Stuart’s Opera House hopes new Nelsonville Music Festival location will provide community and economic development opportunities

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Stuart’s Opera House will present the Nelsonville Music Festival (NMF) in a new location this fall after holding 12 festivals dating back to 2008 at Robbins Crossing on the Hocking College campus.

The 2022 NMF takes place September 2 – 4 at the Snow Fork Event Center, located at 5685 Happy Hollow Road in Nelsonville, featuring artists such as Japanese Breakfast, Lucinda Williams, Yo La Tengo, and Angel Olsen.


The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for Stuart’s, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Proceeds from the festival support the organization’s mission to provide tuition-free arts education for children and adults throughout the region.

The move was announced last year, citing the displacement of the festival’s Main Stage, Food Court, and Boxcar Stage by Hocking College’s construction of an athletic complex.

The new location is on land owned by former Stuart’s board member Miki Brooks. Telerski said Miki and her husband, Jay Brooks, who passed away in February, have been long-time supporters of both Stuart’s and NMF.

“While moving our location initially came as a surprise, the new venue comes with an incredible amount of potential. Not only will Stuart’s use it for the Nelsonville Music Festival, the largest fundraiser for our non-profit organization, but we hope to evolve it into a source of economic development and community development for Southeastern Ohio,” said Stuart’s Marketing and Public Relations Director, Dylan Telerski, in an email.

The new location isn’t the only change to the festival, which is returning after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 event will take place over three days, while past festivals have been four-day affairs since 2013. Telerski said Stuart’s is “intentionally scaling back” the size of the festival, expecting 3,500 attendees this year after hosting 7,000 during their last festival in 2019.

In past years Stuart’s has offered half price tickets to the festival to residents of Nelsonville. This year they are offering free tickets to both Nelsonville and Buchtel residents since the new location of the festival brings them close to the Village of Buchtel.

“Once completed, we envision a future where the outdoor Event Center could host concerts, festivals, plays, movie screenings, weddings, educational or nature camps, camping, hikers, corporate retreats–the list goes on,” said Telerski. “The economic and community development opportunities are limitless as the facilities are developed and marketed across the region.”