COMFEST is coming back to Goodale Park again this year. COMFEST is the event that everyone in the alternative communities of Columbus look forward to every year, attracting hippies, vampire wannabe's, gamer nerds, rockabilly kids and future hip-hop stars to it's green, um, pastures. Featuring bands, art, vendors, crafts, food and even booze, this event has always been in accordance with it's own name, COMMUNITY FESTIVAL.
It is also the largest of it's kind in the country (so there Ohio State Fair!) featuring 6 stages and countless performers day and night. There are also vendors of household items, art, jewelry, clothing and tons more from most of the local, independent shops in town as well as for many of the causes we are so passionate about.
Staffed entirely of volunteers that do everything from picking the performers, putting up tents for vendors, minding the porta-potties and picking up garbage, this event is all about the community getting together and creating their own environment. In the words of the COMFEST crew " Welcome to Community Festival-three days of alternative politics,arts & crafts, music, reunions with old friends and introductions to new ones, sunshine (OK rain...), shared dreams and shared work in a shared space."
The event has been going on since 1972, when it first popped up on the triangle of grass at 16th Street and Waldeck behind Bernie's Distillery. Over the next 39 years the event grew to be a 3 day festival in Goodale Park in the Short North/Victorian Village area of Columbus. The event has only seen one act of violence on record, and that was self inflicted, in 2009 that lead to rumors that 2010 would be the last year.
Previously also associated with Columbus Pride Week, they split a few years ago to give each event the city's un-devided attention. Many citizens felt they were missing out on various events because there was just too much going on. Pride Week/end was moved up to the third weekend of the June and COMFEST remained at the last weekend of June. COMFEST is the Columbus event that is also known for all the topless ladies walking around, many with artistically enhanced chests by artists like Scotty Lees of BigStyle Productions. This truly started in 1996 during the Pride Parade (back when they were on the same weekend) when hundreds of women in the parade and on the sidelines striped off their tops in protest of the sexualization of breasts. This eventually led to the law being passed that women can go sans top within Columbus city limits, although COMFEST and Pride Weekend are really the only times you will probably see this happening.
Some folks to see this year are the those at the What the Rock?! booth, the Ohio Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Lydia Loveless Saturday night at 9 pm at the Off Ramp Stage, the Ooh-La-La's Friday at 10:15 pm at the Live Arts Stage, and the Phantods also Friday at 10:30 at the Off Ramp Stage, just to name a very few. There will be over 225 booths and over 200 performers this year. COMFEST runs Friday June 24th through Sunday June 26th, 2011 at Goodale Park. Remember that it is illeagal to bring your own booze, drugs are also, obviously illegal but you are perfectly welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. Don't forget the sunscreen or the umbrella!!
For more information, check out my.comfest.com or http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=156951021036353