A recap of the first day of the 2015 Nelsonville Music Festival
The first day of the Nelsonville Music Festival was sunny and sweaty but already picking up speed.
Thousands of concert-goers traveled to Robbins Crossing at Hocking College in Nelsonville for the four-day festival. Many also set up campsites across the street.
Cory Branan, from Memphis, Tennessee, kicked off the night with a solo alternative country rock show on the main stage. Branan drew a smaller crowd, but one dedicated fan was there waving around his album.
The crowd started dancing when Elephant Revival took to the main stage with a washboard, electric upright bass, banjo and “musical saw.”
“Elephant Revival was pretty cool,” said Jordan Barklow, who is at the festival for the fifth time.
Barklow added that he was looking forward to seeing The Flaming Lips at the festival for a second time.
Athens act Dead Hand of Man were the first band to perform on the porch stage.
While introducing Dead Hand of Man, Brian Koscho, the marketing director for Stuart’s Opera House, which puts on the festival, gave tips for attendees’ safety. He warned that even a few minutes in the sun “could leave you with a burn for the rest of the festival” and reminded everyone to drink plenty of water.
Other local musicians, Megan Wormz Bihn and Weedghost, played the small and stuffy, but cozy, “no-fi” cabin.
The Athens influence was also felt at the festival through a handful of food and drink vendors.
Local food favorites Restaurant Salaam, O’Betty’s Red Hot! and Donkey Coffee and Espresso set up temporary shops, while Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery could be found in the beer tent.
The night ended with Ezra Furman donning a little red dress and zebra pantyhose and encouraging people to dance.
The day before his Nelsonville performance, the zany Furman asked fans on Twitter if anyone was coming to see him.
One fan, Sheryl Trzaska, responded that she was nine months pregnant and was renting a car to drive from Columbus just to see him.
@ezrafurman yes sir. I am 9 mo. preg, renting a car, and driving to NMF to see you! (Some earlier bands, too. But mostly u guys. Can't wait)
— Sheryl T. (@sheryltrzaska) May 28, 2015
To which, Furman replied, “Let me know if you want to give birth onstage - we will happily provide the soundtrack.” Trzaska thanked him for the offer.
After the music ended, campers had to find their way through the sea of tents in the camping area across the street from Robbins Crossing. Festival organizers created labeled “streets,” but without any lights in the field, finding home was difficult.