The fourth day of The Nelsonville Music Festival and Why It is the Best Music Festival in the Nation.

The Nelsonville Music Festival, Hocking College, Nelsonville, OH, USA

By Daniel Locke

The 13th annual Nelsonville Music Festival featured over 60 musical acts in four days on multiple stages. The Nelsonville Music Festival took place June 1 to June 4 and featured a variety of genres, including local, regional, and national artists. And this year was no different. The fest had a lot to offer in fun, more than most festival. First it is a four day fest. Not a 3 day so you get a better experience at the festival.

Also some of the artists actually played on multiple stages, so you could see a band perform on the big stage and then have an intimate performance space (the No-Fi Cabin). This year HoneyHoney played on the Box Car Stage and the next day played on the Main Stage. Another example was Mirah performed on Saturday on the Porch Stage and then on Sunday on the Boxcar Stage. And finish up the weekend at the Gladden House.

The weekend celebration included local food and artisans as well as a campground for both primitive and RV camping. The festival also provides activities for children and strives to be environmentally friendly. And if you are the type whose camps, there are real showers. Because the fest, takes place on a college campus (Hocking College) and the food is not that costy.

The Nelsonville Music Festival strives to have a positive impact on to the community and environment and they

Nelsonville (credit: Daniel Locke)

now have a Zero Waste event, diverting 92% of the waste created at the festival from the landfill in 2016 with recycling and composting. And this year it was 91%.

All kids 12 and under are free and the festival features a huge kids area with activities all weekend. The Nelsonville Music Festival is fun for all ages and has a lot of great activities for kids at NMF! They worked with the Federal Hocking Schools Art and Drama Clubs, Sycamore Run Early Childhood Center, and more to create an incredible area. Past activities have included parades, making postcards, games, workshops, face painting, photo booth, making costumes/flags/puppets, youth Yoga, and more!.
// FREE ADMISSION to the Nelsonville Music Festival for all children 12 and under
// Discounted Weekend Passes available for Teens (ages 13-17)
// No more than 4 children in the festival or any campsite per one supervising adult, UNDER 18.
The AV Club and Ohio Magazine have named NMF as the “Best Music Festival in Ohio”, and Time Out Chicago has called it “one of the Midwest’s best festivals”.

Emmylou Harris (credit: Daniel Locke)

The Main Stage has all the biggest acts with nationally touring artists and musicians. This year high liners includes Ween, They Might Be Giants, Emmylou Harris, Jenny Lewis and Rodriguez.

Michael Hurley (credit: Daniel Locke)

The Porch Stage is smaller than the main stage but you’ll still see some really great, popular bands to enjoy.

Lincoln and Valerie (credit: Daniel Locke)

An even more intimate performance space, the No-Fi Cabin features non-electric acoustic sets for anyone looking for something a bit chiller.

Ona (credit: Daniel Locke)

Boxcar Stage is sponsor by The Ohio University Performing Arts & Concert Series.

Mirah (credit: Daniel Locke)

Gladden House Sessions, for the past four years, have been making the Nelsonville Music Festival (NMF) an increasingly personal experience for attendees. The series, the product of a partnership between WOUB Digital and the Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies, allows a team of students handpicked by the event’s host (and OU faculty) Josh Antonuccio to produce a series of videos that star various acts from the NMF line up performing a small set in an open air setting. Besides kicking out a few jams, the artists also engage in a brief question and answer session with Josh Antonuccio

Past performers have included Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Gillian Welch, John Prine, The Avett Brothers, Randy Newman, Merle Haggard, Dinosaur Jr., Iron & Wine, Yo La Tengo, George Jones, Courtney Barnett, and many more. 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. You can find out more about Stuart’s by visiting


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Nelsonville Atmosphere

Emmylou Harris

Recycling and Composting