A Beginner’s Guide to the Columbus Arts Festival

Columbus Arts Festival
By Dayna Brownfield

There’s plenty to do once summer hits Columbus, but one favorite is the Columbus Arts Festival. With over 270 artists, Arts Fest celebrates art in all its forms. From visual artists to dancers, to spoken word and musicians, you’ll find it all along the riverfront from June 8-10.

Columbus Arts Festival

Don’t miss the #CbusArtsFest Giant Selfie Frame. Photo courtesy of Columbus Arts Festival

If you’re looking for alternate ways to get the festival, there’s COTA and the CBUS (which is FREE). Or you can ride and park your bike at the corral with a $5 donation to Pelotonia.

And getting around Arts Fest is easy thanks to folded guide books that’ll be available throughout the festival. You can even pick some up at select locations around town beforehand too. For those with digital savvy, or just looking to go paperless, you can download the official festival app.

One perk of downloading the app: food. The app also features vendor info, prices, and menus for the food trucks that’ll be stationed at the festival. Knowing where food trucks will be is great, especially given that this year, you can top off your food choices with a craft beer. This is the first year Arts Fest will have the Local Craft Beer Garden, offering beers from four brewers: BrewDog, Columbus Brewing Company, Four String Brewing Company, and Seventh Son Brewing.

Non-food related highlights for this year’s festival include musical performances by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, G. Love & Special Sauce, artist demos at the Big Local Arts Tent (some of which are participatory), and the Giant Selfie Frame – which you can find just north of the Rich St. Bridge and Washington St.

G. Love and Special Sauce

G. Love & Special Sauce will be performing live on Saturday night at the ABC6 Bicentennial Stage. Photo courtesy of Columbus Arts Festival

Or you can pick up a retro Arts Fest tee, from local retailer Homage. Homage used vintage festival art to create these unique tees that’ll be available at merch booths.

Interested in doing more than just attending Arts Fest? Jami Goldstein, VP of Marketing, Communications & Events, shares that best way to get more involved is the volunteer with the festival. Volunteers get a special tee, swag bag, and tickets to area arts events.

However, if you’re just in the mood to attend, remember that Arts Fest is FREE. But you can purchase a Friend VIP Package ($75) which gives you special perks around the festival like access to VIP tented areas (aka shade), special seating for musical performances, and FREE water at every beverage station. “It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated at a festival,” reminds Goldstein.

For more information, visit the official Columbus Arts Festival website at www.columbusartsfestival.org. And follow along on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter: @CbusArtsFest, and the hashtag: #CbusArtsFest

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