The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival Returns This Weekend August 1, 2017 15:46


Photos by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

While festival season may be slowing down a bit, one of our favorite annual weekend lies ahead at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. After finally making it up for The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival last year, we immediately knew that this would be a can't miss occasion moving forward. Host band The Werks put in countless hours preparing and planning for this weekend each year, and one can only imagine what's in store for this festival's eighth installment this weekend.

This year's lineup promises to satisfy cravings for a wide variety of genres, with many of the festival scene's hottest acts coming together for the weekend. Several elements of this year's Werk Out have us particularly excited, and that all starts with The Werks headlining the main stage on all three nights. This includes a special 'Werktronic' set on Friday night, which promises to bring a serious dance party and even a few special guests. There is absolutely no telling what these guys will do at Legend Valley, and this year should be no different.

Two of last year's Werk Out favorites, Dopapod and Twiddle, will both return this year for two nights each. While Dopapod has been a staple for several years, Twiddle made its debut just last year, and it's hard to imagine a Werk Out without them in the future. This year will also feature the second installment of Twerkapod: Tribute To The 90's, which will include a rotating cast from The Werks, Twiddle, and Dopapod. This set is scheduled for 2:15 AM on Saturday morning, and one can only imagine what these guys have planned for round two.

Watch highlights from Twerkapod here:

Fans of the jamtronic scene are in for a major treat this year, as Gramatik and Emancipator are both scheduled for late night sets, and The Floozies will be on the main stage before Friday night's 'Werktronic' set. Werk Out veterans Zoogma also returns for two nights, while Future Rock will be handling the final set of the weekend at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning. Friday night's SunSquabi set on the Side Stage also promises to be a wildly entertaining hour of music, while Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk will surely have funk-filled party planned for their set on Saturday.

One of our favorite elements of this festival is its focus on bringing in many of the hottest 'up-and-comers' from across the country. Between BIG Something, Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven, Spafford, and CBDB, its tough to decide who we're most excited about. The Electric Beethoven lineup features some serious players with Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green / Billy & The Kids), Todd Stoops (RAQ), Jay Lane (Ratdog/Primus), and Clay Welch. The entire concept of 'classical dance music' and this band's reinterpretations of Beethoven's symphonies is mind blowing. BIG Something, Spafford, and CBDB have each had huge years thus far, and they have certainly been in heavy rotation on our personal playlists. The weekend's sleeper set could easily come in the form of Funk You on Saturday afternoon. There is a reason that the Georgia-based funk outfit is crushing the southeast market.

While we already touched on the Twerkapod tribute set, there are several other tributes worth checking out this weekend. Last year's Broccoli Samurai set was one of our weekend highlights, and this year's Lotus tribute will surely be a hot topic. Additional tribute sets will come in the form of Oh Kee Pah: Tribute To Phish, Bulls On Parade: Tribute To Rage Against The Machine, Any Colour: Tribute To Pink Floyd, and Arrows of Neon: Tribute To The Grateful Dead.

While the lineup never disappoints and the operations of this festival are first class, the true magic lies within the sense of community. Those who have attended know exactly what we mean, and those heading to Ohio this weekend will feel it as soon as they arrive. The Werks have created, maintained, and grown one of the best parties in the midwest today, while always keeping the focus on the fan experience. The band members make a point to roam around, speak with fans, and enjoy the experience themselves. The sense of community that surrounds this band is the main ingredient in this festival's success, and we look forward to enjoying the ride for many years to come.

Watch The Werks perform "Carry Me Back Home" at The Werk Out 2016 here: