The Columbus Arts Festival is the kick-off event for summer festivals in central Ohio. Over the course of three days, the downtown riverfront is transformed into an outdoor art gallery, concert venue and family activity center. Let’s take a look at what’s coming for the 2019 Columbus Arts Festival, June 7-9!
More Than 260 Artists
The primary focus of the Arts Festival is the more than 260 artists that come from across Ohio and around the country to exhibit their work. Festival goers will discover everything from painting and sculpture, to glass and metalwork, to mixed media and wood – in a great variety of styles and price points.
Plenty of Live Music
This year, the Arts Festival features five entertainment stages spread throughout the grounds:
- The Dance & Theater Stage in the Genoa Park Amphitheatre, featuring more than 30 local theater, dance and comedy troupes
- The ABC6 Bicentennial Park Stage, featuring BalletMet and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as Nashville star Anderson East and other acts
- The Ohio Magazine Word Is Art stage focusing on poets, writers and storytellers
- The Acoustic Lounge in the Cultural Arts Center courtyard, a quiet spot for acoustic singer-songwriters
- The new Big Local Music Stage on West Rich Street by the Franklinton entrance, showcasing Columbus bands
Local Arts at the Forefront
The Big Local Music Stage is part of the revamped Big Local Art Village, which transformed from a tent into a village and moved from the front of COSI to West Rich Street. In addition to live music, more than 60 local artists will sell and demonstrate their work. Stop and enjoy the music, score a drink at the Big Local Beer Garden and take in demos in blacksmithing, Japanese calligraphy, woodturning, clay-throwing and more.
Family Activities Galore
The Arts Festival is a full family adventure! On top of the beautiful artwork and live music, kids will love the Hands-On Activities Village on Dorrian Green next to COSI. More than a dozen local arts organizations will teach kids everything from recording music to building rockets to making puppets and sun-catchers. Nearby is the Children’s Gallery, where only kids 12 and younger are admitted! The participating Festival artists each contribute a piece of artwork, all priced at $5 and under.
Your Favorite Foods
Local and national food vendors are gathered conveniently on both sides of the river, close to live music stages, beverage tents, kid’s activities and shaded seating. Stroll through the collection of food trucks and stalls to enjoy everything from barbecue to pizza, noodles to fried chicken, fresh lemonade to cold ice cream.
Surprises Along the Way
And there’s so much more! Explore virtual reality worlds and animation at the VR Tent in the plaza outside COSI’s east entrance. Get your picture taken with the roaming Art Shark mascot or in the giant frame on the west side of the river. Ride your bike and park it at the Pelotonia bike corral. Use the new festival app to go on a scavenger hunt to win prizes! You'll never run out of things to discover at this event.
The Columbus Arts Festival takes place June 7-9 on the downtown riverfront. For complete stages schedules, a listing of artists, food vendors, transportation info and more, visit columbusartsfestival.org.