by Eric Sandy
The schedule offers four robust days of music in the bucolic Southeast Ohio city. Guaranteed highlights include Cat Power's Friday night set and Wilco's Saturday night set.
Each year, it seems like Nelsonville's offerings get better and better. As far as the folk-rock/Americana crowd goes, this is a fantastic festival in a fairly convenient part of the country (for Ohioans, of course).
Tickets and camping passes are still available. Weekend passes clock in at $120, and day passes range from $50 to $75.
Also, the event was featured in Scene's 2013 Summer Music Festival Guide. Here's what we wrote:
Nelsonville Music Festival • May 30 - June 2
Headliners Wilco, Cat Power, John Prine
Tix $120 four-day pass
Where? Nelsonville is located off Route 33, just north of Athens.
Don't Miss! If you haven't (or have) seen Wilco live, then there's your answer. They stand tall as one of the greatest live acts in the country these days. And Mavis Staples is a legend. (I mean, why are you even considering not checking out her set?) There are a lot of cool, under-the-radar outfits rounding out the bill, as well. Wild Belle, for instance, is a slick little duo that will surely dish up a relaxing midday show.
Skip It Calexico can be taken or left, as you please. The band's got talent, but they seem to be shipping something a little less than that on each release. Check out Algiers to get a sense of where their sound is these days.
What To Bring It's all about the environment, so opt for aluminum or stainless steel containers for water instead of a case of plastic
Good Grub O'Betty's Red Hot from Athens is a hot dog LEGEND in Southeast Ohio, if you're into that kinda thang. (Of course you are.) (And, um, we recommend the "Varla." Tell 'em Scene sent you.) Jeni's Ice Cream from Columbus is widely known for offering some of the greatest ice cream ever.
Green Cred The umbrella phrase is "zero waste." In tandem with Rural Action and the Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative, fest organizers and attendees seek a full-scale recycling and composting op with an emphasis on self-awareness and responsibility.
The History The fest first cropped up in downtown Nelsonville in 2005. The setting is ideal: bucolic, collegiate and home to a top-notch opera house. Andrew Bird once called it "a hell of a lot better than Coachella," to which we Ohioans respond: Hell yes it is.
Watch Out For... Be sure to check out the No-Fi Cabin. "We take one of the cabins [at Robbins Crossing Historical Village] which is an old schoolhouse and have it as a stage all weekend where musicians play with no electricity - as acoustic as it gets," marketing director Brian Koscho says.