WERK OUT Festival

Sept. 20-23, 2012 – Legend Valley – Thornville, OH

Ryan Neeley exclusively for Appalachian Jamwich

With the recent oversaturation of music festivals in the U.S., there are few “must have” wristbands for festivarians east of the Mississippi after the Labor Day weekend..  You can now officially add one to that list.   Ohio livetronica supergroup The Werks, Funky Bean Productions and Alchemy House put on a tantalizing feast pleasing to all five senses.  With each and every corner you turned, a visual treat was waiting – dozens of artwork installations, some with live painting, fire jugglers, stilt walkers and hula-hoopers.  Food vendors provided choices that would satisfy the pickiest of pallets with vegetarian, vegan, and carnivorous selections and generated scents of Disc-O Pizza, French Fries, Veggie Stir-Fry and Barbeque wafting through the air.  Each person you met held out a hand, pulled you in for a squeeze, or let you pet their therapy goat.  And then there’s the music.

The Werks and organizers did a fabulous job weaving the lineup into a weekend filled with something for everyone that was seamless, which can be quite a challenge with the recent marriage of dubstep/electronic music with guitar and drum heavy jambands on the festival circuit today.   The weekend would include livetronica legends EOTO, LOTUS, and PAPADOSIO along with newer groups such as ZOOGMA and BREAK SCIENCE.   Not forgetting fans of bluegrass picking and extended psychedelic ripping of the guitar, bluegrass powerhouse GREENSKY BLUEGRASS and jam vets EKOOSTIK HOOKAH and RUSTED ROOT would delight the most ardent fans of traditional rock and roll.   But the stars of the weekend were the WERKS, who took the crowd on a roller coaster ride they’ll never forget with special guests, costumes and delighting the crowd with covers of Phish’s Slave to the Traffic Light, Europes The Final Countdown, an appropriate Beatles We Can Werk It Out along with Grand Funk Railroad tune (We’re an) American Band.  The band was accessible and positive, and although the weather was a bit cold, every fan I spoke with raved about it being one of the best festivals of the year, an amazing compliment from fans with wrists weighed down with bands from this summer’s escapades.

The staff of volunteer “farmhands”, performers, artists, vendors and campers transformed the site into a colorful playground of art, food, culture, music and camaraderie, and the entire weekend was eclectic and magical.   All in attendance left with new friends to spend time with, stories to share, and memories to last a lifetime, and agreed that this was a fantastic way to send The Werks off on their first major tour across America.

Kind Ones Photography Gallery
thanks to Lora Ireland

JYB Photography Gallery
thanks to Jack Yamamoto Brown and Rachel Brown