Carnivores and music enthusiasts will come together this weekend for the annual PigMania BBQ & Steak Music Festival. 

The festival, located at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, will feature live music performed by local favorites, as well as barbecue vendors and steak and barbecue cooking competitions. The festival is expected to draw a crowd of about 7,000 people, according to Dan Hurst, president of PigMania.

Hurst said the festival’s main draw is the “world-class barbecue,” which is best showcased in the people’s choice barbecue sampling contest.

“This barbecue they’re eating will be better than any barbecue they’ve ever bought their whole lives anywhere,” Hurst said. “It’s that amazingly good.” 

Hurst said he urges any newcomers to enter the contest, where they will have the chance to sample and judge barbecue from professional pitmasters. 

Along with the food events, the festival has a lineup of seven rock, funk and blues groups, most of them Columbus-based. Hurst said the event tries to bring in primarily local bands.

One local act that will appear at the festival on Saturday is The Greezy Bullets. Keith Colbert, guitarist and singer for The Greezy Bullets, described the band’s music as modern blues and said their music is best accompanied by environments like PigMania. 

“It just seems like the perfect festival for us to play,” Colbert said. “Most people that go to these types of things love our music.”

Colbert said the band found their niche at venues like PigMania in the “cool, collective identity that is the Columbus music community.” 

He said he views Columbus as being “like the smallest big city in the world” because it has a “small town feel where everybody knows everybody” within the music sphere. 

With the local music community being so tight-knit, Colbert said he knows some of the bands scheduled and looks forward to seeing their performances.

“I’m always excited to hear Mojoflo. They’ve been around forever. They’re great,” Colbert said. 

Mojoflo, a local favorite going on its 11th year as a band, will play Saturday.

According to its website, Mojoflo has accumulated a “fiercely loyal fanbase” thanks to its engaging live shows, which feature funk, soul and R&B music. 

Mojoflo guitarist and founder George Barrie said he feels fortunate to have built a “really cool following in town,” and credits the Columbus community with helping the band thrive. Gatherings like PigMania are a favorite for Mojoflo. 

“Festival venues are the best place to play,” Barrie said. “It’s outdoors in the sun; food, drinks, music.”

PigMania, will kick off at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, on Friday from 5-10 p.m. and continue Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $5 before 7 p.m. and $10 after 7 p.m. Children 12 and under can attend for free.