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Sonic Temple Preview: “An entirely different beast” from Rock on the Range

Kevin J. Elliott



Since 2007, Mapfre Stadium has come to symbolize much more than being the home of the Columbus Crew. By most accounts, more people know the venue as a monument to rock. Especially the weekend warriors, who, tattooed and clutching tallboys, have descended upon Mapfre for Rock on the Range—which has faithfully adhered to a program of aggressive metal, emo-punk, alternative nostalgia, and Tool.

But this year will be different, and the organizers in charge want the world to know that the Sonic Temple is not a replacement for Rock on the Range. On the contrary, Sonic Temple is an entirely different beast, one that shines on even more summits in the “rock” world that wouldn’t fit into the previous format. 

Foo Fighters

“What I love about Sonic Temple is the unique diversity. From Andrew Dice Clay to Pussy Riot, from Foo Fighters to Lamb Of God, it’s truly the spectrum of all things rock-n-roll,” says Gary Spivack, executive vice president of Danny Wimmer Presents, the producers of both events. “There’s something that just happens when those Mapfre stadium doors fly open and the thousands upon thousands of true and real rock-n-roll diehards storm through the turnstiles—it’s like no other.”

In this new design Spivack and his crew seemed determined to be more inclusive, welcoming both the anti-P.C. comedy of Dice Clay and the revolutionary romp of Pussy Riot is destined to cast a wider net.


Beyond music, Sonic Temple touts “art” as a counter to the music, a spoken-word tent featuring the aforementioned radical politics of Pussy Riot and alternative nation’s angry prophet, Henry Rollins. Heralded international cult bands, like the Hives and Refused, old-timers still relevant, like Joan Jett and Mark Lanegan, and headliners including System of a Down, present a smorgasbord of options, not unlike the Lollapalooza spectacles of the ‘90s. 

While the aggro-tendencies of Disturbed and Papa Roach still get top billing, there’s a sense that the echoes of nu-metal are finally starting to fade in Sonic Temple’s overall curation. Sonic Temple’s drive for a full “rock” experience, in a time when the cultural zeitgeist is screaming “rock is dead,” is refreshing. 

Like Rock on the Range, Sonic Temple will still be a grind with little chill, no room or space or time for quiet, and that’s inherently what attracts the throngs. It’s a big-top that continues to sell-out, year after year.

Disturbed will perform at the inaugural Sonic Temple

“Mapfre Stadium truly gives this festival that iconic American stadium-rock feel, that feeling that so many of us got to experience growing up,” says Spivack of Sonic Temple’s niche. “You get the classic stadium rock experience that one gets inside the beautiful madness of Mapfre.”

Just as everybody’s got a skull, we’ve all got a preference as to what defines a good festival. Who knows? The Dark Star Jubilee in Legend Valley could be your thing? I’m game. Choose wisely. 

Sonic Temple debuts the weekend of May 17-19. Visit for tickets and more information.

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Things To Do

Brick by Brick: Lego popup bar is the ultimate nostalgia trip

614now Staff



With playsets encompassing everything from Harry Potter to Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Legos remain a go-to for kids of all ages. Now, the colorful little blocks are preparing for their greatest team-up of all—with booze, of course!

A new popup event called "The Brick Bar" is bringing the fun of Legos to a bar near you for an exclusive 2-day engagement this March.

Bringing over 1 million blocks to the party, the event organizers will transform The Kitchen at 231 E Livingston Ave. with unique lego sculptures, as well as an abundance of blocks for people to shape into their own creations. Prizes for the best builders, DJs, and a ping-pong table (built entirely from Lego bricks, of course) are also in the mix for your nostalgia-driven enjoyment.

For ticket information, dates, and more, visit The Brick Bar Eventbrite page or follow them on Facebook.

