The weekend of August 9-10 marked the second year of the Bellwether Music Festival at the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival. With the second year of the festival came several changes to add to the overall experience of attendees. First off to the changes was the location of the stages. Unlike the previous year where the stages were set up in a large field, the festival's three stages were located inside the grounds of the renaissance festival immersing attendees in an atmosphere unique to music festivals. Also new to Bellwether this year was the expansion of the Thursday night pre-festival party which featured musical performances by Blues Power, AJ & The Woods, and Maria Carrelli. These changes, along with a star-studded lineup, set up Bellwether for an excellent second year.
Being just the second year of the festival, Bellwether is a much smaller festival compared to many others. Due to its size, Bellwether brings a very exciting mix of talent to the stage. Big enough to attract great headliners but small enough that up and coming acts round out the lineup, Bellwether gave many musicians an exciting opportunity. This year up and coming acts such as Souther, Multimagic, Fern Murphy, and more were able to show the crowd what they are all about. Although the crowd may have come for the headliners part of the beauty of Bellwether is that all that attended had the chance to discover new music.
Apart from the up and coming acts Bellwether also included an impressive lineup of top tier acts. Although the official headliners were Cake and Beach House, every act that played the sunset stage played with headliner quality. From the quirky performance of Caroline Rose to the wild crowd surfing of STRFKR, the sunset stage had it all. As an added treat for fans of Dayton music, the sunset stage also featured a performance by the Dayton legend Guided By Voices.
In the festival's second year Bellwether brought attendees a weekend well worth remembering. From the smaller acts to the headliners, every act brought something exciting to the mix. Couple the excellent lineup with the new additions, year 2 was a step in the right direction for the festival. With a date for next year already set it only leaves one to wonder what’s next?