It’s finally time for the Columbus Arts Festival. As an employee of the Greater Columbus Arts Council I will be at the Festival site all day every day (and then some) June 7-9. So, half of this post will be me sharing some highlights of the Festival that I am looking forward to (yes I’ll be working, but seriously this is a moment when work and play collide). The second half of this blog will pay homage to all of the wonderful things I’ll miss this weekend.
I urge you, dear reader, to come to Festival, but also make some time to enjoy the other wonderful events happening in Columbus, and share your photos on Instagram with #artmakescbus and so that I can live vicariously through you. Finally, you can follow our fest fun via insta stories on @artmakescbus and share your fest fun with #CbusArtsFest.
Ok here we go top five things I can’t wait to do at the Arts Festival.
- 1)SHOP—seriously. I always save some coin to spend at the Fest because I can see artists that I might not otherwise get to shop with. Jewelry is my poison, but I’m also on the lookout for cool gifts for my friends with summer birthdays.
- 2)Big Local Arts Village—Fest veterans may think that’s a typo, but no. the Big Local Art Tent is now a whole friggin’ village. It’s moved over to Rich Street (where the Main Street bridge inexplicably turns into Rich street). Artists will line the street as you head to the train overpass, which is where there will be a Big Local Music Stage. And, a little to the north, in the greenspace there will be a Big Local Beer Garden. There are tons of great acts playing the stage (find a full listing here) but I am particularly geeked up for Mistar Anderson playing Saturday night.
- 3)Pride! At the Fest. In partnership with Stonewall Columbus we are helping to celebrate both Pride month and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. All of this is happening Sunday afternoon on the ABC 6 Bicentennial Park Stage, starting with the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus at 11 a.m. and finishing up with Ms Virginia West and the Flaggots Ohio at 2p.m.
- 4)Closing acts on the ABC6 Bicentennial Park Stage: we love closing our Festival each day with incredible performances and this year is stellar. BalletMet is performing on the Bicentennial Park Stage, Friday, at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday at 9 p.m. Anderson East takes the stage (check him out on spoitify), and on Sunday local gems the Fabulous Johnson Brothers will end the festival on a high note at 4 p.m.
- 5)The Virtual Reality Tent. I’ve seen some of the works in progress and it’s super cool—plus it’s new and I love a new toy.
Those are MY five things, but folks with kids will love the Hands-On Activities Village, which also has a Children’s Gallery, the Grass Patch Players performances, and a family care station. There are five stages with performances in music, dance, theater and spoken word. And, then there’s the food—so much food! I strongly recommend you download our app, preview all the things and use the app to note what you want to check out.
Ok, I think I’ve established that the Arts Fest is a major happening in town, but here are five things I’m bummed to miss.
- 1)The Small Worlds exhibition at Blockfort, Thursday, June 6.
- 2)The opening of the Short North Stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Thursday June 6 (although it does run til June 30, so I can still see the show once I recover).
- 3)Opera Project Columbus’s production of Rigoletto at the Southern Theatre, June 7-9.
- 4)Topher James and the Biscuit Brigade performing on the Worthington Village Green, Sunday, June 9 (part of their free summer concert series).
- 5)And, also on Sunday 934 gallery is presenting musician Effee as part of a collaboration between the gallery and the Dick & Jane project (who incidentally is also playing at the Arts Fest, on Saturday).
Have a fun weekend and don’t forget to hydrate!
Lacey Luce is a digital strategist for the Greater Columbus Arts Council who might go “missing” from work while Mistar Anderson is playing at the fest.