera House and future festivals.

The Nelsonville Music Festival has grown from approximately 1,000 attendees to 6,000, and has expanded from six or seven bands or performers to more than 50 per festival. The first festival took place on Nelsonville’s Public Square.

Although the event has grown considerably, organizers have no burning desire to surpass the current amount of festival goers for fear of losing the calm, relaxed vibe, said Koscho.

He said that individuals from roughly 30 states and six countries have attended the Nelsonville Music Festival in the past.

“We really think people will like it, and if they haven’t been down before, they really should come down and check it out,” Koscho said.

New to this year’s festival is the “Heatwave Dance Party” and an “Old-Time Square Dance” that will take place at the campgrounds.

The campgrounds on the festival grounds include hand-wash stations, portable toilets and a couple of vendors. Showers are available right across from the campground in the Student Center.

Factory-sealed non-glass water bottles and empty non-glass water bottles are allowed on the festival grounds. However, no glass, cans, or food and drinks other than factory-sealed water bottles and small snacks are allowed.

No outside alcohol is allowed on the festival grounds, but a variety of brands and types, including local craft brews, can be purchased on-site at the beer garden.

Tickets are still available for this year’s 10th annual Nelsonville Music Festival and can be purchased online at www.nelsonvillefest.org.

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