ATHENS, OH – During a summer known for its event and concert cancellations due to the Coronavirus pandemic, WOUB Public Media is working to keep one annual music event going virtually. WOUB is helping to produce the online presentation of the 2020 Nelsonville Music Festival.
“Much of WOUB’s programming and content on-air and online showcases the music of our culture and region, so it only made sense to us to do what we could to help the Nelsonville Music Festival with its 2020 virtual presentation,” said WOUB General Manager Mark Brewer. “We know how important this event is to our local music community.”
Each night will feature a different lineup of performers including CAAMP, Mandolin Orange, Hot Tuna, Shovels & Rope, Todd Snider, Haley Heynderickx, Bedouine, Joan Shelley, Tré Burt, Vieux Farka Touré, Cedric Burnside, Lydia Loveless, Snarls, Counterfeit Madison, Steve Poltz, Leggy, Hubby Jenkins, Angela Perley, Lisa Bella Donna, Ernie Johnson From Detroit, Water Witches, The D-Rays, Caitlin Kraus and the Stuart’s Afterschool Music Program. Each artist will perform a mini set, which will vary in length from one and five songs. WOUB Audio Supervisor Adam Rich and WOUB Producer/Director Evan Shaw are providing post-production on the performances.
“When we learned this year’s event was cancelled, we were truly disappointed. WOUB has worked with the festival for the last several years, and it’s always something I look forward to,” said Rich. “When we were asked to help continue the event in a different way, we were very excited to do our part to keep this annual tradition going during this unusual time.”
“Music and entertainment have been hit hard by this pandemic. Live performances are not safe,” said Shaw. “Helping the Nelsonville Music Festival continue in a way that is safe for the artists and those watching made a lot of sense to me.”
WOUB’s Arts and Culture Reporter Emily Votaw has been overseeing the Ohio University student promotions/publicity team. Votaw is guiding them on how to set up interviews with performing artists, and then recording and editing the interviews remotely. The interviews are being aired on WOUB FM and placed on the woub.org culture page.
“I’m also gathering all the information about the songs performed during the sets and conducting my own interviews with headliners,” said Votaw. “It’s been a really fun experience.”
Ohio University Scripps College of Communication Media Arts and Studies Director Josh Antonuccio has served as executive producer for the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival (VNMF), overseeing the WOUB team in their current post-production and managing the on-ground production.
“The WOUB team has been invaluable to the VNMF production process and have delivered both excellence and innovation in the challenging environment of the pandemic,” aid Antonuccio. “We’ve put together an incredible event, with two nights of performances featuring over 25 artists and showcasing Ohio artists in special locations from across the region.”
To help with the loss of jobs and internships this summer due to COVID, the Scripps College of Communication created paid positions for recent graduates and students to work across multiple areas in VNMF, including audio and video production, artist management, logistics, and publicity.
The Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival will stream on the festival’s official YouTube channel at 8 p.m. on both Friday, Aug. 21 and Saturday, Aug. 22. Stuart’s Opera House is presenting the festival, and the event will serve as a fundraiser for the opera house. While there are no tickets needed for admission and the event is free to all, donations are strongly encouraged.