Jam Out All Year Long at These Columbus Music Festivals

From talented local bands to superstar acts playing massive arenas, Columbus is home to a thriving music scene that encompasses soothing folk, hard-hitting punk rock and everything in between


There’s no better way to enjoy such a diverse group of artists than at one of Columbus’ music festivals—they’re held throughout the year, bringing together bands and artists of every genre. So whether you're moved by gentle acoustics or amps turned up to 11, these Columbus music festivals have you covered.

Breakaway Music Festival

The genre-spanning Breakaway Festival arrives every year in several cities across America, and Columbus has had the good fortune of being on that list for several years running. The festival hits town with an energetic and eclectic lineup of rock, pop and hip-hop artists at the Ohio Expo Center. Stages inside the Expo Center and in the surrounding open spaces create a unique two-day concert experience that's part indoor show and part outdoor festival.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

For three days in June, the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival brings the state's best blues and jazz music to the Columbus suburb of Gahanna. The festival encompasses five outdoor stages at the Creekside Park & Plaza in Gahanna's beautiful Creekside District, alongside the scenic shores of Big Walnut Creek. In addition to roughly 90 hours of live music stretching well into the night, this all-ages festival includes rides and crafts for kids, plus craft beer and bourbon-tasting for adults.

Independents' Day Festival

As its name suggests, Independents' Day Festival puts the spotlight squarely on independent artists, making it the best time of the year to discover your new favorite band. Dozens of nationally known indie acts take the stage along with top local and regional bands with a focus on high-energy rock and dance music. Independents' Day Festival stretches across two days in early fall in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. This outdoor festival also features comedy, dance, fashion and film shows.

Central Ohio Folk Festival

If you're a fan of traditional and acoustic music, the Central Ohio Folk Festival offers a chance to immerse yourself in the gentler side of Ohio's thriving music scene. This two-day festival brings dozens of folk artists to the beautiful natural surroundings of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, just 20 minutes from downtown Columbus, where you can spend the time between shows hiking, canoeing and bicycling. Folk music workshops are also a big part of the festival, giving you a chance to learn the ins and outs of singing, playing and songwriting directly from the artists.

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