Updated Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:36 am
We're halfway there: The 9th annual Nelsonville Music Festival is taking place May 30 through June 2, 2013.
This Saturday is the six-month midpoint to the fest and Stuart's Opera House is celebrating in style.
For the first time, Stuart’s is hosting a bash at Rollerbowl Lanes in Athens, complete with live local music, beer, a raffle and of course, bowling.
"This is the first time we’ve done this big of an event," said Brian Koscho, Stuart's Opera House marketing and promotions coordinator. "In the past, we've done similar shows at Casa Cantina where we would have a few bands play. But this is the first time we have had a bigger unique event, doing something like this at the Rollerbowl with bowling, beer, bands, a raffle and all that."
Saturday's music lineup includes Athens bands The County Pharoahs and The D-Rays and the always-danceable Nick Tolford and Company from Columbus.
The evening's raffle prizes include gift certificates for the Athens DIY Shop, Haffa's Records, Miller's Chicken, Blue Eagle Music, The Athena, The Import House and Salaam, plus other items from Snowville Creamery, The Farmacy, Dancing Tree Distillery, Aquabear Legion and more.
Raffle tickets are on sale in advance at www.stuartsoperahouse.org and will be available at the Rollerbowl on the night of the event.
In keeping with the Stuart's Halfway Party tradition, attendees will get a preview of coming attractions.
"We'll be announcing two of the 2013 festival headliners," said Tim Peacock, executive director of Stuart’s Opera House. "We hope to announce a handful more as well."
All proceeds raised at the party, including admission, raffle tickets and beer sales, benefit the Nelsonville Music Festival.
"Our goal is to keep the cost of attending the festival as low as possible while still bringing great artists, known and unknown, to Southeast Ohio”, Peacock added.
After years of presenting big name acts such as Willie Nelson, The Flaming Lips and Iron and Wine, does the Stuart’s team feel pressured to outdo themselves each year?
“Well, I think we always want to make it better but I don't think that always means bigger. We believe one of the things that makes the festival unique and special is its intimacy and size," explained Koscho. "It’s not a huge, overwhelming festival packed with 100,000 people and we have no intentions for it to ever become that way. I think we're happy with the size but there is always work to make the experience better and add new elements for the attendees."
Saturday's event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door and include at least two rounds of bowling. Both admission and raffle tickets are on sale now at www.stuartsoperahouse.org or at Haffa's Records.
WOUB will tweet the 2013 festival headliner announcements on Saturday. Follow @woubarts throughout the evening.