The Nelsonville Music Festival is an annual four-day music festival located at the Historic Village of Robbins Crossing at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio in Southeastern Ohio. The event usually takes place in May or early June and features a variety of genres, including local, regional, and national artists. The weekend celebration includes local food and artisans as well as a campground for both primitive and RV camping. The festival also provides activities for children and strives to be environmentally friendly.
The first Nelsonville Music Festival was held on July 23, 2005 on the square in downtown Nelsonville Historic Arts District in Nelsonville, Ohio. The first event included six bands and a crowd of around 750, as well as artisans from the region. The festival is produced by Stuart's Opera House, a historic non-profit theatre. All proceeds of the event go towards keeping Stuart's Opera House in operation. The festival was started as an opportunity to bring more people to Nelsonville and served as revitalization of the arts district. The second and third year, the festival was held in a field behind Rocky Boots, a local shoe outlet. After three years as a one-day event, the festival was expanded to become a three-day event, and was moved to the Historic Village of Robbins Crossing at Hocking College. The festival has since added a fourth day and expanded to feature over 60 bands and a crowd of upwards 7,000 in 2014.
The festival offers free passes to children 12 and under. Teens 13-17 can purchase a discounted ticket. There are numerous activities available for children, including an area for children to listen to and create their own music and musical instruments, and puppets for a puppet parade. There is a kids stage which features workshops and performances all three days of the festival and a project for a community mural.