Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival Interviews: Todd Snider

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Todd Snider called me back only seconds after I left a nervous sounding message on his voicemail, the voice of the Stuart’s Opera House annual performer and Nelsonville Music Festival alumni softening kindly upon my answering the phone. Snider is one of the national artists who submitted a pre-recorded performance for the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival, which will stream on Stuart’s Opera House’s official YouTube page August 21-22 as a fundraiser for the venue and its regional arts education efforts.

“I like the idea of kids getting into artistic stuff, because if you can pull it off for a way to live, it’s like you won a contest of something,” said Snider after I explained the production plan for the festival, which involved lots of on the ground work by Ohio University students and recent graduates. “My experience, growing up, (is that) they’d be like ‘you can dream about being a pro quarterback, but maybe not Elvis,’ and really it’s not that hard to get your own little version of Elvis going, it’s not that hard to put on a show behind the barn, as they say, so if someone is helping kids see that that’s easy — that it’s as easy as setting up a little league, that makes me really happy.”

You can hear my conversation with Snider embedded above, and you can catch him livestreaming a performance every Sunday on his Facebook page.

Todd Snider

Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Nelsonville Music Festival announced its cancellation due to the infectious disease outbreak. In its place, Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies Director Josh Antonuccio and Nelsonville Music Festival Executive Director Tim Peacock created the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival, an online presentation of the popular festival, which is being produced by WOUB Public Media, the Scripps College of Communication and the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, in partnership with OU Performing Arts, the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Haden DeRoberts Foundation. Under the direction of Antonuccio, Ohio University students and recent graduates are on location around the region with school faculty Andie Walla and Brian Plow filming performances for the virtual fundraiser supporting Stuart’s Opera House. WOUB producers Adam Rich and Evan Shaw are providing post-production on the project, which will go live on Stuart’s official YouTube page August 21-22.