Summer Guide: Festival graveyard

Andy Downing
Buckeye Country Superfest

Columbus music festivals tend to be an ephemeral bunch. For whatever reason, aside from a handful of legacy fests, our city just doesn't have the best track record for long-lasting, music-focused events. So here's a look at some of the music fests that in recent years have gone to that great festival graveyard in the sky. But, as Breakaway has proved, it's always possible for a fest to go on hiatus for a year or two and then make a triumphant return, so we also included the odds of a miraculous rise from the dead. Read on and reminisce.

4th & 4th

What it was: Before its dissolution, 4th & 4th served as the city's best-curated music fest, packing in a mix of on-the-verge indie rockers (Whitney was a highlight) and can't-miss turns such as a crushing headlining set from Times New Viking.

When we last saw it: 2016

What happened: A change in liquor laws prevented Seventh Son from hosting the parking lot affair at its Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue intersection, so after a one-year move to Ace of Cups, the fest was disbanded.

Odds of a reboot: Slim once the Man got involved.

PromoWest Fest

What it was: Local promoter PromoWest (hence the name PromoWest Fest) ran this Arena District festival for a year to generally positive reviews, even if the lineup felt like a safe collection of acts the company has long championed.

When we last saw it: 2016

What happened: The company announced it was postponing the festival after one year as it continued to search for a larger site on which to host it, but no updates have been made since January 2017.

Odds of a reboot: *Jim Carrey voice* “So, you're telling me there's a chance.” I think there's a chance we could see this one surfacing again, unless PromoWest would prefer to focus on its other regional fest, Cincinnati's Bunbury.

Independents' Day

What it was: The grassroots local fest managed to grow every year of its existence before bowing out Jim Brown-like at the top of its game.

When we last saw it: 2017

What happened: Organizers opted not to bring it back, preferring to dedicate their energies to other creative pursuits.

Odds of a reboot: Remember how at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy” ***SPOILER ALERT*** Groot died, leaving behind a son? I imagine ID living on in this form, with organizers spearheading a series of smaller, more easily managed events.

Buckeye Country Superfest

What it was: This massive country fest turned the Shoe into a mainstream country hootenanny each of the last three years.

When we last saw it: 2017

What happened: Early in 2018, the fest announced a yearlong hiatus to avoid further recycling acts (Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban headlined in both 2015 and '17). Hopefully organizers will use this extra time off to research female artists, since the lineup has been shockingly bereft of them from the jump.

Odds of a reboot: I'll be stunned if this one doesn't return in 2019 (and if Kenny Chesney doesn't headline again by 2020).