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Independents’ Day Festival to celebrate local music, art, business

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The Independents’ Day Festival  is scheduled to take place Sept.20-22 at Gay and Broad Streets. Credit: Courtesy of John Buckley

The Independents’ Day Festival is scheduled to take place Sept. 20-22 all over downtown.
Credit: Courtesy of John Buckley

Local musicians, artists and entrepreneurs will come together this weekend in celebration of Columbus’ vast independent community.

The Independents’ Day festival brings the city’s best together for three days in a legion of local pride. The festival is expanding to a three-day event for the first time since it began in 2008, when it was a one-day event.

The community has welcomed the event and had so much fun that more independent groups want to be involved each year, said Alexis Perrone, board of directors captain for Independents’ Day 2013.

In addition to five live music stages, the festival will showcase crafts from Columbus Craftacular, which is a craft organizaiton, alternative fashion vendors, food trucks, dancing and films, among other events.

Local music this year ranges from indie rock to alternative country to techno. Local musicians include Forest & the Evergreens, Cadaver Dogs, Indigo Wild, Lydia Loveless and the original lineup of Karate Coyote.

Perrone said a goal of Independents’ Day is to include a surprise event in its music line-up. Although the original band members are set to come together Saturday, Karate Coyote posted an official statement on the band’s site that this will be its final engagement and will no longer be playing together following the show. The band is scheduled to perform on the Columbus Local Music.com Stage, located at the corner of Gay and High streets, Saturday at 9 p.m.

Esther Chung, a street fair and craft alley coordinator, said the art aspect of the festival has more vendors than ever before this year, including 35 craft vendors, five comic book vendors and five to six alternative fashion vendors. In addition, there are to be performances from trapeze and aerial groups.

“The most important thing is to promote everything independent,” Chung said.

Even the food is independent. Food this year will include local food trucks, carts and desserts. The festival is participating in Up-and-Coming Eats, a program that allows the next generation of local, independent chefs to share free samples and talk about their brand, Shelley Mann, a food coordinator, said.

“We’re able to showcase food people in all stages of pursing their passion,” Mann said in an email. “These up-and-comers have great ideas and are maybe in the stages of putting together a business plan or seeking funding.”

The second day of the festival will showcase some lesser-known vendors. Hungry patrons can feast on Korean street food from Ajumama, pizza from Mikey’s Late Night Slice, sandwiches and salads from Freedom a la Cart, authentic Asian ramen bowls at Mashita Noodles or a scoop of ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams truck.

“While music has been and always will be the biggest draw and main attraction, the festival itself was envisioned as a celebration of independent culture in Columbus, and that includes all of those other areas: visual and performing arts, crafts, food, etc.,” Mann said.

Some festival coordinators encourage students to attend the festival and expand their views on what Columbus has to offer.

“The university community can be trapped in a bubble as to what you know, and (students) are exposed to a myopic view of what Columbus is,” Perrone said.

The festival entertainment is scheduled to take place beginning Friday at 6 p.m. downtown at Gay and Broad streets. Admission is free and some proceeds will go to local beneficiaries such as The Dick and Jane Project, Momentum and Project Zero.

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