Black Swamp Arts Festival

Arts festival seeking poster designer

From BLACK SWAMP ARTS FESTIVAL The Black Swamp Arts Festival has great posters. Every year, the poster receives media hype and community admiration. This year, the Festival is opening the opportunity to create the poster to all interested artists. The festival is asking for artists to submit a sketch or mock-up by April 29 to: for consideration. For full details, please visit the Black Swamp Arts Festival Facebook page. Timeline: April 5: open call of concept April 29: submission deadline for mock-up April 30- May 3 : Selection process June 15: final Poster Design delivered The Black Swamp Arts Festival is a three-day, free live music and arts festival committed to providing quality art and music experiences. Held in downtown Bowling Green, Ohio the first full weekend after Labor Day, there are three stages of music, two art shows, Youth Arts, Artists at Work, Chalk Walk, and more.

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Music washes away concerns about weather on opening night of Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On Friday night the music came through at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. For organizers, the day had been tense one as a forecast for severe weather with high winds and a series thunderstorms threatened to wipe out Sunday’s show. It was a day of consultations with emergency management officials, public works and public safety officials, city administrators, and the musicians, artists and vendors who make the show possible. In the end the committee salvaged what it could by moving most musical acts indoors.  The art show and youth activities for Sunday had to be canceled… and the logistics of helping more than 200 artists pack up and leave on Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon had to be confronted.  All this while volunteers hustled to get the stages up and vendors in place for a 5 p.m. opening.  Then festival opener Drew Joseph took the stage. Shortly before during a final soundcheck, he sang “tonight’s the night.” Rain was in the air, but as the night proceeded, that proved prescient. Tonight was the night that despite lingering light showers, the music washed that all away. Band after band pumped the air full of energy. Rock at first with Joseph, and then exuberant rockabilly with Two Tons of Steel. Then high powered, psychedelic bluegrass with Billy Strings hit with relentless virtuosity that tore at the seams of the genre. The show ended with the shimmering funk grooves of Pimps of Joytime.  And festival goers were in the swing as well. They  danced to the music, munched on the varied delectables from vendors, sipping beer, undeterred by the few rain drops that were falling. Bill Donnelly, who chairs the all-volunteer board that stages the event, was pleased with the energy the music brought. “The crowd was as big as any Friday night we’ve had,” he said early Saturday morning while artists were setting up for today’s art show. Organizers, he said, will have to keep an eye on the weather, but plans are for all events to go on as scheduled. Sunday will be a different story. The forecast from Brad Gilbert, the county EMA director, are dismal with storms that are threatening. The decision to close out all outdoor activities on Sunday and move music into inside was made out of concern for artists, visitors, and volunteers. That forecast, he said Friday, was consistent…

Festival cancels Sunday art show, youth arts, moves music inside

The organizers of the Black Swamp Arts Festival have announced that because of a forecast for severe weather on Sunday, that day’s art show and Youth Arts activities will be canceled. After 6 p.m. on Saturday, artists will pack up and clear he street. Main Street will be open on Sunday. The music acts, including headliner Samantha Fish, will be moved indoors. The Main Stage acts will perform at Howard’s Club H, while acts from the other stages will perform at Grounds for Thought and the Stone’s Throw. The festival will go on as scheduled Friday and Saturday with the full range of activities. Te Community Stage, however, will move indoors to the Four Corners Center. In a statement issued today (Friday, Sept. 7), festival chairman William Donnelly stated: “Threat of severe weather has led us to determine for the safety of the artists, we will cancel the art show and Youth Arts after Saturday. Music and Art as scheduled on Saturday. Sunday’s music has been moved to indoor venues. Thank you to the Brad Gilbert of the Emergency Management Agency for the detailed reports. Thank you to the City of Bowling Green for their rapid response and dedication to public service and safety.” The decision was made in consultation with Bowling Green City administration, public works, and public safety officials. Friday: 5 – 11:30 pm Music and concessions Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Art, Youth Arts, Music, Chalk Walk, and Artists at Work Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:30 pm Live Music Sunday: Live music at indoor venues. Please note: The Community Stage has been moved inside the Four Corners all day Saturday. Volunteers who have signed up for Sunday shifts are encouraged to check in with the festival about picking up shifts on Saturday. This marks the first time in the festival’s 26-year history that the art show has been cancelled. This has been a difficult decision for the festival committee. The safety of festival patrons, participants and artists is paramount to the Black Swamp Arts Festival. The decision was made in consultation with Bowling Green city administration, public works and safety officials.     Please follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and the local news media for further updates. For more information, please visit

Sunday’s forecast has Black Swamp Festival organizers considering options

The Black Swamp Arts Festival committee has issued the following statement. Black Swamp Arts Festival and inclement weather Given the current forecast for major storms on Sunday, the Black Swamp Arts Festival Committee is considering its options with the hope of maintaining as many activities as possible while making sure our artists, vendors, and visitors are safe. A decision about changes to Sunday activities will be made later this afternoon (Sept. 7, 2018). Rest assured the festival will present a full bill of music and concessions tonight (Friday, Sept. 7) starting at 5 p.m. and continuing until 11:30 p.m. continuing with the full schedule of events including art show, youth activities, and music on Saturday. Please follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and the local news media for further updates.   The safety of festival patrons is paramount to the Black Swamp Arts Festival. For more information, please visit

