A few changes are on tap at ComFest this year. Here's how they'll affect you.

A few changes are on tap at ComFest this year. Here's how they'll affect you.

The Change: Earlier closing times. Instead of uniformly shutting down at 11 p.m., the stages will go dark gradually, ending with the I Wish You Jazz Stage at 11 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Reason: ComFest organizers want to reduce crowd size to prevent the overcrowding that has plagued Goodale Park in recent years and discourage the unruly element that tends to show up late.

The Consequence: On the down side, ComFest scheduled 30 percent less bands this year. On the up side, if this works, you'll have a less claustrophobic ComFest experience.

The Change: Increased police presence. More cops will be at the park this year.

The Reason: New Columbus police chief Walter L. Distelzweig wants to more strictly enforce the city's controlled substance laws and keep a close watch on violent behavior, especially in light of Bryan Barbin's death from self-inflicted stabbing last year.

The Consequence: Obey the law. If you insist on bringing contraband, be extra stealthy. And stay out of the pond or else!

The Change: Price hike. Beer mugs now cost $3, up from $2.

The Reason: Inflation. Prior to this year, the price hadn't increased in 15 years.

The Consequence: One extra dollar should have minimal effect on festgoers who bring a wad of cash for beer and refreshments.