Get the Best Out of May Music Festivals

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

May offers myriad music festival experiences in and around Central Ohio. A quick primer on your options:

Rock on the Range

What: The Midwest's biggest, baddest hard rock fest

When and Where: May 15 to 17 at MAPFRE Stadium (formerly Crew Stadium), North Side,

Who to See: Judas Priest, Ministry, Marilyn Manson, Yelawolf, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts, Unlocking The Truth, Babymetal

What to Wear: Black sleeveless T-shirt, oversized jean shorts, chain wallet

What to Bring: Earplugs for when amps go to 11, first-aid kit for crowd-surfing injuries

Unofficial Mascot: Garth, the Angel of Death

Dark Star Jubilee

What:A Grateful Dead tribute band's jam-centric celebration

When and Where: May 22 to 24 at Legend Valley, Thornville,

Who to See:Dark Star Orchestra, Railroad Earth, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Weight: Playing Songs of The Band

What to Wear: Long flowing dress and/or vest if you're feeling retro, shorts and T-shirt if you're not

What to Bring: Patchouli for spiritual experiences, recording equipment for bootlegs, the thousands of dollars you saved not buying tickets to the Dead's farewell shows

Unofficial Mascot: Bob, the Modern Mystic

Nelsonville Music Festival

What: The coolest boutique indie-rock and Americana fest in all the land

When and Where: May 28 to 31 at Robbins Crossing, Nelsonville,

Who to See: St. Vincent, Merle Haggard, The Flaming Lips, Built to Spill, Ryley Walker, Adam Torres, Natalie Prass

What to Wear: Fashionable glasses and/or beard, cutoff jean shorts, boat shoes

What to Bring: Smartphone for live-tweeting, business cards for promoting your artisanal candle company, your entire family to soak up the wholesome atmosphere

Unofficial Mascot: Liam, the MetropolitanAppalachian

Central Ohio Music Festival

What: A homespun, hands-on celebrationof the folk arts

When and Where: May 2 to 4 at Battelle-Darby CreekMetro Park, Galloway,

Who to See: Grassahol, Dawson Cooper Band, The Relentless Mules, Squirrel Hillbillies and a handful of talented volunteers devoted to preserving treasured traditions

What to Wear: Less fashion-conscious glasses and/or beard, sensible flannel

What to Bring: Instrument for jamming, notebookfor workshops, your kids for myriadfun activities

Unofficial Mascot: Woody, the FriendlyFolk-Singing Woodpecker