Tree No Leaves has plenty to celebrate with multiple shows at Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Tree No Leaves has lots to celebrate at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, and the Bowling Green band will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the planting of the seed that’s sprouted into a band that’s a staple of the local music scene. Saturday at noon on the Main Stage they’ll unveil a new session “Prophet Holographic,” a vinyl record issued by the Grounds for Thought Records. “It’s really a milestone for us,” said Dustin Galish, the band’s founder. “Just seeing our name on the same poster as those other (festival) artists is an honor.” The spotlight gig comes at a time when Tree No Leaves is now looking to extend its reach beyond the Black Swamp into some of the nation’s musical hot beds Brooklyn, Detroit, New Orleans, and Austin, Texas. He describes the band’s style as hard psychedelic soul. “That’s an undercurrent of what I brought to it, the soul element,” he said. For him psychedelic involves the “dissolving of genres.” That sound has evolved in the band’s decade of existence. The seed was planted in early 2008 with sound experiments conducted by Galish and his then girlfriend and now wife Sarah Smith. She is a trained musician, who sings, writes, and plays keyboards and performed as Aquatic Fox. For his part, Galish was a self-taught. He grew up in a home without instruments in the house. A baseball player in high school, he came to Bowling Green State University to study graphic design in the Visual Communications Technology program. He always loved music, and collaborating with musicians as a graphic designer. So he tried his hand on keyboards and guitar. Those early experiments led to live gigs with shifting personnel, including Smith. Those first few years the music was an expansion on the abstract explorations, moody pieces in minor keys. But in the last five years the style has evolved. “The last four records have some pop sensibilities,” he said. The songs have shifted into verse and chorus structures, though there’s still elements of improvisation. “There’s a lot more funk, soul and dance. It’s more upbeat,” Galish said of the band’s brighter sound. Before the shows were “more intense.” “You almost had to take a break after you heard us.” Now he said :“It’s a more positive experience. It’s a dance party. And it’s…

Local favorite Tim Tegge stepping up to the Main Stage at Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When singer-songwriter Tim Tegge first played the Black Swamp Arts Festival 10 years ago, he was so nervous that the day before he went to check out the stage. He looked at the atrium at the former Huntington Bank (now the Four Corners Center) and noticed how the pillars went up and formed two Ts, as in his initials. That was a good omen. That show, he said recently, was the first time he’d played an hour-long set. Before then he’d just played a few songs at a time at open mic sessions. He’s been back to perform at the festival since then. This year will mark another first. Tim Tegge and the Black Swamp Boys will perform on the Main Stage Sunday at 11 a.m. “I still can’t believe I’m on the Main Stage.” Tegge’s been writing songs in earnest for 15 years now, though his first one, “Fishing Hole,” was written 25 years ago. After that initial effort, marriage to his wife, Jayne, and parenthood, and the usual ebb and flow of life intervened.  It was the death his friend Lloyd Shelton that helped steer him back to songwriting. In preparing Shelton’s eulogy, he realized it’d been a long time since he’d played his guitar. There was a song he was meaning to write, so he picked up the instrument again. “It’s just like the dam broke open,” he said. He now felt like he wasn’t imitating his heroes such as John Denver and James Taylor. “Something came alive.” For the last 15 years he’s been dedicated to writing songs.  Now playing a three-hour gig at a winery doesn’t faze him, not with 130 songs in his book. Those songs touch on familiar, every day concerns, of a 50-something guy. “Why Can’t We Go Back?” is a comic lament about the gentrification of the simple cup of coffee. The song has been turned into a video produced by Jack O’Hare featuring a cast of characters as former tough guys who now drink sugary lattes.  He’s also penned a tribute to the mothers and other women who end up spending “Christmas in the Kitchen.”  He also penned “Showdown in Pull Town” for the Natoal Tractor Pulling Championships. He draws from life, jotting down phrases he hears, remembering stories he’s been told. When he started writing, his music was drawn from his own life….

Friends, old & new, grace Black Swamp fest’s Main Stage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Birds of Chicago feel at home It’s always nice to come home. That’s the way JT Nero feels about the Birds of Chicago’s return to the Black Swamp Arts Festival. Nero, who grew up in Toledo, was certainly at home during last year’s show. The Birds even played a set on the Family Stage, just a few feet from Howard’s Club H. Some of his first live shows as a musician were at Howard’s. And it was fun to share it with his wife and musical collaborator Allison Russell. “She had a blast.” He was quick to credit the festival volunteer personnel for their hospitality. “They take care of you.” The Birds of Chicago are back to play a primetime Main Stage set at 6:15 p.m., Saturday, followed by a late night set at Stone’s Throw. Since last year the Americana quintet has released both an EP, “American Flowers,” and a full-length album “Love in Wartime.” The EP, Nero said, was inspired from growing up in Toledo. The Islamic Center of Toledo serves as a central image in the title track. “That image is as American as it gets for me,” Nero said. The album strives to better reflect the Birds of Chicago live show. “We wanted to make a little bit more of a rock ‘n’ roll album. … With all the malaise hanging over the country, we wanted to make something that felt like a joyous document of life on earth. For me a rock ‘n’ roll album is the best way to do that.” The band will be selling that album in both CD and vinyl. That’s still part of the business model, though, as streaming takes a toll on sales of physical recordings. “I’m OK streaming as long as people go out and support the band, buying tickets to the show, buying t-shirts. Find a way to support the music.” Nero added: “We have to keep fighting the good fight and taking care that streaming services are more responsible in what they’re paying.” Still the Birds of Chicago are essentially a live act. Performing at festivals has a particular allure, especially if they get to settle in for a couple days. “Music festivals are where we plug in and see where our peers are at and see as much music as we can.” The Black Swamp Arts Festival certainly…