Sat 4/1 @10AM-10PM
Few musicians in northeast Ohio spread as many good vibes as Akron’s Zach Friedhof, known for his commitment to peace, love and sustainability in addition to the music he’s been making for almost 20 years since he was in his teens. And most of that music on the pile of albums he’s produced is dedicated to making the world a better place.
He’s also known as an organizer and catalyst, and one of his vehicles is the Big Love festival, now in its 4th year. The all-day/all-evening event is described as “a transformational placemaking festival for & by the people of Akron, aimed at highlighting artists, healing practitioners, organizations, musicians and small businesses, all while fostering leadership & authentic collaboration as we seek to build agape & compassion.”
This year’s theme is Bounce Beyond. It will explore how to heal Rust Belt cities in the post-industrial era and build economic, social and environmental sustainability. There will be music including jazz, reggae, rock & roll, soul, singer/songwriters and Nepali folk music (Zach and his band the Bright Lights, which he describes as “uplifting soulful joy” play at 8:15), art installations, discussions, meditation, reiki, Thai massages, and workshops in subjects ranging from healing via crystal singing bowls to mindfulness to permaculture farming and canning and preserving food. There are also crafts and food vendors, and hands-on activities for kids.
It takes place at the Well near downtown Akron. Suggested donation is $5 (more if you’re feeling generous and in a position to give more), but no one will be turned away. And in the interest of being more environmentally friendly, the festival has a deal with Metro RTA to provide free rides to the festival from 8am-11pm if you show them a photo of the event flyer on your phone. It’s also encouraging you to bike.