Getting loud – going green

Papadosio brings Earth Night back to Columbus

 By Zach Rogers

Photo: Papadosio’s Earth Night brings music and green ideas together; Photo: Brian Hockensmith

This time last year, the world was in a bit of a hubbub. The focus was centered on a particular date: Dec. 21, 2012. For many, it meant the end of the world, and everyone seemed to be a little freaked out. While some hid in their homemade bomb shelters, others saw it as something different, something to celebrate and rejoice. For them, it wasn’t the end of something old, but the start of something new – the beginning of a New Age.

Papadosio, a band originally from Athens, Ohio, was part of a handful a people who wanted to usher in this New Age with open arms. With their close friend Jason Takahashi, who runs video and visuals for the band’s live shows, they organized the first-ever Earth Night Festival, a celebration coinciding with the 2012 winter solstice. Together, they wanted to host an event that was rooted in the environmental movement they cared so much about, while at the same time – given the circumstances – commemorate the dawning of something totally new.

Well, it turns out the world didn’t end, and this year the band and Takahashi are proud to present the second annual Earth Night Festival 2013: A Solstice Celebration, at the LC Pavilion in Columbus. A two-night/one-day event held December 20 and 21, Earth Night 2013 promises to bring together the same ideals of last year’s festival, but on a much bigger scale.

“Last year was really a huge success,” said Anthony Thogmartin, singer and guitarist for Papadosio. “We had amazing attendance and it was such a good time that we decided to make it an annual event.”

Along with two nights of music, including two headlining sets from Papadosio, Earth Night 2013 will also host a series of workshops dealing with topics ranging from off-the-grid living and environmental activism to yoga and meditation.

“Earth Night is a celebration of a lot of different things,” said Thogmartin, “but it’s also about participation, getting people involved and getting them to talk about stuff we know people are interested in.”

The idea for Earth Night came from a thesis project Takahashi worked on back in college, which is where he first met the band. Fast-forward to 2012, where both the band and Takahashi thought it would be the perfect time to apply that thesis to a larger degree. The festival combines the celebration of music and art with education about the environment into one forward-thinking experience, offering attendees the chance to let loose as well as gain some insight on how they can better their own lives, even after the festival is over.

Based off last year’s success, Earth Night 2013 is shaping up to be another great event. Takahashi has adopted a kind of creative director/project manager role with the festival, and along with the band they collaborate on every aspect of the festival’s organization, from the bands that play to the kinds of workshops available. This year, in addition Papadosio, Earth Night 2013 will see performances by the Main Squeeze, Ott & the All-Seeing I, 100 Waters and Shigeto. The music is reserved for both Friday and Saturday night at the LC Pavilion, with the workshop symposium happening Saturday afternoon at the VUE in Columbus’ Brewery District.

“We’ve got some great people coming in to talk about a lot of different things, like architectural sustainability, organic farming, off-the-grid living, land use and preservation, things of that nature,” said Takahashi.

“We’ve noticed the best workshops are the ones that introduce an idea and the dialogue right away, as opposed to lecturing on a variety of topics without any kind of input,” added Thogmartin. “Giving people the creative space to talk about these issues is sometimes all it takes to make a real difference.”

Although not technically a full-blown music festival, Earth Night aims to bring that kind of energy to a city environment.

“Recently, there have been some really amazing events that resemble music festivals happening in cities all over the place, and I think that’s really good for the community,” said Takahashi. “We want to bring that energy and life into the city for a couple of days, and hopefully it’ll all reverberate back into the event.”

Even though it’s only in its second year, the people behind Earth Night have big plans for the festival’s future. For now, it’s focused on using the potential they already have in order to empower the people who come out.

“We feel like it’s time to change the face of what music festivals are like,” said Thogmartin. “Right now, it’s a little self-serving. But with Earth Night, our goal is to get everybody’s ideals on a train and get it moving. We’ve already done a lot in these past two years, but it’s what we’re about to do in the future that’s going to be worth all the hard work.”


Earth Night 2013: A Solstice Celebration will be held on Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 at the LC Pavilion, 405 Neil Ave. in Columbus. Performances scheduled from Papadosio, the Main Squeeze, Ott & the All-Seeing I, Hundred Waters and Shigeto. The Workshop Symposium will be held Saturday, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the VUE, 95 Liberty St. in Columbus’ Brewery District. Single-day and two-day tickets are available. For more information, please visit


Reach DCP freelance writer Zach Rogers at


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