The List: Nelsonville Music Festival dos and don'ts

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Having covered Nelsonville Music Festival for something like nine of its 11 years, you could say I’m something of an old pro, which means my tip game is on fleek. Here are some of my more fairly obvious tips that I’m still surprised to see ignored each year.

Do plan on encountering Ohio weather, which, you know, duh. That said, people still show up every year and act surprised when it’s freezing at night, blazing hot during the day, and pours down rain at some point, muddying up huge swaths of the grounds in the process. Don’t let a lack of foresight ruin the experience.

Don’tbe afraid to nap under the shade of a tree. Naps under trees are the best. #popsmcintosh

Do take advantage of the HockingCollege facilities. Like the showers. Or the restrooms. Or the air-conditioned lounge with outlets to charge your phone.

Don’t waitto get that shower, unless you want a cold one. Seriously, there’s like a 15-minute window for a hot shower. You’ve been warned.

Dounplug at the No-Fi Cabin. It’s small (only fits about 20 or so) — so you’ll need to arrive early — but the intimacy makes for a truly memorable experience.

Don’twaste your mornings at thecampground. Athens is a short drive away and the quaint Nelsonville downtown square is worth exploring. Shows don’t often start till after lunch, so get out there and enjoy the scenic Hocking Hills region while you wait.

Do get your sweat on. There’s yoga in the morning, and you can even rent a bike at the festival and ride the bike path to Athens (about 20 miles). Or rent a kayak or canoe nearby. Or explore the region’s hiking trails.

Don’t go to bed early. The campground tent (over by the, you know, campground) keeps the after-hours party going with square dancing on Thursday, DJ Barticus and John E. Clift on Friday and Heatwave on Saturday.

Do indulge your ADD. The three stages are short jaunts from each other, so it’s entirely practical to see at least 15-30 minutes of every act on the bill. Not feeling something? Move on to the next show.

Don’t be a wallflower during the Flaming Lips. Get close, real close, and let your inhibitions loose.

Just, you know, leave your Native Americanheaddress at home. Come on, it’s 2015. Do I really need to tell you why that’s inappropriate? But …

Don’t be afraid to dress up otherwise. The Lips crowd around you won’t be shy to wild out. Follow their lead.

Do pace yourself. NMF has a quality selection of craft bevies, so if your palate’s leaning that way, remember to slow your roll occasionally and supplement with water. And, you know, be safe otherwise.