Reverend Janglebones’ Soapbox: Local Fest Draws Big Names

The Flaming Lips performing their set at the 2018 Bellwether Music Festival. (YouTube | amish car)

What’s less likely than a real music festival happening in Waynesville, Ohio? How about the fact that said festival is pulling in names like We Are Scientists, Cold War Kids, Cake, Guided by Voices and personal favorites Beach House and Black Moth Super Rainbow?

Stop subbing your eyes and forego the ceremonial self-pinch to check your sleep/dream status. Bellwether Music Festival to the rescue.

This incredibly surreal, but still no less real happening takes up two full days this Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10, at the Renaissance Park festival grounds in Waynesville and the weather is calling for sunshine and butterflies.

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This is only Bellwether’s second year putting on the festivities and last year the Friday night headliner (MGMT) got rained out in a very dramatic way, but before any single-day attendees even had a chance to lament the incident they were graced with complimentary Saturday passes in their emails.

As someone who has worked for festivals of both music and film, I have to say this kind of customer care and response time is rare, even for festivals that have been going for years. 

Did I mention that was only a few of the names that will be performing and that there will be jousting? You’re welcome.

Listening to music is only one of the many activities attendees can partake in. (YouTube | Mike T)

The setup of the festival will be a back and forth dance between two main stages with an acoustic stage presumably off to the side and out of aural interference range.

As someone who has been to festivals where there have been seven stages and something uniquely worthwhile on all of them at every single moment, I am deeply thankful for logistical planning that allows for nearly every performance to be captured in the memory banks. In the end that’s what we’re paying for, isn’t it? Memories.

It’s not a bank-breaker either. When you do a price breakdown of the cost divided by the number of bands you will get to hear and see sharing their craft with you, there’s simply no argument on the price point.

Bill Donabedian explaining how the festival came about, what to expect and the environment fostered there in a 2018 interview. (YouTube | Local 12)

On a personal preference note, STRFKR and Real Estate are also fantastic acts to see live. One for fun and one for feels. And if you’ve never been into Beach House, or just haven’t been lately, their latest release “7” is something to behold and will probably get you amped up to attend.

I have saved, as I have a tendency to do, the best news (in my opinion) for last. Much of the soft, dripping, one of a kind, static hi-fi dreamscape sound you can hear in Black Moth Super Rainbow is the toil of one of their members who will be gracing the Friday night after party with a solo DJ set. They go by Tobacco.

If I have yet to convince you that this is a wonderful idea, I just may never. I will, hopefully, see you there.

Brian Yoder

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