Today Richard and I had lunch. He had the excellent idea to walk down to ComFest for our noontime meal. We hoofed it down to Goodale Park, strolled past the food and vendor tents, bought a Bahama Mama from Schmidt’s, and listened to the end of the set from The Shallow Side at the metal music tent as we downed our lunch. (For the record, they were pretty good, but we did not get to hear Bronson Bunny Deathwish, which was the evocatively named group that was to follow them at the OffRamp venue.) After snarfing down our brats we walked past some of the other music venues, listed to the end of the set from The Ageless, checked out the drum circle group, listened to a bit of a political diatribe, and then headed back to the office.
Such is ComFest. Although the event started in Columbus in 1972, and I’ve lived in Columbus for the vast majority of the intervening years, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never been to ComFest before. It’s a well known event in Columbus that combines music, alternative politics, arts and crafts, alternative lifestyles, and other counterculture elements in a rich stew that can be experienced today, tomorrow, and Sunday at Goodale Park. If you want a tie-dyed shirt, it is the place to visit — the selection is enormous. It is also the place to go if you want to listen to any kind of music, drink herbal tea, have your face painted, buy “tobacco supplies” that look suspiciously like bongs, eat an eggplant burger, support peace, and get a sense of the diversity to be found in Columbus, that curious oasis of tolerance in the bustling world of the Midwest.