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Things To Do

Hit Your Peak: 3 worth-the-drive ski slopes near Columbus

Asa Herron



The cursed Ohio Winter Monster has made its presence known to all with its 5pm sunsets, snow storms, and seasonal depression for all. How are you going to fight back against the gloom this year? It may seem like it’s impossible to do fun things with your friends or to stay active in the winter, but I’m here to tell you that not all hope is lost. Finding a new hobby is a great way to kick your winter woes to the curb and start the new decade on a good foot.

Skiing can be a great way to casually exercise with friends and resuscitate your serotonin levels. Here are three high quality places to ski within driving distance of Columbus for you to check out.


Located in Zanesfield, Mad River Mountain is about an hour's drive northwest of Columbus. They have the most reasonable prices of all the nearby ski resorts. Plus, their on-property bar, The Loft, has 12 taps of craft beers on rotation to add a little more fun to the night. Mad River is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays, too, so you’re getting a full Friday night of flurries.

Mad River is home to over 20 trails (spanning 3.9 miles) and four terrain parks making it the largest ski resort in Ohio. They also bolster ten ski lifts (the most in Ohio) and are tied with Snowtrails for the largest vertical drop in the state with their 300 foot slope. An added perk of Mad River is that they just built a new $6.2 million facility in 2016 to replace the space they lost to a fire in 2015. Plus, most of their trails are designated “easy” difficulty. Mad River has everything you need to have a relaxing, affordable day of skiing.

Details on hours and pricing can be found at


Founded in 1961, Snowtrails is Ohio’s oldest ski resort. It is located in Mansfield, so also about an hour drive north. This resort is only slightly more expensive, with lift rates starting at $31 for midweek evenings and $52 for all-day on the weekends, with skis, boots, and pole rentals are $37. If there’s one day this month that you visit Snowtrails, let it be January 25 for their mid-season party. Get ready for an outdoor DJ, a custom built snowbar, and a fireworks show 30 minutes after the slopes close for the night. Not into skiing? No problem! The party is free and open to the public, so let your expert friends hit the slopes while you hit the spirits at the snow bar.

Snowtrails is the second largest resort in the state with six ski lifts and 3.3 miles of trails. The majority of their trails are designated “intermediate” difficulty, so more experienced skiers will enjoy their time here.

More information can be found at www.


Boston Mills & Brandywine is the farthest ski resort from Columbus on this list, but great for a full weekend away. This quaint resort is in Peninsula, OH is a two hour drive from Central Ohio. Their pricing is $40 after 3:30 p.m. and $45 for an all-day pass. Staying another night? Come back on Saturday for $5 Late Nights admission from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Boston Mill & Brandywine ski resort is known for being especially conducive to beginning skiers. They offer high quality lessons and will walk you through the process. This is the place to go if you have “stupid” questions about skiing, or just want to tube. However, they also appeal to veteran skiers as the majority of their 18 trails are designated “advanced”. Despite the high quantity of trails, this resort is much smaller than the other two, with only 1.2 miles of skiable trails, and their largest vertical drop being 264 feet. But for these prices? Could definitely be worth the trip.

Learn more about Boston Mills & Brandywine at

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Arts & Culture

Watch: “World’s largest mural” in Short North is more than meets the eye

Regina Fox



At a glance, "The Journey AR Mural" adorning the Graduate Columbus hotel in Short North is stunning. Look a little harder, and it actually comes to life.

Standing at over 107 feet tall and over 11,000 square feet of augmented reality, "The Journey AR Mural," is the world's largest AR mural, offering technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

The gaily-painted snapdragons, hibiscus, Easter lilies, and hummingbirds bloom and fly when viewed through the Journey AR Mural app (free for iPhone and Android). Watch the murals come to life in the video below.

Los Angeles-based artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes (going by “Yanoe” and “Zoueh," respectively) are the creatives behind the project.

In an interview with Short North Arts District, Skotnes revealed he was inspired to take on the project after learning that Columbus is home to the second largest population of Somali immigrants in the country—he hopes the murals symbolize strength and prosperity for its viewers.

To learn more about The Journey AR Mural, visit

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