All Good Festival comes to Ohio in its 16th year
By Nick Schwab
The sweltering Ohio summer is in the air–one of the hottest on record, in fact– the girls are in bikinis and this is the time of the season for lovin’. It is also that time for us neo-hippies and music enthusiasts to go to concerts and festivals like true Woodstock bohemians.
One such festival is the All Good Festival and it will take place from July 19th to July 22nd in the Legend Valley of Thornville, Ohio, about 25 minutes east of downtown Columbus.
The festival will feature forty-plus bands and artists during this year’s run, from big-ticket acts like The Allman Brothers Band and The Flaming Lips to even Dayton favorites, such as The Werks.
All Good Festival Founder and Promoter, Tim Walther, has been with the festival through the years and has nurtured it like a baby from its grassroots inception that one can compare to a party into an event with twenty-thousand people.
“I started as a street promoter handing out flyers, getting to know the scene, getting to know the bands,” he recalls. “You really get to build great relationships with the bands, supporting them when they come to town and doing what you could do to help out.”
Walther continues with how he got the idea and founded the festival.
“I found myself going to a jam band park event in Maryland, and thinking they weren’t doing it that well and I could do it a lot better,” he remembers. “One winter I decided to reach out these bands that I had been working with on the grassroots level and I put together fifteen bands– for what we called the Full Moon Festival the prelude to the All Good Festival–with two days of camping in a co-opted situation in which we split whatever came through the door. We did about a thousand people that first year, but we decided we didn‘t want to chase the full moon each year after a short time, so it then became the All Good Festival.”
The All Good Festival has been in West Virginia the last eight years. According to Walther, “We have the tendency to outgrow our venues, so that is one reason we are in Ohio now,” he said. “Another reason is the roadways can support the (large traffic) of the people packing into the venue.”
As far as changes that go into the festival, he also said that every year they do many things different and they also do a lot of things the same.
“The venue change will obviously make it different, but there is always a familiarity,” he said.
According to last year’s attendee Kim Gillenwater from Muncie, Indiana: “The vibe of the festival is very chill.” She continues, “It’s a lot of fun, very relaxing and at night they definitely know how to throw a party.”
Walther adds about the atmosphere: “The term ‘all good’ means: all good energy, all good people, and all good times. The energy grows from day to day, come Saturday everybody has left their entire world behind and they are one with the festival, the friends and the music. This is exactly what we are shooting for.”
Gillenwater talks about the lighting of the fest as having great “ambience.” Actually, the often lighting designer of the jam band Phish, Chris Kuroda, helps design the fest’s lighting which gives it a very nice layout and a beautiful scenic view.
A drawback of festivals is that the music blares all night long. Not at the All Good Festival. The party may go on, but for those that want to sleep, Gillenwater says“They know how to rock until the rocking is done, and then you actually can sleep if you want to.”
As far as the bands are concerned there is something for everyone. From soul to funk, to loud rock n’ roll as well as jam bands and psych, Gillenwater tells that one of the best aspects of the festival is that “There is not a concentration of one type of music.”
The bands also love talking about their prior All Good Fest experiences, as well.
Dan Lebowitz of ALO remembers the first time they played there and it being a gratifying experience.
“I remember being particularly surprised that they knew some of our deep cuts. We hadn’t played the region much, and I expected they would know the more popular ones, but the folks were singing along to the rare ones too,” he said. Lebowitz then added that seeing that was, “Inspiring.”
Matt Butler of the Everyone Orchestra shares a funny story from two years ago.
“A tripping naked freak jumped up on stage and hurdled the drum set and got a cymbal stand stuck up his butt,” he tells. “I will never forget that!”
Moreover, Gillenwater sums up the festival with her take on her time there in the past.
“For festival goers it is an experience,” she says about the general feeling of festivals, then adds how the All Good Festival is different: “A festival is a whole different world. Being able to provide a place they can be themselves, have a good time and listen to good music: I think the All Good Festival does a great job of that,” she concludes.
All Good Festival Releases Two and Three Day Ticket Options
The All Good Festival and Campout (July 19-22) today announced that it is releasing a limited number of Friday Arrival 3-Day (Fri-Sat-Sun) and Saturday Arrival 2-Day (Sat & Sun) passes.
Festival founder Tim Walther says “There has been quite a bit of demand for All Good to offer ticketing options like this in the past but with the remoteness of our previous site in West Virginia, it didn’t really make sense. We have come to realize that being so close to large cities changes everything, and we are delighted to offer these choices to our fans.”
We’re excited to offer a new way to enjoy All Good:
Full 4-Day Passes are still being sold at $199.
The 3-Day FRIDAY ARRIVAL pass is $175.
The 2-Day SATURDAY ARRIVAL pass is $109.
Complete ticket and festival info at www.allgoodfestival.com
Reach DCP freelance writer Nick Schwab at NickSchwab@DaytonCityPaper.com.