The List: Ways ComFest can adapt to the changing Short North

Brad Keefe

For over two decades, ComFest has called Goodale Park home. And while the festival has done its best to stay true to its roots as attendance expanded, there's no denying the changes the Short North has seen in that time, especially given the rapid development of the last few years. Here are some suggestions for ways ComFest could adapt to reflect the new Short North.

Corporate sponsorships

Look, ComFest, we admire your non-corporate stance over the years, but it's time to cash in! Imagine the possibilities. I Wish You Abercrombie & Fitch Stage! The American Apparel Memorial Gazebo! Hell, let's slap a Nationwide logo on that elephant fountain.

The Cameron Mitchell Food Court

Who needs a Fish Boat when you could sample eats from the famed Short North restaurateur? Sure, an oyster bar doesn't sound like the best eats in the hot sun, but that won't matter if you have …

The ComFest VIP Experience

Free community festivals are for suckers. Take a cue from the big festivals and offer up extravagant and overpriced VIP packages. You can relax in your air-conditioned private cabana before you go down to the roped-off VIP section at the Off Ramp Stage. You'll be close enough to touch Off Ramp emcee TJ Steppe*!

* only with his consent

Paid neighborhood parking

Ask any resident of the Short North about parking in their neighborhood on the weekend of ComFest and they'll tell you it's a nightmare. Sure, ComFest has long been advising people to walk, bike and use public transportation, but you could just start charging $25 a pop for every street parking space. And those Short North residents? Captive audience! Want more money? Make the Bike Corral the Bike Valet at $5 a pop.

Replace all beer tents with artisan cocktail pop-ups

Big mug? Little mug? That won't matter if you do away with beer altogether. Imagine the profit margins if those long lines were all waiting for $15 cocktails each made with loving precision by some guy with a mustache.

Build some condos

Those skyrocketing rent prices in the Short North prove one thing: the demand is there. Partner with a developer to put up a five-story mixed use building in the park. By the time your new tenants realize they'll have to move out by the end of the weekend, you'll already have their deposit and first month's rent!

The ComFest Shopping District

Your dedication to indie and local vendors over the years is appreciated, ComFest, but it's time to cater to the new neighborhood crowd. They don't want to walk all the way to Anthropologie when they can buy designer clothes right in the park. And everyone coming down from Easton will feel more at home.

Add a fashion component

Hey, it's got to work sometime, right?

Move to Franklinton

With Independents' Day announcing its last festival there later this year, they've got a vacancy. You've at least got a few years before you go through this all again, right?