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Review: Rootwire Music and Art Festival

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A woman gets body painted by an artist at Rootwire. - LACY BURSICK
  • Lacy Bursick
  • A woman gets body painted by an artist at Rootwire.

This summer, I traveled a lot to different music festivals from Arkansas to Ohio. But after this weekend attending Rootwire Music and Art Festival in Logan, Ohio, I decided to dub my favorite. Ran by one of my favorite bands, Papadosio, it makes sense that Rootwire would bring out a familiar crowd with beautiful spirits. Everyone brought out their favorite crafts from jewelry making to hair wraps and it was a family-friendly environment.

Last week when I interviewed Anthony Thogmartin from Papadosio, the band that runs Rootwire, he mentioned how so many people have told him their lives were changed for the better because of this festival. I told him had been impacted too. A year ago when I went to Rootwire, I had just come back from a summer overseas and freshly out my first serious relationship. I was sad. I was down. And then I went to this festival with a girl friend and was reminded two important things: there are so many other fish there are in the sea and I could now indulge my free time with art, music and other things I care about.

Anthony also mentioned their desire to inspire people to create art. After watching numerous workshops, I went home and picked up a paintbrush for the first time since I was a child.

This Rootwire was no different. With meditations, yoga, spiritual speeches, artist workshops and music practically all day and night, this festival does not lack activity or stimulation. The art gallery was some of the best visionary artwork I have seen all summer. I even bought myself a print of a painting by Andrew Wagner, a visionary artist from Georgia.

People brought out their hula hoops, poi and other visual art toys. - LACY BURSICK
  • Lacy Bursick
  • People brought out their hula hoops, poi and other visual art toys.

In comparison to last year, Rootwire grew tremendously but the hill was never too crowded. The size grew enough for the police to take notice though. And as rumor has it, they got a warrant to come in and write citations or make arrests, unlike other years. This was to my surprise because unlike many music festivals, I didn't hear the typical array of drug selling that happens at other shows. People that attend Rootwire aren't there for drugs; they are there for the music and especially the art.

The production of this festival is almost unreal. While sitting on the hill, you can watch a band play, you can watch aerial silk dancers, you can watch live painting to the music, you can watch a someone creating tie-dye, you can watch hula hoopers, you can watch fire spinners, you can watch dancers or even dancers on stilts. While watching it all, you sit there in bliss like wow this is so amazing and all for me to enjoy and soak up every second. It is inspiring and peaceful.

Although I was not familiar with many of the bands on the lineup, I never found myself listening to music I didn't like. The music was eclectic, inventive and a variety of sounds from around the world.

Other than some random jerk apparently running up to my campsite and grabbing my hula hoop 'to borrow' and then never to be seen again all weekend, I had an incredible time and was disappointed to leave before the special Sunday night acoustic set from Papadosio.

This year I may not have needed all the self-discovery and sense of freedom I gained the first year but instead I was able to look back and see a clear growth I have made within just a year.

I spoke with a couple who had brought out a large telescope to share the sight of the moon with others. They said they wished they could do Rootwire once a month but once a year would have to do. They said they looked forward to it each year more than anything. I am now making Rootwire a yearly tradition as well.

See you next year.

Jimkata was a band on the lineup all the way from New York. - LACY BURSICK
  • Lacy Bursick
  • Jimkata was a band on the lineup all the way from New York.

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