Updated Tue, Jul 23, 2013 2:09 pm
For 14 years, Southeast Ohio musicians have known Nick Collura as the proprietor of Insea Sound Shop, a vintage instrument store and studio located just north of Nelsonville.
But once a year, Collura switches gears, puts on his event planner hat and hosts one of the best summer parties in the region--The Diamond Music Festival, scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at Lake Logan.
Originally hailing from Licking County, Ohio, Collura moved to Athens County in 1988. After witnessing countless back porch jam sessions by local musicians, he was inspired to open his Route 33 shop in 1993.
Over time, those musicians began to congregate behind the shop for "picnic table jams." One thing led to another, and a dozen people turned into 30.
"As time went by, we had so many folks performing and watching, we thought we should take it to the next level and start a festival," said Collura. "We named it the Diamond Music Festival after the the little 'burg we're in--Diamond, Ohio--a little place between Nelsonville and Logan."
Unlike some music fests which focus on a particular style (i.e. blues, jam-band), The Diamond Music Festival is known for its diverse selection of performers. Showcasing the best local talent, regardless of genre, was always part of Collura's plan.
"We didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves into just one style. Starting early in the day, there's bluegrass and Americana, and as the evening goes on, it gets heavy...we've had hard rock, even some metal. We fly all colors," he explained.
In addition to seasoned veterans, the Diamond Music Festival also features budding young talent: the students at Insea Sound Shop.
"It seems we had a 'School of Rock' well before the movie ever came out," he laughed. "The Sound Shop All-Stars are my students who shine throughout the course of the year and truly apply themselves in learning. It makes me proud as a peacock to see the young students get a taste of a 'real-gig' and to see how it all works from start to finish."
The rain-or-shine family-oriented fest is being held at the Izaak Walton Club House, overlooking Lake Logan. Tickets are $5 and kids under 12 will be admitted free. Parking and primitive camping are free of charge.
For more information, phone 740-753-4784 or visit The Diamond Music Festival's event page on Facebook.
Slideshow: 2012 Diamond Music Festival
Photos from the 14th annual Diamond Music Festival, held at Lake Logan on July 27 and 28, 2012
Steve Rife and Nick Collura
Sound Shop All-Stars
Jason Scott Hook
Sound Shop All-Star
Zach Parkman & The Damaged Goods
Appalachian Hillside Revolution
Galactic Asphalt Co.
Sound Shop All-Star
Darren Nakanishi and Nick Collura
Jessica Makosky and Nick Collura