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Preview: Black Swamp Arts Festival

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This weekend the city of Bowling, Green, Ohio again plays host to the annual Black Swamp Arts Festival.

While the festival press release focuses on the visual arts, the real action happens on the main stage in the big parking lot behind the stores lining the east side of South Main St.

For the past twelve years the Black Swamp Festival has presented an astounding roster of regional and national acts, representing the broad musical genre called Americana: blues, R & B, and rootsy country and rock and roll.

This year’s line-up includes (but is certainly not limited to) the Austin Lounge Lizards, Sleepy LaBeef, Wanda Jackson, Girlyman, Bill Kirchen, and (my personal favorite) The Derailers.

The best part? The music is free. Seating is general admission, but the large crowd ( I was unable to get an official headcount from the Festival office) of mostly 25- to 50-year-olds is relaxed, friendly, and generally content to mill around the food stands or hang back in the beer garden behind the main seating section. Front row seats for any of the performances can be had by simply showing up a few minutes early. Those seats fill up once the bands start cooking.

The Black Swamp festival is an incredibly well organized event, and the atmosphere is laid-back and family friendly. But don’t let that family-friendly business scare you off. This is a party.

The festival begins at 5 p.m. tonight and runs through Sunday afternoon.

(Also available here.)

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