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Inaugural psych fest will Melt away your winter blues

Kevin J. Elliott



Let’s face it. The large-scale music festival is synonymous with summer, or like Coachella or Primavera Sound in Spain, at least associated with warmer climes, little clothing, and sunshine. But a music festival in the dead center of winter? On a Sunday night no less? While it might not be an ideal situation, or a recipe for success, it’s something that Tim Peacock, the founder of the Nelsonville Music Festival, and Bob Miller, of Archie Fox

Live, hope to pull off this month with their inaugural Melted Music Festival—an all day celebration of psychedelic rock and art.

“For as long as Tim and I have been friends, which has been over ten years now, we’ve thrown around the idea of wanting to put together a psych fest,” says Miller. “We are both huge psych rock fans. The big fests that people think of first are Levitation in Austin and Desert Daze in California, and we saw a niche for something like that here in the Midwest.”

Choosing February was fortunately a decision that came with convenience. Headliner Ty Segall—perhaps the most prolific garage savants in the world right now—is someone who has never graced a Columbus stage before, someone Miller has been trying to book for years…and just happened to be available. The obvious choice then was to build a festival around this wealth of luck. When the duo started eventually spitballing other acts who would fit the Melted line-up, the stars aligned, quite literally, and the festival was born.

“For some bands and agents, it’s perception,” says Miller about the assumed flyover stigma of Columbus when bands map tours. “Our geography can help us, but it also hinders us. We do benefit from being within a couple hours drive from a lot of different markets, so a lot of people who like this type of music can make the trip.”

Illustration by Ryan Caskey.

In addition to Segall, who will be playing alongside White Fence for this appearance, Melted boasts sets from perennial Atlanta raga-punks the Black Lips, the pastoral folk-psych of Heron Oblivion, a rare American performance from Tokyo’s sprawlingly potent Kikagaku Moyo, and the beach buzz of Cherry Glazerr. The incredibly spastic Deerhoof from San Francisco should provide a highlight in the middle of the day, but if they’re not your forte, Melted will also include a record and poster show to provide a diversion. Cleveland’s Ma Holos and locals DANA, get things started early.


Given Peacock’s Nelsonville brand and Miller’s myriad past fests in Columbus—Sick Weekend, Helter Swelter, the annual Rock Potluck—Melted will certainly turn the confines of the Bluestone into something else entirely. It will be a full-day experience, another cultural notch, or just a fine example of how the city is becoming a more desirable place for bands to land. Miller’s taken that chance many times before.

“In a lot of ways, concert promotion and putting together a festival like this is a lot like legalized gambling,” says Miller jokingly. “You’ve got to make the math work, you’ve got to have the chutzpah. It’s difficult to articulate, but the bigger the risk, the better the reward.”

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an annual tradition. Why can’t we make the winter work for us? There seems nothing more Columbus than trying to make a festival a success in the bowels of our icy hell, especially if it involves a cool light show, tons of reverb, and an infinite amount of searingly wild guitar jams.

Melted takes place Sunday, February 24th, at the Bluestone. For tickets and more information visit

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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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