Ripplefest’ to produce waves in Northern Ohio

Chelsea Howard and Chelsea Howard

The first annual Fall Ripplefest is scheduled to take place in Bluffton, Ohio this Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, and is promised to provide two whole days of free flowing spirits and live jam band music.

Ripplefest, which originated as a summer festival hat has been thriving for two years now, generating crowds of 1500 and more, has a line up of amazing local roots rock bands such as the Shantee, The Recipe, The One-Eyed Show, Skeleton Crew, Ritchey Brothers Band and numerous other jam rockers.

Even Grasshopper Pie will perform, a band birthed in Bowling Green in 1995.

Also, building off of its sister summer program, Fall Ripplefest will feature the “Ripplefest Family Jam” which will include musicians from every group that performs on the stage, covering traditional jam songs, and then moving into a type two jam session including a total drum, vocal and instrumental jam ascending in that order. The crowd is also encouraged to “feel out the music,” as Ripplefest’s publicity manager Matt Ward states, who will also be participating in the jam.

But wait that’s not all! Besides 20+ hours of music and numerous food, merchandise, and spirits vendors, there will also be something very unique to this experience. It’s a camp in!

Tents of all shapes and sizes are welcome, as well as cars for an additional fee of $10 and RV’s will be admitted for an additional fee of $20. Ripplefest does warn however, that there are a limited amount of RV hookups, so arrive as early as you can with your party bus!

The idea for Ripplefest was that of Carol Huff’s, a very vibrant, free-spirited individual who was originally doing country music festivals, but then attended a jam band concert and fell in love with the vibe and atmosphere of the show.

Through many trials to kick off a fall show, including 2002’s “Freakin’ Fall Frenzy,” Fall Ripplefest will prove to have staying power and become a must play for the jam band culture of Ohio.

This show also is an emotional one, being dedicated to Randy Shoemaker who lost his life in a tragic motorcycle accident in August. Carol Huff says about his passing, “He’s ‘another good man gone’. I’ll never forget my big hippie friend who bought the first ticket to Camp Jam.”

Tickets are $38 at the gate, or just $25 if you just want to see the Saturday show. A full set list as well as band bios and driving directions (the camp is located behind Springfield Fireworks, exit 142 off of I-75) can be found on the Ripplefest website at

The mission of Fall Ripplefest is stated as being, “To provide a place where moods are light and beautiful music provides a soundtrack to a weekend escape from the harsh realities of everyday life.”

So grab your best tyed-dyed shirt and your favorite hemp necklace, and as quoted from the Grateful Dead song “Ripple” off of “American Beauty” from where Ripplefest gets its name, “Let there be songs to fill the air.”