This year was the very first PromoWest Fest-a music festival with an impressive and varied lineup of well-known and up-and-coming local, national and international acts, which took place in downtown Columbus, Ohio. While this wasn’t PromoWest’s first festival production, having something of this size so close to the Mid-Ohio Valley is exciting, and in many fans’ minds, a sign of things to come in the Ohio music scene.

PromoWest Productions (whose office is based right in our back yard in Columbus, Ohio), is a well-known event production company which has worked with many musical artists from all over the world for the past 32 years. Owning several of the major music venues in the Columbus area: Express Live!, Newport Music Hall, The Basement and A&R Music Bar (as well as Stage AE in Pittsburgh), Scott Stienecker (owner of PromoWest) confidently took on the festival business, as a compliment to the already successful concert productions taking place.

In 2014, PromoWest purchased Bunbury and Buckle Up Music Festivals, based in Cincinnati. They’d been talking about bringing a festival to the Columbus area that felt like Bunbury and Buckle Up for years, now. So when the opportunity arose to take on these already-established events, it seemed like a natural progression. Once PromoWest completed the first year of producing these Cincinnati fests, they decided to bring the music back home.


Marissa Luther, Marketing Director for PromoWest shared with me that the estimated attendance for the first PromoWest Fest (held July 15-17) was around 28,000 people-quite a feat for an inaugural festival. Part of this attendance could have been because of the lineup of performers. With the following acts, the appeal to music lovers was broad and strong:

  • The Flaming Lips
  • Modest Mouse
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Brand New
  • Ryan Adams
  • LL Cool J
  • The Decemberists
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Red Wanting Blue
  • Nick D’ & The Believers
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
  • All Time Low
  • Garbage
  • Lindsey Stirling
  • X Ambassadors
  • Atlas Genius
  • The Wombats
  • AlunaGeorge
  • Pup
  • Banners
  • Grizfolk
  • Milky Chance
  • Coast Modern

and even more that gave full-force, amazing performances on the 2 main stages, as well as late night dance parties after the main stages closed for the evening.

Marissa shared with me: “We really want to fest to be something that everyone can go to. We try to have a diverse range of artists play our venues so we thought it only made sense to do the same for our fest.”

The great turnout could have also been in part, due to the strong reputation PromoWest has built for themselves in creating great fan experiences.

Though no concrete plans were shared with me for next year’s PromoWest Fest, Marissa told me “I think everyone (from our staff) has a ton of ideas for next year and of course we take concert goers’ comments and suggestions into account as well.”…so if there’s someone you’d like to see at next year’s PromoWest Fest (or even Bunbury and/or Buckle Up), make sure to follow them online, and share your wishes.

Can’t wait for next year! Check out PromoWestFest on Facebook & their website for more info.