Photo Caption: Daniel Polnau leads the "Honey for the Heart" life-sized puppet parade throughout the festival grounds Saturday.
The Nelsonville Music Festival drew to a close Sunday after drawing the biggest crowds in the event's 10-year history over the four-day weekend, in which was yet another mostly fun, safe, positive environment at the Hocking College Robbins Crossing festival and campsite.
Festival Director Tim Peacock said attendance broke previous records with approximately 7,000 people on the grounds for the evening acts - the Head and the Hear and the Avett Brothers - Saturday.
The festival drew an impressive array of diverse musical acts that kept people entertained and happy from Thursday to Sunday.
Bands including leading Americana act Jason Isbell, hard-rocking Brits Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, psychedelic indie heroes Kurt Vile & The Violators, old-time alternative rockers Dinosaur Jr., folk-rock stars The Head and The Heart, and the extremely popular Avett Brothers brought a record number of fans to the Nelsonville for the weekend.
Particularly the Saturday lineup brought thousands to the festival site. They filled up the area around the Main Stage for the last several hours of the evening Saturday in what was a few hours of bliss and camaraderie for lovers of country, folk and rock music with The Head and The Heart and the Avett Brothers.
The festival always has been good to undersung bands looking to grow their base. Bands including Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Lucius, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Lily & Madeleine, The Tillers, Pokey LaFarge, Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites and more had that opportunity.
Ashley Cary, an attendee who came from Columbus to see Saintseneca and more, had come back for a second consecutive year.
"This year seems to be just as good as last year. It has always been a really good low-key festival," Cary said.
The festival has been impressive in a number of aspects outside of the music itself. The grounds have been virtually litter-free as "recovery" efforts have been utilized to recycle nearly all waste products. Festival organizers have strongly encouraged hydration, and as a result, health scares have been minimal. The only thing to complain about seemed to be the mucky mess around the water spigots, but it appeared a small price to pay to keep people hydrated and cool.
Vendors seemingly had a good time as well. Small business or just niche vendors come to the festival from all over the area to sell their food or crafts. Anything from jewelry, to tie-dye shirts, to services such as back massages were available.
Teuvell with his friend, Max, and others, helped staff the tent for Paper Circle in Nelsonville, a non-profit arts shop/gallery in Nelsonville.
It was the third year for the tent at the festival. "We had a lot of people from last year tell us how much they liked the designs they had, and how much they liked the new ones," Teuvell said. "We did completely new designs this year."
Whether people were camping, dancing, discovering new personal favorite bands, or just enjoying the ever-flowing beer taps, attendees, volunteers, vendors and musicians alike, all seemed genuinely happy and mellow the whole weekend.