Best of the Nelsonville Music Festival

Emily Thompson
The Avett Brothers

Five acts you can't miss at this year's Nelsonville Music Festival, May 29 to June 1 at Hocking College's historic Robbins Crossing village:

The Avett Brothers Back by popular demand, indie-rock darling The Avett Brothers returns to Nelsonville for an encore performance. "It's pretty cool to have them back since that show they headlined (in 2008) because we've grown so much since then, and their audience has grown as well," says Nelsonville spokesman Brian Koscho.

Dinosaur Jr. Nineties alt-rock fans, rejoice! Following some lineup changes, the original three members of Dinosaur Jr. reunited in 2005 and are releasing new music, most recently I Bet on Sky, the band's 10th studio album. "[Dinosaur Jr. has been] one of my favorite bands since I was 15 or so," Koscho says.

Pokey LaFarge Pokey LaFarge was clearly born in the wrong era, but his slicked-back hair, fedora and suit and bow tie lend his old-timey jazz and ragtime music a sort of authenticity. You won't be able to keep your toe from tapping during this swingin' set with his five-piece band.

Saintseneca Although only one original member remains (bandleader Zac Little), this Columbus indie-folk favorite is on the rise, having recently released their second album, Dark Arc, which was featured as a National Public Radio "First Listen" online stream. Known for adding texture to acoustic songs with hand-clapping, foot-stomping and instruments including a ukulele and a dulcimer, Saintseneca isn't your typical folk band.

The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker This Nashville band takes a funky '60s sound and makes it bigger and bolder with Charles Walker's soulful vocals backed by nine instrumentalists including a saxophonist, trumpet player and even an organ player. Round out your Nelsonville experience with this high-energy set. -Emily Thompson


Be sure to catch an act or two at the No-Fi Cabin, an old schoolhouse with bench seating for about 30 to 40 people and no electricity. "At this festival of 5,000 or 6,000 people, you can kind of escape into this cabin and hear great acoustic music," Koscho says.