The sixth annual Werk Out Music and Arts Festival was as always a ridiculously good time for all who made the journey. This is the fourth year the festival has commenced at Legend Valley in Thornville Ohio. The venue has been host to many famous acts since the ’70s. Most famously one of largest and favorite stops of The Grateful Dead tour in the ’80s. The festival includes three stages as well as a silent disco. The festival is a celebration of music, dance, and friendship brought to you by Columbus’ own — The Werks.
Thursday night’s music included Papadosio. Which seems to be growing in popularity by the minute. After hearing them there’s no questioning the reason. The level of improvisation is incredible. Next up was Broccoli Samurai and then the much-anticipated first set from The Werks. The Rumpke Mountain Boys picked on into the early morning hours at the B stage. After the two main stages shut down for the evening, many headed over to the Silent Disco tent sponsored by The Untz.
For those who haven’t been to a Silent Disco before, it’s really an interesting concept. In exchange for your id you pick up a pair of wireless headphones. There are two channels which feature EDM from two live DJs in the tent. You can choose channel A or channel B to listen to. Then dance till the sun comes up in silence! The Silent Disco is gaining popularity at festivals that have to respect noise ordinances. It might be quiet but the party lives on.
Friday afternoon welcomed Wisconsin’s own Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Their brand of progressive bluegrass is especially fueled by pristine songwriting, lightening fast fiddle, banjo, guitar and harmonica solos. Not to mention exceptional five-part harmonies. Their most recent cd Middle Western is a collection of original songs will be sure to get your feet tapping and your brain ticking. Some of their lyrics are down right philosophical and some might say the messages are transcendental. It will be so exciting to see what these boys have in store for the future.
Umphrey’s set Friday night was awesome as usual. The band even covered Prince’s “When Doves Cry”. Not only was the music incredible but the lighting was out of sight. Following Umphrey’s was the festival host The Werks. They played an evening set which featured former member Norman Dimitrouleas on keys. The band segued into their perpetual groves and would at just the right moment say the magic words “You are the universe”. Energy was high and hoopers, and dancers all moved as if they were under their spell.
A peaceful silence fell upon the campground but shortly after the silence was broken by Blue Moon Soup. A Newgrass band from Yellow Springs Ohio. The harmony on their rendition of Manfred Mann’s “Fox on the Run” was spot on. Every solo was also crisp with accuracy and precision. At the closing on their set it was time to head for the MBFP tent to catch Eoto and Friends. The tent was absolutely filled to the brim with dancers and fans alike. Some featured guests included Chris Houser, and Todd Stoops.
Saturday I managed to catch Ekoostik Hookah’s set. Many die-hard fans gathered towards the front of the stage and sang along and danced. Next up was musical genius Zach Deputy. Just watching him ties my brain in knots. His dance-able and energetic originals flooded the concert area and his positive energy flooded the audience. He even played our favorite “Just the tip”. Other highlights from Saturday included Lettuce, Dopapod, The Werks final set, and Glostik Willy.
The Werkout is a celebration of music, dancing and art. Who knows, you may even decide to wed there, as one happy couple did. The staff is super friendly and the music is some of the best ever heard. The overall energy is upbeat and positive. Between the beauty of Legend Valley, the bright spirit of the fans, the innovative music this festival is one of the treasures of the mid west. See you at Werkout 2016.