To say The Werk Out holds a special place in my heart is a complete understatement. This festival means everything to me! Three years ago The Werk Out was the first festival I’ve ever attended. Little did I know at the time that this festival was going to completely change my life. This place introduced me to the wonderful world that is a music festival. The amazing artwork, fantastic music, beautiful flow artists, unique communities that form within the campgrounds, and all of the genuinely happy festival goers welcoming everyone with open arms. These are just a few of the things that have kept me coming back to this amazing festival year after year.
The Werk Out Music and Arts Festival takes place each year at the historic Legend Valley Concert Venue and Campground in Thornville, Ohio. Legend Valley hosts all types of festivals throughout the year including Resonance Music and Arts Festival and the newly announced Lost Lands Music Festival. This is the eighth year that the The Werks are hosting this wonderful event and each year it gets a little bigger and a little better. The festival grounds offer plenty of areas for people to set up camp in an open field or among the trees depending on what you prefer. The Werk Out takes place each year at the start of August so you can expect hot summer days making a place among the trees a hot commodity.
Various tents will also be spread out across the festival grounds providing areas for local artists to display their creations and for venders to sell some local merchandise. I love the festival grounds here because the different stages are spread out far enough so you don’t hear bands interfering with each other. However, they are close enough so you don’t have to hike a mile just to get to the next set. The Werk Out is also family friendly providing a camping area and various activities for kids. (under 18 must be with an adult, under 12 get in free) You also can’t forget about the delicious variety of food trucks and life saving morning smoothies available!
Typically a jam and funk heavy festival, The Werk Out has added a few EDM and bluegrass artists over the years to help give the festival some variety so everyone can find something they like. Past lineups have included headlining bands such as STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, GRiZ, EOTO, and so many more talented musicians. This year lineup brings back a lot of familiar faces and welcomes in a few new ones! Bands including Twiddle, Dopapod, The Floozies, Emancipator, among many more will be returning this year to help contribute to what’s sure to be an amazing weekend. Gramatik, Spafford, Sunsquabi, and Dumpstaphunk will be joining The Werk Out for their first time this year as well! During this weekend we will get to see three nights of The Werks, two nights of Twiddle and Dopapod, and electrifying late night sets from Gramatik and Emancipator.
One of my favorite things about The Werk Out is when The Werks collaborate with other bands to put on amazing sets. In 2014 The Werks teamed up with Papadosio, Dopapod, Zach Deputy and a few others to to put on one of the best covers of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon I’ve ever heard. Last year The Werks joined forces with members of Twiddle and Dopapod to form Twerkapod for a late night Tribute To The 90’s. This year Twerkapod will once again come together for A Tribute To The 90’s Vol. 2! This year there are also four bands added to the lineup playing tribute sets to Phish, Rage Against The Machine, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead.
The Werk Out 2016 Recap Video
(Twerkapod plays Bitter Sweet Symphony during A Tribute To The 90’s Vol.1 set)
The Band Behind The Magic
This wonderful festival would not exist without the band The Werks. Back in 2005 Dave Bartoletti, Rob Chafin, Chris Houser, and Chuck Love met at a local music contest in Dayton, Ohio and by 2007 The Werks were formed. The Werks incorporate rock, psychedelic, funk, and jamtronica into their music to put on a dance party unlike any other. The band has played at a ton of well known festivals including Summer Camp, Electric Forest, All Good, Camp Bisco, and many more. In 2010 The Werks decided to put on a festival of their own in their home state of Ohio and have continued to host it every year since! This year the band debuted two new festivals called The Winter Werk Out in Columbus, Ohio and The Werk Out West in Denver, Colorado.
The band’s discography has five albums including Synapse (2009), The Werks (2012), Mr. Smalls Session EP (2014), Inside A Dream (2015), their newest one called Magic that was released back in March and two live recordings from The Werk Out Music and Arts Festival (2010, 2016). Magic contains eight tracks that showcases the versatility of this band. From slow jams to fast dance jams, reggae to rock, this album touches all of your emotions. Since their formation The Werks have quickly became one of the top jam bands in the country and continue to get better. I have enjoyed watching this band transform over the past few years and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them! I’ll see you all this year at The Werk Out!