Words by Lauren Spina
It was a magical and musical weekend in Thornville, OH as jam band powerhouse, The Werks, hosted their 4th Annual Werk Out Music & Arts Festival. Over the September 12-14th weekend, ears were gifted with sounds from The Werks, EOTO, GRiZ, Minnesota, Papadosio, Conspirator and many more. From afternoon bluegrass to 4am EDM, Werk Out Festival pleased festival goers with its powerful and diverse lineup. With so many talented artists in one lineup, here is a recap of our favorite sets from each day of the festival.
As day one of The Werk Out Festival came to an end for some, Christian Bauhofer (known by many as Minnesota) got the party started for many others. With his raw energy and bass to rattle your eardrums, this DJ/producer drew Werkers from the far depths of Legend Valley’s forest to the SimbaLove Productions Stage for some late night grooving. From his mixes of Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” to Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like it’s Hot”, Minnesota captivated new and old fans with his diverse change ups, spacey synthesizers, and futuristic sound. Festivalgoer’s can thank Minnesota for a nightcap of adrenaline to keep us partying until sunrise.
Any fan of The Werks would know that missing this particular festival would be a rather big mistake. People from all over the country come to this festival to see the funk, psychedelic, and rock induced band that never produce a dull moment during any set. The Werks engaged all of Legend Valley with a set that will go down in Werkers’ history. They immediately hypnotized attendee’s by performing their new upbeat song, “Drop” leading into an unforgettable and heartwarming rendition of “Golden Shore,” which was dedicated to a recently deceased friend. This heartwarming display of affection had all of Werk Out in tears. With fresh salt running down the faces of many, The Werks brought Johnny Neel of the Allman Brothers onstage along with Brad Jackson and Jaden Carlson. The group began to cover “Ramblin’ Man” by The Allman Brothers and immediately had the festival in a synchronized song and dance. As the set went on, fans looked on as each member of The Werks was replaced one by one going into the second half of their set. When the music started turning into a deep baby-making groove, the lights came on to reveal that the stage had now been taken over by Dopapod who had played earlier in the night. After jamming out for a couple songs and giving the audience a change of funk, The Werks gradually replaced Dopapod for the final leg of their performance. After three-hours of hypnotizing music, The Werks left everyone is attendance hyped and wanting more. It’s safe to say, with their constantly changing sound and powerfully played instruments, The Werks are a band unlike any other and their fast-growing fan base is all the proof you need to keep paying attention to their musical creations.
As the sunset on the final day of festival, the grounds were filled with an invigorating electronic sound. The dynamic duo of Michael Travis and Jason Hann who perform under the moniker EOTO, blew away all of Werk Out as they began their unforgettable performance. With a sound unlike anything the festival had seen all weekend, people were drawn to the stage like moths to a light. The pair’s fine-tuned incorporation of electronic music and live instruments makes EOTO one of the most technologically innovative bands in the country. It is so rare to listen to something that you would never believe is not pre-recorded. Throughout their set, they mixed “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, “Try Again” by Aaliyah, and “Bring the Noise” by Anthrax and Public Enemy; all with their own very unique electronic spin on it. The before mention string of songs along with many others made EOTO’s set the biggest dance party of the weekend. There wasn’t a still body in sight that night and fan’s were left buzzing so loudly post-show that it became clear that EOTO werked their way into our top three sets of The Werk Out Festival!