Preview: Independents' Day
In late 2007, Columbus unapologetically declared itself the Indie Art Capital of the World. Though skeptics were plentiful, Columbus' creative class was determined to place a spotlight on local art, music, theater and entrepreneurial spirit. Since 2008, Independents' Day has been a big part of that effort.
The first festival, in 2008, was arranged hastily by members of Couchfire Collective, the Columbus Music Co-Op and a horde of willing helpers.
The festival is in its fourth year now, and it's bigger than ever. Kobo owner and Trauma organizer Jacob Wooten has taken festival captain honors and, with the help of many sponsors and volunteers, is serving up a Saturday chock-full of Columbus' DIY spirit.
Pearl and Lynn alleys will be bursting with goods from more than150 crafters, artists and small businesses. Visitors will see performances from Dance in Columbus, mural painting from Urban Scrawl and an interactive art dance floor from Cloudhaus.
Families should venture to Sugardaddy's for Kids' World. Wooten is especially proud of the new kids area, which features interactive arts for the younger set.
"I think it's important to bring kids into the city and teach them at a young age about the power of independent spirit," he said.
Local music lovers will find no shortage of ear candy. Four stages will be jam-packed with live music from noon until midnight, and each has its own flavor. Among the performers: The Receiver, 21 Pilots, Old Hundred, Ex-Whites, She Bears, Mt. Carmel, Main Street Gospel, Swimsuit Edition, Joey Hebdo and roeVy in a rare outdoor performance.
Independents' Day may be a street festival, but don't expect run-of-the-mill fair fare. Dine Originals Columbus is back this year with mini menus from local independent restaurants. Several of the city's food trucks and carts will also be on site. And festival-goers can pop into the restaurants on and around Gay Street for a bite and a cocktail.
Bonus: Beer sales - everything from craft to PBR - will benefit Music Loves Ohio, an organization that connects underserved kids with music.
Noon-midnight Saturday, Sept. 17
Gay Street and Pearl Alley, Downtown