Hocking College looks forward to inaugural Black Diamond Music and Arts Festival this weekend

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Hocking College will present the inaugural Black Diamond Music and Arts Festival this weekend on the school’s campus. The event kicks off on Friday, June 10 and ends on Saturday, June 11, featuring over 20 bluegrass and country music performers, including Elle King, Marty Stuart, McGuffey Lane, and more.

Dean of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at Hocking College Sean Terrell said Hocking intended to create a “Southeast Ohio experience” for attendees with the festival.

“Southeast Ohio is a great venue for these types of experiences and these types of events. And there’s a lot of great events that happen every year — from the Nelsonville Music Festival to the Paw Paw Festival. There’s just a lot of great events, but we need more of those events. We need more things to bring people to Southeast Ohio to engage in the history of Southeast Ohio and everything that Southeast Ohio has to offer,” said Terrell.

line up
Line up for the 2022 Black Diamond Music Festival.

To many, the Hocking College campus has long been the setting for the Nelsonville Music Festival, which it was, from 2008 to 2019. Last year Stuart’s Opera House, the nonprofit that presents the festival, announced the Nelsonville Music Festival would no longer take place on the Hocking College campus due to the construction of an athletic complex taking over the spaces formerly used for the festival. The 2022 Nelsonville Music Festival will take place September 2 – 4 at the Snow Fork Event Center.

Both festivals have expressed support for one another, each event ultimately working towards the same goal of economically and culturally enriching Southeast Ohio.

Terrell said Hocking College views the festival as both a way to provide further enrichment for students who are currently enrolled at the school and as a way to highlight the programs available for prospective students.

“We decided early on that if we were going to put on a music festival on Hocking’s campus, we would organize it in such a way that the folks who came to enjoy the event would also have an opportunity to touch and taste and feel the many programs at Hocking. And in order to do that, we had to get our students involved,” said Terrell, noting Hocking offers more than 50 academic programs.

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Hocking College students will be involved in the staging of the festival in several ways. Culinary students will provide food for the VIP attendees, Hocking College’s food truck will be one of the festival’s food vendors, students enrolled in Hocking’s Music Management program will be stagehands throughout the event. Terrell also said students involved in Hocking’s Business program were instrumental in planning and marketing the festival.

The Black Diamond Music Festival isn’t just a music festival, it’s an arts festival, too. Local vendors will be set up at the festival to sell their wares, and Terrell says the festival will also provide arts programming.

Terrell said that the festival will be heavily utilizing local businesses of all types as a part of their overall goal to contribute to the economic health of our region.

“We need more reasons for people to travel into Southeast Ohio. And if we can create a festival that kind of brings the residents and the communities together and connect them to the tourists that come in and visit us, then we’ve created a, a pretty special event,” said Terrell. “Driving tourism dollars into Southeast Ohio lifts up the local economy, which lifts up the local community, which in turn creates an economic impact.”