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Nelsonville Music Fest celebrates 15 years this weekend

Kevin J. Elliott



In the last five years, the Nelsonville Music Festival organizers, Tim Peacock, Brian Koscho, and a small but dedicated staff, have made great strides in creating more than just a party in the hills. They’ve expanded the whimsical kids area, increasing the likelihood families can attend with little stress. They’ve added the coveted Boxcar Stage, which was free to all, including those who don’t have admittance to the concert grounds at Robbin’s Crossing in the idyllic Hocking Hills. And just last year, there was a skate ramp among the revelers.

I’ve often commented that the type of festival the Nelsonville braintrust produce is as close to a “utopian” experience as one can conjure in the confines of a four-day gathering of the tent-dwelling unwashed. Much of that consistency—and experiential overload—comes in the original intention started 15 year ago, when Nelsonville was a one-day event to raise funds for the historic Stuart’s Opera House. 

The Breeders will perform at this year’s Nelsonville Music Fest

“One of the reasons that has kept us going and moving forward is our approach,” says Koscho. “With Stuart’s being so involved in our community, and it being non-profit, our approach is unique. It’s not a right or wrong thing compared to other festivals. Whatever money we make goes right back into the arts and the education programs that run through the opera house. What people are doing when they are supporting this party, by buying a ticket, or camping, or even buying a beer, is that they are supporting something in the region that is much bigger than the festival.” 

To that end, it’s hard to tell where the Stuart’s Opera House ends and the Nelsonville Music Festival begins. They exist in a symbiotic relationship supporting each other. With Stuart’s being the sole producer of Nelsonville, there’s never been a chasm in leadership, a change of vision, a Doritos Loco or Monster Energy stage, or a feeling of ownership by anyone but the small-knit group of locals who started the fest—and those who make the pilgrimage. 


“The community has grown up with the fest,” says Koscho. 

It’s become ritual, a tradition like no other. The intention is almost sacred. Take solace in knowing those who run the fest have the same sentimentality for the weekend as the paying public. Above all else, Nelsonville is about the music, and particularly about discovering music you never expected to see. Though 2019 boasts one of the more popular line-ups in years, including The Breeders, Death Cab for Cutie, and a return from the legendary Mavis Staples, it’s those bands unheard before the weekend who charm and surprise and make the festival unique. 

“When you talk about discovery and trying new things, our headliner for Thursday, Tyler Childers, is getting bigger by the day,” says Koscho. “He started here two years ago on the Boxcar Stage and played to about 45 people, and now he’s selling out three night stands at the Louisville Palace, or the Ryman, and moving into that huge Americana world.” 

Nelsonville Music Fest artist Mavis Staples

Hoping those memories continue for this year’s more eclectic middle-range of the line-up, Koscho is personally psyched for crowds to witness the gospel soul of Washington D.C.’s War and Treaty, the all-female mariachi of Flor de Tolaches, or the “indie mambo” of Arizona’s Orkestra Mendoza. 

Needless to say, 15 years on, Nelsonville may not be growing physically, but it is expanding in ways most music festivals take for granted. And because of that intentionality, you’d be hard pressed to find a more magical musical experience this summer.

This year’s Nelsonville Music Festival takes place on June 6-9th. Visit for tickets and more information. 

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2 tiny Columbus Zoo babies bring big hope for endangered species

614now Staff



The newest babies at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium may be small, but they bring big hope for one of the most endangered species on the planet.

On November 1 and 3, reptile keepers at the Zoo’s Shores region successfully hatched two rare yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii), the first ever hatched in an indoor zoological environment. The breakthrough is critical in efforts to boost the numbers of temple turtles, which are facing extinction, according to a release from the zoo.

Keepers note that the two hatchlings are "very active" and "very healthy." They are being cared for in behind-the-scenes habitats as they continue to grow stronger. Right now, the hatchlings are about the size of a racquetball and weigh approximately 80 grams–the same weight as a small tomato. They will grow to be up to about 2 feet long and weigh about 35 pounds.

These two turtles were the only ones to survive out of their mother's nest. Of five eggs, one turtle hatched on its own, and the care team helped another break out of its shell when it was experiencing some difficulties. Two other eggs did not contain viable hatchlings, and the fifth egg did not hatch.

