Monday, June 26, 2006

Comfest 2006 : TOO CROWDED!

A-OK: act of kindness lady hamming it up for the crowd at Comfest 2006 at Goodale Park (Goodale Statue below)

Highjinx Dancers dance at art stage on stilts and offer everyone to join in and go wild !
Art Cars are a new regular feature on the empty side of Goodale Park's Comfest.

The 2006 Comfest featured sunny, high 70 degree weather for Saturday and Sunday which brought-out the largest crowd, yet. The Community Festival, which began a block east of O.S.U.'s campus in the early 70's, moved to the Short North in the early 1980's when the various campus church centers on 16th Avenue started budget cutting and closing outreach programs. Until 1993 Comfest was one stage and a tent stage in a large empty lot in the Short North. After the Victorian Gate Apartments were built in this empty lot, Comfest slowly started taking over Goodale Park and surrounding streets.
Today, some 100,000 people per day try to crowd in for the mile of vendor tents and 6 performance stages with a 7th political tent stage. By 5pm there is a 20 minute line to buy tokens and cups for beer, another 20 minute line to get the beer, 20 minute lines for food vendors, and a final 20 minute line to use the porta-johns. It's obvious this FREE festival has outgrown even its largest sprawl in its 35 years.
Because other cities don't have this special type festival, people pour-in from across the state and nation. Bands fight to win a spot on the stages. The "community" feel has long disappeared.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

250th Gallery Hop Short North

June 3, 2006 was the 250th consecutive monthly gallery hop in the Short North section of High Street. (Actually, a couple gallery hops were snowed-out.)
Gallery Dining ,as the above picture states, pretty much describes the Short North "gallery" district today. On the 250th Gallery Hop four galleries closed their doors and no new ones opened. The vast majority of galleries put up art by one artist for one month, followed by another artist the next month. Most galleries pay their rent using another business. Restaurants continue to spring up with abandon, bring more luxury cars to feed on the scarce parking spaces. Collectibles and antiques and just about any business dealing with interior design are also opening. A SEGWAY dealership has opened.
June 3rd was also the time of the Memorial Tournement and the downtown Columbus Arts Festival, a sprawling mass of 300 craftsmen booths with only 5% coming from the local area.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Columbus Alive, a 20 year old weekly entertainment tabloid in Columbus was recently bought out by The Columbus Dispatch, the daily paper that also owns channel 10 TV and a bunch of neighborhood weeklies. Since they bought a giant new press 10 years ago, The Dispatch , is worried about getting enough advertising revenue to keep its presses running. Buying Alive is a real step away from its conservative ways, but a nod to the youth audience. So, they are pushing local music and culture in a full-color Columbus Alive tabloid.
A giant Ipod from Orange Barrel Media is their way of showing it is hip. The IPOD even plays nonstop local music out of its ear buds. On its website
you can hear a series of local rock tunes submitted by people.