Since 2005, the Nelsonville Music Festival (NMF) has served as Ohio’s Appalachian Woodstock. According to Billboard, the NMF has been referred to as “one of the best-kept secrets of the U.S. music festival circuit.” The Nelsonville Music Festival is a wholesome, unique event that offers guests an unforgettable experience by providing some of the biggest names in contemporary music and even gives back to the community as well.
The festival offers a personal experience to each and every attendant by tailoring the event to accommodate just about everyone. Kids 12 and under are permitted into the event for free and are able to attend all day kid friendly activities. The music genres cater just about anyone’s taste ranging from national, regional and local acts.
Additionally, NMF is a Zero Waste event and recycles and composts all the waste produced from the event, instead of sending it to the landfill.
In the past, the 4-day music festival featured artists like The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Iron & Wine, Loretta Lynn, Mac DeMarco, Tallest Man on Earth, and many more. This year May 31st-June 3rd, NMF will be featuring Alvvays, The Decemberists, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Middle Kids, Kevin Morby and much more.
NMF is put on through Stuart’s Opera House, a historical non-profit theater located in Nelsonville. For many years, the Opera House served as a location for free entertainment and programs to those in the Nelsonville area. Stuart’s Opera House offers a wide selection of opportunities for those in the area. Programs include The After School music Program, which is a free class that teaches and encourages the area youth to make their own music, along with homework help. There are also summer camps, free concerts, artist workshops, staged theater performances. Children under 12 are given free admittance to the festival as well.
The NMF embraces the local culture of this Southern Ohio getaway. To some, this is home. To others, it’s “the best kept secret” of music festivals. In the early years of the first few inaugural shows of the festival, many people took the stereotype of the areas downfalls and jumped to the quick conclusion of what they referred to as “Nelsontucky,” was. Tim Peacock, the executive director of both Stuart’s Opera House and NMF, told Belt Magazine that it wasn’t uncommon for people unfamiliar with the area to make the “derogatory jab at the community” (Belt Magazine).
NMF features more than just musical performances. Guests are able to purchases passes to camp out at the festival throughout the weekend, or even stay in motorhomes (motorhome passes are even sold out at this point). Artisans and vendors are able to apply for a spot to sell their products and art at the festival as well. Alongside art, local food vendors are also able to submit an application for a spot at the festival as well. These two aspects of the festival tie together the local, wholesome atmosphere and give guests a chance to get a taste of what Nelsonville has to offer.
The festival starts on May 31 and ends June 3. Guests are able to choose from a variety of passes that will ensure one of the best festival experiences up to date. The lowest cost being $70 for the Nelsonville Resident Pass or Teen Pass to up to $140 for a Weekend Pass or $350 for a VIP Weekend Pass. Not only will you be benefiting from the diverse setlist and getting to hear your favorite musicians, but you’ll be supporting the arts of a unique, local city.
Check out the links below for songs from some of the artists that will be playing at NMF 2018 or http://nelsonvillefest.org for any further information regarding the NMF.
Alvvays- Archie, Marry Me
The Decemberists- Severed
The Middle Kids- Edge of Town