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DARK STAR JUBILEE
Legend Valley, Thornville
COST: $158 for a three-day pass
PERFORMERS: Dark Star Orchestra, Los Lobos, Hot Tuna and more
SUMMARY: Grateful Dead cover band Dark Star headlines a bill heavy on jam-friendly acts, some with better names than others (see: Hot Tuna).
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL
PERFORMERS: fo/mo/deep, Liquid Crystal Project, Bobby Floyd and more
SUMMARY: Now in its second year, the African-American Cultural Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. with a march, led by a local drumline, from the King Arts Complex to the fest's main stage, where performances will take place through 8 p.m. The event, designed to celebrate African-American culture, will also include visual artists and a COSI science station centered on African-American inventors, among other activities.
WASHBOARD MUSIC FESTIVAL
PERFORMERS: Little Roy & Lizzie, The Wayfarers, Steel City Rovers and more
SUMMARY: The washboard isn't just for laundry anymore (to be fair, though, it hasn't really served that function in decades). Rather, the Washboard Music Festival celebrates the musical properties of the novelty, collecting an array of folk-leaning performers.
DUCK CREEK LOG JAM
Duck Creek Camping and Outdoor Events Area, Logan
COST: $99 for a two-day pass; $50 for a single-day ticket
PERFORMERS: The Hip Abduction, Caamp, The Wooks and more
SUMMARY: The family-run Hocking Hills hootenanny keeps things small-scale by design, eschewing larger names for an intimate vibe that makes visiting the fest akin to taking in a neighborhood block party, albeit one that costs nearly $100 for the weekend.
CREEKSIDE BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL
Creekside Plaza, Gahanna
COST: Three-day passes start at $18; $7 or $10 for single-day tickets, depending on the day
PERFORMERS: Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons, Dave Buker & the Historians, David Sanborn Electric Band and more
SUMMARY: Despite its name, Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival has drawn an increasingly eclectic, local-heavy lineup that blends more rock-oriented performers such as Angela Perley with more traditional blues and jazz players.
STONEWALL COLUMBUS PRIDE FESTIVAL
Goodale Park, Victorian Village
COST: $10 donation
SUMMARY: Last year's #BlackPride4 controversy appeared to highlight a divide over how Pride is viewed within the LGBTQ community, with some treating the event as a three-day party and others striving to return the event to its riotous political roots. It will be interesting to see how the folks at Stonewall approach the long weekend this year.
RED, WHITE & BOOM
Tuesday, July 3
Various venues, Downtown
SUMMARY: While a musical lineup has yet to be announced, it's safe to say the evening's fireworks show will garner more oohs and ahhs than anyone who takes the stage in a warmup role.
JAZZ & RIBS FEST
Bicentennial and Genoa parks, Downtown
SUMMARY: An array of local and national jazz players provides the musical accompaniment for your barbecue-induced gluttony. Pro tip: Don't wear white.
OHIO STATE FAIR
July 25-Aug. 5
The Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, North Side
COST: Varies by performer
PERFORMERS: TLC with En Vogue, Trevor Noah, Reba McEntire and more
SUMMARY: The annual deep-fried affair is generally more miss than hit with its musical lineup, but this year there are at least three shows worth checking out, including country royalty Reba McEntire, “Daily Show” host and comedian Trevor Noah and an evening of 1990s hip-hop/R&B nostalgia with TLC and En Vogue.
THE WERK OUT MUSIC FESTIVAL
Legend Valley, Thornville
COST: $149 for a three-day pass
PERFORMERS: The Werks, Umphrey's McGee, Joe Russo's Almost Dead and more
SUMMARY: Legend Valley hosted a handful of, um, legendary Grateful Dead shows, so it shouldn't surprise that the Central Ohio farmland has recaptured its crown as the jam-band destination (see: The Dark Star Jubilee taking place here in May).
DUBLIN IRISH FESTIVAL
Coffman Park, Dublin
COST: Adults: $10 in advance and $15 at the gate; children 12 and under free
PERFORMERS: Sharon Shannon, Gaelic Storm, Eileen Ivers and more
SUMMARY: With a name like Dublin, it's no surprise the Columbus suburb has cultivated Ohio's premier Irish fest. Drink each time you spot a “Kiss Me I'm Irish” T-shirt and prepare to greet death.
BELLWETHER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Renaissance Park, Waynesville
COST: Two-day early-bird tickets are $85; $55 for a single-day ticket
PERFORMERS: MGMT, The Flaming Lips, Echo & the Bunnymen and more
SUMMARY: The inaugural Bellwether, which takes place about an hour south, packs an impressive punch even beyond headliners, with great undercard gets such as effortlessly melodic Chicago rockers Whitney and powerhouse singer Erika Wennerstrom of bluesy, Texas-based Heartless Bastards.
Genoa Park, Downtown
SUMMARY: This two-day fest celebrates everything Latino, so we wouldn't expect to see a MAGA hat anywhere within a mile of Genoa Park on this weekend.
WCOL COUNTRY JAM
Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Legend Valley, Thornville
COST: $99.50 for a three-day pass
PERFORMERS: Sam Hunt, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay and more
SUMMARY: Buckeye Country Superfest is taking a one-year hiatus, so local country fans itching to take in a bevy of twang-laden acts will need to make the trek to Legend Valley to catch Sam Hunt, Maren Morris and others.