Westerville News & Public Opinion

41st annual Westerville Music & Arts Festival

Festival's varied lineup aims to suit many tastes

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After drawing more than 18,000 people in 2013, organizers hope for an even bigger crowd at the 41st annual Westerville Music & Arts Festival.

Despite being a community-centric event, the festival boasts nearly a $42,000 budget and two full days of art and music. And with $1 ticket prices, festival co-chair Kyle Kridler said the festival isn't about making money.

"I don't think the goal, in my eyes, is to make it some big profitable event. It's more of a city service to Westerville residents and the Columbus area," Kridler said.

"I think the beauty of it is keeping it relatively cheap. If people want to bring their family to an event, they don't want to shell out $50 to go to an event."

Launched as an Uptown street fair 41 years ago, the Music & Arts Festival always seeks to suit many tastes.

A key to the festival's success, Kridler said, is offering a wide variety of music and art. And while other events are comfortable having a fairly standard array of artists, M&A Festival organizers like to provide different types of art-related entertainment.

"A constant goal we have is to have some sort of element that interacts well with the patrons at the event," he said, noting the surprise popularity of stilt-walkers and jugglers. "I like to take that arts angle not just from people walking around and purchasing art, but with the music and the interactive pieces."

Organizers want the music to be varied as well, and Kridler says that diversity in the festival's committee -- from baby boomers to millennials -- helps to contribute to the wide range of acts on two stages over the course of the two days.

"We always try to find something for everybody," he said. "There's not necessarily a theme. We try to see, even from our own perspective as a committee, what had a really good draw."

The 2014 festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 13 at Westerville's Heritage Park and Everal barn, 60 N. Cleveland Ave.

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