Spring weather brings about festival season, and May is coming in hot with some early bargains for big events, one new and one that is starting to become a staple. Even though June is the month typically reserved for festival scouting, it’s never too early to get a jump on enjoying the Ohio outdoors while listening to some of your favorite local bands. With some local album and EP releases and a loaded Columbus rock exhibition at the end of the month sprinkled in, May is already setting the bar high for the ensuing summer.
Below are six local concerts and festivals that you’ll be able to check out this May.
SoFest @ SoHud District
With a focus on highlighting local talent in a creative district of Columbus, SoFest is a first-year festival showcasing some premier around-town chops. The event will be taking up the SoHud (South of Hudson) area on Summit St. between Hudson St. and Tompkins St., transforming the area into a festival by day with some of the area businesses contributing to the fun. On top of checking out the local vendors, workshops and food, attendees can also get lost in performances at nearby Wild Goose Creative, which will feature acts including hip-hop artist OG VERN, high-energy blues-rock outfit Zoo Trippin’ and hardcore band En Love.
Time: 12 p.m. Date: Saturday, May 4 Address: 2491 Summit St. Admission: Free
Flyover Fest @ Various Locations
Coming back through Columbus for its third year, Flyover Fest is here again for another weekend of sprinkling music, literature and film festivities across town. Ace of Cups gets the music going on Thursday, but it’s not until Friday at the same venue that we get a taste of Columbus: the powerful soul and comforting blues of Souther. On the same night across the way at Spacebar, Rafting will be throwing down some synth-heavy production. The following day, locals didi and Tin Armor will step in to close out Flyover. With popular Midwest acts outside of the Columbus ones filling in from surrounding states, Flyover is truly a great snapshot of what the rising musicians in our area have to offer.
Time: Various Date: Wednesday, May 8 — Saturday, May 11 Address: Various Locations Admission: Various
BareFuzz EP Release Party @ Woodlands Tavern
Fusing rock and funk into a psychedelic mixture of wonderful twists and turns, BareFuzz are starting to make big noise outside of Columbus. Recently selected to play at the annual Summer Camp music festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, the group has already had a great 2019 as they plan for the release of a new EP. With live visuals to go along with the new tunes, BareFuzz are indeed stepping up their production. It will go quite nicely with the group’s extended jams. Freak Mythology will be on deck from Cincinnati to provide some psychedelic tunes of their own as well.
Time: 8 p.m. Date: Saturday, May 11 Address: 1200 W. 3rd Ave. Admission: $10
Cousin Simple @ The Basement
No matter the size of the stage, Cousin Simple is the type of band that treats every performance like they’re the headliner of a festival. They’ve been a hot, local, rising act for a couple of years now, and it seems like the time is coming for them to fully step into the spotlight. When their light-hearted rock anthems hit the stage, there might not be another band around town that gets down harder. Check out their latest track, the whimsical “Honeybee,” in the leadup to their CD102.5 show. The Dead Licks and Klashing Black will be providing out-of-town support for the show.
Time: Doors 7 p.m. Date: Saturday, May 18 Address: 391 Neil Ave. Admission: $10 adv. / $12 DOS
Courtney From Work: The Gang Drops an Album @ The Basement
Self-labeled as a "BBQ rock band," Courtney From Work has been grinding out an album for the past couple of years and are ready to show it off to the masses at The Basement. Coming off of a 2017 EP that blended grunge, punk and lo-fi rock-n-roll, you can find out firsthand where the group went with this upcoming project by joining Courtney From Work for more local PromoWest pleasure. Local indie rockers and no strangers to The Basement, Girl Fox, will be in tow to provide local support.
Time: Doors 7 p.m. Date: Saturday, May 25 Address: 391 Neil Ave. Admission: $10
Miller and The Hunks /The Turbos / Discount Nostalgia / Tango Moms @ Skully’s Music Diner
A loaded local concert to close out the month, all three of the Columbus acts have amassed a loyal following by heavily touring through the city and beyond. Miller and The Hunks’ tunes can range from alternative twists on classic rock to songs that feature songwriting on the pop spectrum of things. The Turbos have channeled their favorite high-energy local acts while slowly becoming one of them. And power pop act Tango Moms will be tagging along as well. If you want to pick one show out of May to support local music, this is the one.
Time: Doors 8 p.m. Date: Friday, May 31 Address: 1151 N. High St. Admission: $10