A Recap of What?

Photo Credits: What? Music and Arts Festival

As I sit down to write this, I am overjoyed with a smile on my face. What happened this past weekend? What? Happened. A music and arts festival unlike anything Columbus had ever seen before.

Over 150 artists showcased their talent through live paintings, art galleries, performing arts, and interactive experiences. Two stages were full of bass, house, funk, techno, experimental, rock, and jam music all day and night long. Educational workshops and activities, various food and cultural vendors, and much more ignited a beautiful day full of curiosity and creativity!

The creative class was able to meet, network, connect, collaborate, brainstorm, and do what they do best—create.

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And with What? only being a second-year festival, attendees were shocked and inspired by the superior, vibrant, and unexpected results. What? even oversold tickets and capped out the venue, it was the fascinating event that the city did not want to miss.

What? started as a passion project for Columbus artists and their supportive networks who questioned WHAT they could create that would inspire collaboration, disrupt the ways other thinks about events, and ultimately create a positive impact on the community. From there, this grassroots festival was born.

I could go on to explain how amazing each DJ or band was, or how talented each artist who showcased their work is… by the way, they all KILLED IT. Yheti, kLL sMTH, Mersiv, Shooka, Tron Music, Daily Bread, Chris Karns, Danny Grooves, Yacht Club., Wreckno, Slave, Electric Orange Peel, Mungbean, Barefuzz, Rix and Gnash, Christian Bistany, JBRWN, Mich. Ave… all freaking KILLED IT!

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But that’s not what I want to talk about. We knew each and every person involved was going to exceed expectations and bring something unimaginable and incomparable, and that includes the outstanding and unique group of people that brought this community together in the first place… the What? team. And that’s where I want to direct this article to.

The What? Festival Team

I think we can all agree that we attend festivals because of the impeccable joy they bring. Being able to be immersed in the music you love, with the people you love, create memories that will last a lifetime, and feel as if you are a part of something bigger than yourself. That’s why music festivals are incomparable to anything else in the world. The extraordinary people you meet, the electrifying sets that you hear, and the amazing memories that you make is what keeps bringing attendees back for more and more—and that is the drive that made the What? team do what they did.

I have never met a more hardworking, kindhearted, genuine, and passionate group of people in my life. Not only do they profoundly care about the arts and their community, but they want to showcase it and engage the world in its brilliance and have worked their asses off to do so. They pushed each other to things they never thought they could, worked countless tiring hours to reach a goal, just to show the community how beautiful and important the arts and uniting people really is. And it showed.

Attendees everywhere commented on how positive and great the vibes of the whole day was—and I truly believe it was because of the incredible team that put it on.

There is so much color, vibrancy, flavor, energy, and enthusiasm in Columbus, and it truly was shown through this event—both through the production team and attendees. Columbus is a growing city for the arts, and this event showed evidence of that very fact.

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No promotion company or higher corporation put this event together, but a group of people that care and love what they do, and truly want the community that they live in to thrive. All the proceeds went to continuing the festival, the artists, or the community partners and nonprofits involved. Those who attended and played at the festival, you were truly a part of something bigger than yourselves. You were a part of something that bringing so many different positive impacts to the Columbus community.

There is a reason I wake up every day, and it is to continue to meet passionate people, be inspired by their goals, bring others joy, give back to those in need, and appreciate the astonishing talents of others. Music brings the community together and the community was brought together, indeed, and the talents of some community members were showcased while doing so. Everything that makes me want to wake up every day, I saw in the drive, assembly, and effects of What? Festival.

The Future

I am so excited to see WHAT is to come for the future of What? and WHAT is to the come for the future of grassroots festivals. Different festivals pop up every day, and I am so appreciative that this was the one I was able to see from start to finish. Now, for round three, and more positive impacts to come.

I truly think that is the best thing about music festivals. Whether it can make your day better, brighter, or happier, and do the same thing for others and the community in which they take place. The positive impact is incomparable, and it is so great to see others feel the same way and do the things to make it happen.

WHAT can you do, make, or say, to allow someone have a beautiful day, WHAT can you create that will have a positive impact on others or your community, and WHAT can you do that will create memories that will last a lifetime. WHATever it is, do it.

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