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Sunday, May 6,2012

Lo-fi indie darlings added to fest slate

By Emily Estep

Photo Caption: Guided by Voices

Legendary indie-rock band Guided By Voices is replacing Bad Brains at the 2012 Nelsonville Musical Festival, taking place the weekend of May 18-20 at Hocking College. The Dayton band joins a lineup of about 50 acts at the fest, which is a 15-minute drive from Athens.

On Friday, May 18, the band will perform with its "classic '93-'96 lineup," according to Brian Koscho, marketing & promotions coordinator for festival presenter Stuart's Opera House.

Though making music since 1983, Guided By Voices, fondly known as GBV by its many fans, switched up its members until what would have been its "final album" was released in 2004. Six years later, the band came together for single show, which became a tour, which became a pledge for new albums.

The decision by Bad Brain to drop out was announced on the Fest's news blog, which stated that "this situation was beyond our control, and we hope that we can host them sometime in the future."

Luckily for fest-goers, Guided By Voices has come back to their Ohio roots to fill the gap that Bad Brains left behind. The quintessential lo-fi band in its early days, GBV originated in Dayton, the birthplace of front-man Robert Pollard.

"We are just really excited to have them; a band like Guided By Voices is such an important rock band and a really important Ohio band too," said Koscho.

In addition to Guided By Voices, the fest will feature Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, M.Ward, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Roky Erickson, Todd Snider, Dawes, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Jorma Kaukonen and many more.

Guided By Voices has been back and performing since 2010, when they sold out a multitude of venues with their reunion tour. Different rumors and hearsay about the band's future abounded soon after, but their second 2012 album, "Class Clowns Spot A UFO," is due in June.

"I think they are the perfect closer to Friday night and a great fit for the Nelsonville Music Festival," said Koscho.

The lo-fi sound of Guided By Voices – famous for their lengthy concerts – definitely complements many of the bands, but the genre of the fest overall is the opposite of defined.

A wide variety of acts really does promise something for all audiences, with the festival's Facebook page pointing out that the three-day event's "new additions included a symphony orchestra, a five-decade-old gospel group from South Carolina, a burlesque troop, a couple Ohio rock and roll bands, and a group for the Kids Stage."

The full lineup can be found at the Nelsonville Music Festival's official website,, where ticket options, directions and contact information are also located.

Weekend passes, single-day tickets, VIP upgrades and camping passes are some of the ticket choices available for fest-goers at the website, not to mention notice of a free Festival Kickoff Thursday night with live music, food and beer.

The kickoff starts at 6 p.m. with free admission, even if you don't have a weekend pass. The local bands on the bill will include Southeast Engine and Hex Net, with Boxcar Burlesque closing the first night of the celebrated fest.

The festival has become a staple for Nelsonville and close-by cities such as Athens, with around 6,000 people expected to attend from far and wide as well as close and near.

Besides the kids' area with workshops and art activities for the little ones, the festival is taking part in the Zero Waste Initiative with Rural Action, an organization with the "social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio" at heart.

"This year we (at the Fest) are working on having composting and recycling stations all around the grounds, compostable service ware at the vendors, free water stations and more," according to

Check out the website for any and all information about the Nelsonville Music Festival, which you can also read about on their Facebook and Twitter pages.


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Umm, although great in their own right, this photo is not of the "classic" lineup.