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Independent’s Day Festival brings music and art for its final year

A parachute is passed around at Independent’s Day Festival in East Franklinton in 2015. Credit: Courtesy of Independent’s Day

This weekend marks the final Independent’s Day Festival, the last chance to experience a celebration that brings a variety of local artists and bands to Franklinton.

Now in its 10th year, the festival will feature a variety of activities, including live music, local art exhibits, a marketplace and a podcast tent. More than 15 food trucks will be in attendance, along with the Ohio Beer Garden.

This year, the event will feature four stages with both local and national bands playing through Sunday. Derek DuPont, music director for Independent’s Day, said the festival is unlike any other music event in Columbus.

“What makes it special is the community that makes up the festival, he said. “You will see one-of-a-kind performances and art that you will probably never experience again. You will also have the chance to indulge in some of the best local beer and food around.”

Though DuPont said he doesn’t pick favorites when discussing who the must-see performers are, he did recommend catching local bands Sarob, Soul Position and Booty&theKidd –– who are popular within the Ohio State community, DuPont said.  

Joey Aich, an up-and-coming local rapper, will also be performing at the festival Sunday for the second time.

“[Independent’s Day is] beautiful because often times independent artists get overlooked in the spotlight of major artists,” Aich said. “It’s cool to see independence being celebrated. It makes artists and bands like myself feel like we matter because we do. I forever appreciate the platform and audience.”

However, after 10 years of putting on the event, Shelley Mann, an Ohio State alumnus who works with Independents’ Day Inc., said the festival has become too popular to be cost-effective.

“The festival got too big, we started looking at our budget, [$250,000,00], and we are only able to spend a small percentage of it on artists; most of it goes toward police and making sure the event is run safely,” she said.

Mann promised that even though Independent’s Day is coming to an end, Mann and her team will continue to put on smaller shows that are more financially sustainable, leading to more concerts on a smaller, more intimate scale.

The final Independent’s Day Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday at West Bank Park in Franklinton. Admission is free. 

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