Rain doesn’t put a damper on day two of 2022 NMF festivities< < Back to
NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — Headlining day two of the Nelsonville Music Festival was Mother Nature herself featuring bouts of rain all afternoon. The steady but light drizzle did not stop festival-goers from enjoying the event.
While the man-made paths across the festival grounds devolved into muddy tracks, the atmosphere of the crowds stayed high as attendees adapted to the elements. Some patrons found reprieve from the weather in brightly colored hammocks tucked between the sheltered tree and others reacted to the rain by donning clear plastic ponchos that clung like Saran Wrap in the persistently humid air.
Most entertaining to see were the creative and innovative attempts at ersatz rain gear, including a rainbow tutu as a hat and hole-laden crocheted blankets draped across a couple’s shoulders. Not surprisingly, many guests, including a gaggle of carefree young girls in candy-colored sundresses — followed Drew Barrymore’s recent viral advice to embrace life and dance in the rain.
The easygoing attitude of the festivities is one of the draws that brings people back year after year. The event’s coordinators also showcased their resiliency with quick substitutions for changes to the lineups. Lucinda Williams canceled her Saturday afternoon set the day before after members of her touring band tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, the Stuart’s Opera House team was able to wrangle local rock star Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna) for a memorable solo set that satiated the damp but enthusiastic crowd at the Snow Fork Stage.
As for the originally scheduled programming, sincere sets like those by singer-songwriter S. G. Goodman and the self-proclaimed “modern cosmic Americana” duo Blue Cactus. The crowds were also calmed by London musician Nubya Garcia.
Although this is the first year she’s played the festival, she easily charmed the crowd with her skillful saxophone, modern jazz compositions, and effortless rapport with her audience.
However, the Nelsonville Music Festival isn’t just about laid back tunes. After the main three stages closed for the night late Friday evening, Columbus-based group DANA along with transcendent musician Brandon Reisig and hometown heroes The D-Rays played a raucous setback at the exclusive Campgrounds stage.
The mix of arty punk, Appalachian surf rock, and stereo imagery all inspired multiple crowd surfers. As they were held aloft in the moshing audience, the neon lights of blue, red, and violet pulsated in the large white tent. One notable crowd surfer was local figure Charlie Miltner, who co-organized last weekend’s successful Skate Jam fundraiser.
It seems inevitable that popular locals would be seen at Snow Fork Center due to the strong sense of community. The congenial spirit in the area trickles down to simple activities like pick-up soccer games and frisbee tosses that were seen alongside Vendor Village all day long. Strangers become new friends as people chatted by the beer tent or the Kids’ Playground.
While clear skies can never be 100 percent guaranteed, the festival’s second day did prove attendees can count on a sense of belonging, and ease, no matter the weather conditions.