Columbus residents not keen on Rock on the Range ought to consider making the trek down US-33 this weekend for some attractive alternatives.
Nelsonville Music Festival and 9FEST began as gutsy DIY affairs during my tenure at Ohio University (class of ’06, what’s up?). They’ve evolved into massive but manageable festivals — two of the most anticipated events in the region, both known for conjuring sick lineups and a close sense of community.
Here’s the menu.
Nelsonville Music Festival
In a nutshell: Indie stars, underground legends and upstart locals converge on the campus of Hocking College for an intimate, engrossing experience.
Performers of note: Headliners Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird and M. Ward will have you feeling like you’re inside a copy of Paste Magazine; sub-headliners Guided By Voices, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Roky Erickson will have you feeling awestruck in the presence of legends.
Columbus connection: Old Hundred will bridge the gap between atmospheric indie rock and hootenanny stomp; Time & Temperature will unfurl gorgeous, gleaming folk-rock; country-rockers Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons will bring in the twang, bring in the spunk; kiddie rockers The Shazzbots will do it for the children
Last year’s attendance: 7,000
Price: $85 for the full weekend; $60 for Saturday pass; $50 each for Friday or Sunday day pass; camping pass costs $15
Go if: You like NPR, Ohio music, camping out and drinking outside
In a nutshell: Rising rappers, DJs and more flock to the nation’s No. 1 party school for the rager of your dreams.
Performers of note: Cleveland hip-hop heavyweight Chip Tha Ripper; Skrillex associate 12th Planet; esteemed party rocker Dj E-V; dubstep singer-rapper Timeflies
Columbus connection: Freaky Franz and Cornelius Jackson will keep it loud; their buddy and fellow Alive Bands to Watch participant Bruni will rock the party, too.
Last year’s attendance: 15,000
Go if: You like to party and you’re young enough to pass as a college student