WOUB Music Blog

At A Glance: 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival

Bryan Gibson
Chris Riddle

Updated Wed, May 29, 2013 12:44 pm
Photo Credit: 
Joan Butcher
Chris Riddle talks with Kyle O'Keefe and Brian Koscho about the Zero Waste Initiative, a partnership between Rural Action and the Nelsonville Music Festival

This weekend, thousands of people will converge on the little town of Nelsonville, Ohio, for one of the nation's best music festivals.

Now in its 9th year, the Nelsonville Music Festival is offering one of its best lineups yet, with headliners Wilco, Cat Power, John Prine and Gogol Bordello joining legends like Mavis Staples and Jonathan Richman and upstarts such as Sharon Van Etten and David Wax Museum.

Located on the campus of Hocking College, the festival features four days of music, including 57 bands on three stages. In addition to the music, the fest has camping, kids' activities, local artisan vendors, food, a beer garden and more.

2013 Nelsonville Festival Schedule

schedule courtesy of nelsonvillefest.org

2012 NMF headliner Andrew Bird was succinct in his praise of the Nelsonville Music Festival: "It's the perfect size festival. Any bigger and you'd lose something."

Set on the picturesque grounds of Hocking College's Robbins Crossing, the fest has managed to maintain that intimate feel despite hosting bigger and bigger acts each year (past years' headliners include The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson and Iron & Wine).

Much of the event's charm stems from the two smaller stages: the "Porch" stage, set in a grassy, shady area next to a charming log cabin (and its porch), and the super-intimate "No-Fi" cabin, where musicians play unamplified in a small room that seats around 25.

Keeping the area clean and green has been a major goal for the fest organizers. Over the past few years, the NMF has partnered with Rural Action in an attempt to become a zero-waste festival (listen to Chris Riddle's interview with Rural Action Zero Waste Initiative Coordinator Kyle O'Keefe and Stuart's Opera House Marketing Director Brian Koscho, above).

The campground opens at 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, with the festival gates opening at 5 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets ordered in advance may be picked up at the Admissions Tent at the Main Festival Entrance with a photo I.D.

Weekend passes for all four days are on sale now for $120 (plus fees) and available this weekend at the gate for $130. Single day tickets are: $50 plus fees (Thursday), $75 plus fees (Friday and Saturday) and $65 plus fees (Sunday). VIP weekend passes and camping are also available.

The Nelsonville Music Festival is a production of Stuart’s Opera House, a historic non-profit theater located in Nelsonville that features over 75 events a year, including live music, theater, films, educational programming and more. Visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org for more information.

Slideshow: 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival Artists



John Prine


Cat Power

Gogol Bordello

Mavis Staples

Wendy Lynch


Jefferson Hamer and Anais Mitchell

Cam Soergel

Michael Hurley

Endless Boogie


Shilpa Ray


Cotton Jones


Lee Fields

Reigning Sound

Catherine MacLellan

Flying Clouds of South Carolina

William Tyler