“Our team is extremely proud of hatching these turtles, as well as being able to do so inside the Columbus Zoo’s Reptile House," said Becky Ellsworth, Curator of the Zoo’s Shores region. "This is a wonderful achievement as our Animal Care staff has been able to learn more information about this rare and important species, contributing significant knowledge to the zoological community working to help protect these turtles."

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Local attraction makes “World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019” list

614now Staff



Today, TIME For Kids revealed the first-ever World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019 list, and among other international attractions, a Columbus business found itself in the mix.

Otherworld, which shook up the local entertainment scene when it opened earlier this year, was named one of the "World's Coolest Places" because of its quality, originality, sustainability, and accessibility. 

For those who haven't made the trip out to 5819 Chantry Dr. in southeast Columbus yet, Otherworld is an immersive and interactive art installation, featuring dozens of adventures, mysteries, and puzzles throughout its 47 rooms. Read more about it in our (614) Magazine coverage.

See below for the Otherworld write-up by Ellen Nam of TIME For Kids:

"Otherworld is an art installation built by more than 40 artists. They filled a 32,000-square-foot facility with large-scale works, secret passages, and playgrounds that blur the line between virtual and digital. Each of Otherworld’s 47 rooms is designed to resemble a science-fiction fantasyland. Visitors are encouraged to explore freely. Kids can fill in magical coloring books and solve puzzles. Those who are feeling adventurous can crawl into the mouth of a giant fuzzy monster."

To see the full list of the World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019 and to learn more about how each attraction was chosen, visit

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Treatments to Try: HydraFacial at Boss Gal Beauty Bar

Regina Fox



With the holiday season quickly approaching, stress and anxiety will be on the rise. While getting the stockings hung by the chimney with care is important, taking time for yourself this season to look and feel your best should also be a priority. We hope this series will bring you some self care inspo!

I've been plagued with clogged pores my entire life. I've tried the Biore pore strips, the blackhead comedone extractor tool, and even an as-seen-on-TV pore vacuum, but nothing has ever really done the trick.

And then, I see it: the HydraFacial.

Scroll down for a before/after + a chance to win a FREE HydraFacial from Boss Gal Beauty Bar!

The HydraFacial treatment removes dead skin cells and extracts impurities while simultaneously infusing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating, and moisturizing serums in just a few easy steps. Though results are immediately noticeable, your skin doesn't reach peek glow until a few days after the service, making it the perfect pregame to holiday festivities.

Click here to watch a step-by-step video

My clean pore journey took me to Boss Gal Beauty Bar's sleek, contemporary MedSpa in Clintonville. As an authorized HydraFacial provider, I knew I was in great hands. Kayla was my spirit guide, leading me through each soothing step with great expertise and care.

Step 1: Cleanse + Peel

Boss Gal likes to work off a clean palette, so the HydraFacial begins with a manual cleansing. This step feels a lot like a mini face massage, setting a calming tone right out of the gate. Next, the Vortex Cleansing method removes dead skin cells from the surface through water-based exfoliation, while glycolic salicylic acids soften the skin in preparation for extractions.

Step 2: Extract + Hydrate

This is where the real fun begins. During this step, pore plugs and dirt are removed from the face through the cleaning and suctioning action of the HydraFacial applicator.

I found this part particularly satisfying because you can actually see all the "gunk" that's been drawn out of your skin. You say, "Gross!" I say, "Gratifying!"

All the "gunk" extracted from my skin!

Boss Gal tops it off with a manual extraction session on the most congested areas of the face.

Step 3: Fuse + Protect

After removing all the unwanted oils, toxins, and dirts from the skin, it's time to seal it off. Using Boss Gal's super serums, the skin is infused with peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid for a glowing, hydrated look.

Step 4: Signature Jelly Mask

The HydraFacial concludes with a mini hand massage while Boss Gal's signature jelly mask cools and calms the skin.

Before + After

I left Boss Gal Beauty Bar completely makeup free and felt great—really great. I was happy to have treated my skin to the TLC it desperately needed and getting a solid dose of relaxation I desperately needed. And, just like Kayla said, my skin continued to appreciate in glow for days after.

With holiday parties and photo opportunities galore this time of year, the HydraFacial could be your secret weapon to achieving bright skin and rejuvenation all season long.

Give yourself or someone you love the gift of pampering and relaxation this holiday season with a FREE HydraFacial from Boss Gal Beauty Bar! Just comment below to be entered. Winner will be chosen on Sunday, December 8.

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