Werk Out Festival returns to Legend Valley
By Zach Rogers
Photo: The 2014 Werk Out Music and Arts Festival will take place Aug. 7-9 at Legend Valley Music Center
For a festival only in its fifth year, the 2014 Werk Out Music and Arts Festival is returning like a titan champ. Having already outgrown its original location at the Zane Shawnee Caverns, Werk Out 2014 is returning to the Legend Valley Music Center in Thornville, Ohio for the third year in a row, on the weekend of Aug. 7.
“This is year five, and it’s going to be our biggest year yet,” Rob Chafin, drummer for The Werks and all-around festival super-director, said. “We’re really excited, and we can tell the fans are excited, too. We can’t wait for everyone to show up and get blown away.”
Spread across three days with over 60 acts playing over 40 hours of live music, Werk Out 2014 is definitely coming in strong. Festival hosts The Werks will treat fans to three nights of top-notch performances, and other headlining acts include Papadosio, Emancipator, Crizzly, Future Rock, Zoogma and Dopapod. There’s also going to be a special tribute to Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon, performed by an unbelievable triple-threat attack from The Werks, Papadosio and Dopapod.
“We thought it’d be fun to collaborate on something together, so we decided to do a take on one of our favorite albums,” Mike Healy, who handles drumming duties in Papadosio, said. “We’re going to trade off on different parts on different songs, and we’ll probably have some double-drumming going on at some point. I’m excited to get up there and jam out together Pink Floyd-style. It’ll be a blast!”
In addition to the many bands gracing the festival’s Main Stages A and B, there will also be an array of acts playing at Werk Out’s Tent Stage, including late-night bluegrass and DJ sets. Besides the music, there’s also going to be a hefty amount of art to indulge in. Live painting and art installations will be abundant, and performance artists of all kinds will be floating around the festival grounds. There will also be a handful of speakers and presenters on deck, providing lectures on a variety of different topics. Want to throw a little exercise in the mix? No worries: try your luck at disc golf, or cool down with some yoga. And don’t forget about all the incredible vendors selling things you just won’t be able to find anywhere else.
“There’s a lot going on, and there’s something for everyone here,” Chafin said. “You get a chance to camp out under the stars, enjoy great music and art with your friends and meet new people along the way. It boils down to people coming together to express themselves and learn from each other. Collaboration is really important at Werk Out.”
For those 21 and over, Werk Out has four words for you: bring your own beer.
“A lot of festivals won’t allow you to bring in alcohol so they can charge you outrageous prices for beer, but we want everyone to have a good time, and everyone always asks for BYOB, so we’re giving it to them,” Chafin said.
For as big of a festival as it’s become, Werk Out had some humble beginnings.
“We always wanted to do our own festival,” Chafin explained, “and we finally got the ball rolling in 2010 out at the Zane Shawnee Caverns. Eventually, we outgrew that place and decided to move to Legend Valley in 2012. It’s been growing every year and we’re just really stoked about it.”
“Rob and The Werks, their whole idea came about because they all had really good relationships with a bunch of bands from across the country that they’d met out on tour,” Healy added. “They saw all these different festivals popping up and everyone was just booking the same acts so they could sell a lot of tickets, and they just wanted to bring their friends out and do a different kind of lineup than what was out there at the time. The whole focus was on playing live music, you know, bands actually rocking out and playing their own instruments, and I think it’s really cool they went that route with it.”
“We try to make sure most of the acts are heavy on improvisation, and we want them to have a good live element as well,” Chafin said.
With a heavy focus on live, improvised music on stage, Werk Out stands out among the infinite number of music festivals that exist today. But that isn’t the only thing that makes it unique.
“I think what makes the festival so unique is the community that’s behind it,” Chafin said. “The fact that it’s produced by the band and we get to hand-select all the artists, and to have everybody working together and getting behind it with such a passion – that’s what sets it apart.”
“I don’t really know of any other festivals happening in Ohio this year that are on the same scale as the Werk Out,” Healy said. “I feel like a lot of things have either left Ohio or taken a year off. If they keep doing it right and pushing that same level of integrity, it’s only going to get better every year.”
The 2014 Werk Out Music and Arts Festival will take place Aug. 7-9 at the Legend Valley Music Center, 7585 Kindle Rd. in Thornville, Ohio. For more information, including ticket options, please visit thewerkoutfestival.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Zach Rogers at ZachRogers@DaytonCityPaper.com.