Every spring, excitement builds across the region for one of the Midwest’s most beloved music festivals. This four day festival in the hills of southeast Ohio features a healthy mix of big names (think Avett Brothers and Lucius) and up-and-coming talent from the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond. Nelsonville Music Festival is known for it’s laid-back atmosphere and diverse and eclectic line-up that draws festival goers from all across the country, as evidenced by the push-pins scattered across their US map each year.

Now in it’s 14th year, festival features more than 60 musical acts on multiple stages along with on-site camping, artisan vendors, kids activities, food, a beer garden and more. Presented by the Stuart’s Opera House, a non-profit and historic theatre and performing arts center in Nelsonville, OH, the festival has been called “one of the best kept secrets of the U.S. music festival circuit” by Billboard and “one of the Midwest’s best festivals” by Time Out Chicago. 

In addition to the main stage, artists perform on the Porch Stage, the No-Fi Cabin (acoustic sets only) and the Boxcar Stage, an old train car turned into a stage backdrop and mural. Shaded by the surrounding trees nestled next to Hocking College, festival goers can easily hop from stage to stage to catch their favorite acts. The atmosphere is casual, friendly, and never too crowded.

NMF does a terrific job at making everyone happy – as impossible as that may sound. It can be difficult to accommodate an array of musical genres all in one festival, yet each year they pull it off without fail. If festival goers need to take a break from the tunes, they can grab a beer from one of the local breweries set up on site, or a bite to eat from a local food truck. The home-grown roots and local love make this festival just a bit more special than your Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo – and the crowd knows it, and loves NMF for it all the more.

Partnering with Rural Action’s Zero Waste Program, NMF strives to have a positive impact on the community and the environment. Last year, over 8,100 lbs of waste was diverted from landfills – which was 92% of all waste generated by the festival, thanks to volunteers, recycling, and composting. Kids are welcome at this family-friendly event, and in fact those under 12 can attend for free and enjoy a variety of activities in the kids area.

This year’s festival poster, designed and printed by Just-A-Jar Design & Press

Hailed as the “Best Music Festival in Ohio,” NMF has hosted the likes of Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard and many more. This year’s line-up includes names like George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Ani DeFranco, The Decemberists, Deer Tick, Adam Remnant, and Wooden Shjips. You can preview the festival with this spotify playlist but don’t delay, grab your tickets today!