The Wanderer | Festivals You Might See Hippie Johnny At
by Dave Daly
Summer ain’t no bummer this August in Akron. We got festivals coming out the wazoo every weekend! I usually only wander down to Canal Park during the warm season for you my dear readers. However, this month I’m committed to hitting all the carnivals, fiestas and jubilees up, camping trips be damned! I may get a baseball game or two in still.
Here’s a look at where I’ll saunter and what I might do once I get there.
I love Earthquaker Day. The fact that we have one of the premier guitar pedal manufacturers, Earthquaker Devices, creating fantastic gadgets right downtown is phenomenal. Even more phenomenal is their love for the community and those that support them. Come see some killer bands, support local artists, coffee makers, breweries and more on Saturday August 4 from 11 am to 9 pm at their headquarters. Don’t forget after the party is the after party! Seriously, they have Glanzig, a Danzig cover band and Black Sabath, a, you guessed it, Black Sabbath cover band, slated to play at Lock 3. Mothersaaa, tell your children to get their asses down to Earthquaker Day.
Signal Tree Festival
Is it a conflict of interest that I’m going to hype the festival put on by this very magazine? Hopefully. Billed as “An All-About-Akron Extravaganza,” Signal Tree Festival takes place Saturday, August 11 and is not held at the Signal Tree in the Cascade Valley Metro Park. Rather, it takes place downtown spread throughout Lock’s 2, 3 and 4. Don’t know what a lock is or where they are? Just hop in the canal and you’ll figure it out.
This fest starts off with a welcome and yoga breakfast at 8:30 am and goes till midnight so be sure to go to bed early Friday night. I’m looking forward to watching people stuff their faces with pizza and jojos during the food eating contests, as well as performances by LuvAbstract and Ghost Slime.
Vegetables rule. Festivals do too. Cleveland has a tremendous vegetarian festival early in the summer and it’s no wonder Akron wouldn’t wants to get in on the action as well. This will be Akron VegFest’s inaugural season and community support will be pivotal in creating an annual event. Plan on getting your veg on Sunday, August 12 from 10-6p at Lock 4.
You’re probably a sucker if you haven’t heard of and/or attended PorchRokr in Highland Square. I say probably because I’m willing to entertain excuses. They’re going to be lame though. “I was out of town.” “My sister got married.” “I had a bad case of the cooties.” No worries though because once again Porchrokr returns bigger and better than ever. This year they’ll be back in the quadrant of Highland Square I witnessed my inaugural vestibule extravaganza. Since 2014, it’s grown impressively and become a gem of the summer festival circuit.
On Saturday, August 18 they’ll be over a 100 performances on a bunch of different porches. Of course, they’ll also be plenty of food, art and booze for sale throughout the day too. Highland Square watering holes will have plenty to offer as well during and after the fest. A little bird on the street told me The Matinee will be hosting a reunion show by one of Akron’s finest bands of the aughts, Houseguest. Chow up!
Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival
Three years deep now, the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival just gets better and better. I remember the craziest thunder and lightning storm during the inaugural fest. The tent above the main stage nearly blew away. Dudes had to jump and grab the thing before the wind took it. Last year the festival increased in size and scope with additional venues and performers. This year, from August 23-26, hear some of the finest jazz and blues music from local acts and more. Akron’s music history has deep blues and jazz roots and we are fortunate that folks like Theron Brown are able to make such an event happen.
Get out this month in Akron. There are many things to do week in and out. All events detailed above are FREE to attend! So there, now you have to go.
See you in the mix.
Dave Daly did not make it to the Gathering of the Juggalos festival this year and is grateful for the local celebrations that don’t involve Faygo or Insane Clown Posse.