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Two Music Fests: Wonderbus and What?

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Two Music Fests: Wonderbus and What?The 2018 What? Music and Arts Festival featured local DJ Zach Lowe, shown above, among other artists. The festival returns with over 150 visual and performing artists for 2019. Photo by Brock DuPont, courtesy of the festival.
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Two mission-based music festivals benefitting mental health and mental health organizations are coming to Columbus in summer 2019.

Wonderbus — a music and arts festival taking place August 17 and 18 — will take place on the lawn at CAS, adjacent to The Ohio State University campus.

The festival lineup includes local and nationally recognized acts like Walk The Moon, X Ambassadors, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The Revivalists, Trombone Shorty, Jenny Lewis, Bishop Briggs, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and 18 other acts. Columbus acts on the bill include Effee, Clubhouse, The Floorwalkers and MNQN.

Lineup via the Wonderbus Festival website.

The festival is by The Elevation Group, the creators and producers of Cleveland music festival LaureLive, in partnership with various Ohio-based music industry leaders. The festival’s mission is to promote and benefit The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. CAS and the Wonderbus Festival are guaranteeing a share of revenue to benefit the center’s programs for combating depression.

And in its second year, What? Music and Arts Festival with take place at 400 W. Rich in Franklinton on July 27.

In February, What? hosted a “Winter Warmup” pre-event for the festival — featuring yoga, art displays, and music performances. Photo by Brock Dupont, via the What? Festival Facebook page.

What? was developed by a team of local community members and creatives. The event spotlights the arts and sets out to inspire people to ask “how they, too, can make a positive impact on their communities.” What? will extended its hours and upgrade from 18 to over 150 visual and performing artists for 2019.

“A lot of these installations we’re also adding an element of surprise. So we’re really trying to create an excitement and a buzz about coming into a new experience at the venue,” says co-founder Ryan Ransom.

The festival is in a larger space that will have indoor and outdoor music stages, featuring a lineup that includes Cousin Simple, Barefuzz, Mungbean, Fear and Lowe, Kll Smth and TronMusic.

Lineup courtesy of What? Music and Arts Festival.

Also at the festival will be an art gallery featuring over 150 artists of a variety of mediums; LED display, projection mapping and interactive art attractions; local vendors; and wellness workshops and activities.

A share of the proceeds will benefit The Brightside Foundation, a local nonprofit focused on suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Additionally, the team is working with community partners at the Franklinton Prep Academy, Gladden Community House and the Franklinton Board of Trade.

“A lot of our efforts are just kind of around people who are doing things that improve the community overall and kind of make a happier, brighter place,” says co-founder Ryan McKee.

Ransom, McKee and Kyle Dineen, three of the co-founders of What?, all work in Franklinton. Ransom says they’re trying to be advocates for the area to inspire others.

“There’s still a good amount of people who don’t take the time to get over to this part of town,” he says. “That’s why we’re trying to keep things in Franklinton and show people that you really can create whatever it is you’re putting your mind to.”

What? will have a second pre-event at TRISM the Friday before the festival, July 26, with a lineup to be announced. On Sunday, July 28, the festival will host a free community event at Land Grant Brewery, for patrons who aren’t able to attend the festival. Proceeds from that event will benefit the festival’s community partners.

For more information on Wonderbus, visit wonderbusfest.com. For more information on What? Music and Arts Festival, visit whatmusicandartsfestival.com.

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