written by Tori Thomas
Hookahville Music Festival at a glance
Every spring and fall, Columbus, Ohio based jam band əkoostik hookah puts on their bi-annual festival Hookahville, headlining the event and bringing singers and songwriters together for a weekend of great music. In an effort to showcase Columbus’ thriving scene, most artists on the roster are local, helping this family oriented event feel a bit more like a reunion than a music festival.
Music genre: Jam band, folk
Camping: There’s tent/car camping, RV camping, and a VIP section, all in close proximity to the stage and vendors.
Crowd type: Deadheads / Family / Hippies
Water stations: No, make sure to bring water with you!
For the first-timers
If you are flying in to attend Hookahville, you’ll want to fly into Columbus Airport and reach Frontier Ranch by driving, taxi, Uber, or lyft. I highly recommend camping as local hotels are a bit of a drive from the festival grounds. As partially noted above, tents, cars, RVs, and teepees are welcome, but nothing can be set up under the trees since branches are weak. Take note that the earlier you get there, the better your camping spot.
Hookahville had one large and one small stage, both with a homey/back to the roots feel. There wasn’t anything spectacular about the stages in terms of décor, and artists didn’t overlap form main stage to side stage, so sound bleeding wasn’t a problem. The group I was with—who happened to be some of the first Hookahville attendees—camped pretty close by and were split between RV camping and tent camping, and fortunately for sleep’s sake, both areas were quiet.
I knew a few artists on the bill, but this festival is more like a family reunion. ekoostik hookah brought back old members of the band for sets with he band, and individual sets.
- An old high school classmate of mine, Jeff Klemm and the Letters, was playing a set, and I was stoked to take some photos and check out his set. I haven’t seem him perform in six years, so it was great seeing him continue that passion!
- əkoostik hookah’s three two-hour sets were the perfect for hippies/by hippies 25th anniversary celebration.
- One night, members of ekoostik hookah joined our camp fire and gave an acoustic performance, solidifying the family reunion feel.
Things to do
- morning yoga class
- kids lounge for kids to do arts & crafts
- photo booth for a little keepsake
VIP or nah
I would definitely spend the extra money to go VIP at Hookahville. For just $75 more, premium parking, a commemorative ticket, poster, t-shirt, and shower trailer make VIP worth it.
The coming together of different walks of life is what Hookahville is all about. When I attend festivals I like to observe the wide range of ages and stages of life (new college students, young families, retirees, etc.); it’s so interesting that a song can resonate so well with such a wide range of people.
Hookahville brings new and old friends together…I was lucky enough to camp with a wonderful group who’ve been coming since the beginning, and their ultra-welcoming group of friends keeps growing and growing, I had a blast being surrounded by so many wonderful people and can’t wait to reunite with them all at the next Hookahville!