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Bands to give Tax Day a musical twist with Columbus festival

Courtesy of Illumine Photography & Design

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To celebrate the ending of tax season, Grandview’s Woodlands Tavern plans to rock the night away – whether everyone has paid their taxes or not.

The Back Tax Music Festival is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Woodlands Tavern – two days before the country’s official Tax Day on April 15. The lineup consists of eight acts, including local bands William The Accountant, The Saturday Giant, Karate Coyote and Post Coma Network, as well as Secret Colours (of Chicago), Kink Ador (of Nashville), The Nightbeast (of Dayton) and Mike Dillon Band (of New Orleans).

“We thought, ‘Hey, let’s celebrate not only Tax Day, but those that haven’t paid their taxes,’ and that’s what a back tax is,” said Kevin Luce, vocalist and guitarist for William The Accountant.

The event was planned by the members of William The Accountant, a band that’s been known to play “tax shows” around Columbus. Luce said the band’s name was inspired by his father, an accountant named – you guessed it – William.

“(We’re) just trying to say that what we do takes the form of music because I’ve got a guitar and we’ve got a stage, but my dad can do a very similar thing with a calculator and a corner office,” Luce said.

Each year, Tax Day is the band’s “special day,” Luce said, but this year the band is starting up a new music festival that’s bigger than any of its past tax shows.

The festival’s eight acts are to be broken up between Woodlands Taverns’ two stages – the W2 and the 1040EZ, both named for the show after tax forms. Radio station CD102.5 is a sponsor for the event, and some of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of America.

Luce said the philanthropic support was fitting, since April is Autism Awareness Month.

“That was one angle we wanted to play up,” Luce said. “We said, ‘OK, the tax idea is fun and it’s a reason to get people to go there, but at the same time, what’s something we really care about that we also want to share?'”

Luce and William The Accountant drummer Chris Murphy work as behavior analysts at Haugland Learning Center in Columbus, an educational facility for autistic children and young adults. Luce said the band has invited children and families from the school to come take part in the event. He said coming together to talk about how autism affects people makes for a better musical experience. 

“That’s when I think music is at its best,” Luce said. “It’s just about getting people together and celebrating and trying to lean on each other a little bit.”

Nic Jados, an Ohio State graduate student in business and bassist for Karate Coyote, said he and his band met the members of William The Accountant last fall and “really hit things off.”

“We’ve actually worked with Autism Speaks before,” Jados said. “Some of us used to work in classrooms and stuff like that, so it’s something that we care a lot about and we try to do a lot of autism awareness types of gigs and fundraisers.”

Autism Speaks is an organization dedicated to funding the research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism, according to its website. 

Paul Painter, booking manager at Woodlands Tavern, said he’s used to putting on larger shows at the venue and was happy to help plan this event with Luce.

“I’ve known him for a long time and he always puts on a really good show,” Painter said.

While Luce said he’s excited for the event to take place at Woodlands Tavern, he said he hopes to outgrow the venue.

“We’re already talking with Paul about how to grow this thing … next year, hopefully Woodlands is too small of a venue to be able to host it,” Luce said.

No matter where the event takes place, Luce said ultimately what he wants is people actively participating in the festival.

“It’s really about people coming together and being a part. I would say if there’s a specific goal, it’s that,” Luce said. “People come and they’re not just witnessing a good night, they’re taking part in it.”

Tickets are $10 and each come with a raffle ticket for prizes including albums and gift cards to local restaurants. Woodlands Tavern is located at 1200 W. Third Ave. Doors are set to open at 7 p.m. and the event is scheduled to go until 2 a.m.

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