Laurelive 2017

Review & Photos by Sophie Minello

Ohio might not be known for it’s draw to music, but with the festival hosted by Laurel school, Ohio’s music reputation might soon be changed.

This year was the music festival LaureLive’s 2nd year shaking the grass in Novelty, Ohio. Music With a Mission was recently established at Laruel school to empower students in the arts, but it’s doing much more than empowering just Laurel kids. Laurel and Music With a Mission have brought music lovers together in a small city, which is a very beautiful thing. Last year it featured big names like X Ambassadors, Andrew McMahon, and O.A.R. This year wasn’t much different, and bringing in names like Young the Giant and the Head and the Heart surely attracted attention.

I remember being so excited when this festival was announced it’s first year. Located on Butler Campus, it was only a short drive from my house (which was exciting in itself). LaureLive became the first festival I attended, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In such a small city it really had a homey feeling, you’re sure to spot some familiar faces when attending. I’d been to Butler Campus multiple times for camps and various sports events, but LaureLive shed a whole new light on the location. Whenever I pass the gates of the campus I’ll be reminded of all the warm memories Laurelive created there.

Last year I attended the festival on Saturday, but this time I went Sunday. On Sunday bands like Knox Hamilton and the Strumbellas played. I arrived around 1:30 to scope out the place before Magic Giant took the stage. There were so many local shop vendors and food trucks spread around the festival, it was hard to run out of things to explore. There were also almost two times as many people as the year before. I met people who lived as far away as Chicago and drove to Ohio only to attend the festival. But of course, the homey feeling and familiarity was still there, which I loved from the year before.

When Magic Giant began at the Music Elevates stage, they stole the crowd’s breath away. The crowd, hungry for a good energetic show in the first few hours of the festival surely got what they were hoping for. Magic Giant got the crowd moving and singing along throughout the show. Their energy was infectious, and when they hopped around the stage, the crowd followed. They also announced that for every purchase of their album, they’d plant a tree. This surely made me fall in love with them a little more.

I also got to see the bands Samfox and Knox Hamilton. My friend Julia and I watched South Stage happily as we waiting for nitrogen ice cream from a food truck. I really was living the dream.

Another thing I loved about LaureLive was the kindness. The security guards could strike up a light hearted conversation with fans as they waited, you could make a friend by turning to the person next to you while standing in line, and everyone you passed had a smile on their face. There was such joy encompassing everyone throughout the day.

Young the Giant, who I was personally most looking forward to seeing, came onto the Laurel stage around 7 o’clock. Of course, they did not disappoint. I found myself, as well as the people around me, smiling the whole time. They’re the kind of band that makes you forget your discomfort of being under the sun and on your feet the whole day. You’ll think, I have definitely not drank enough water today, but I’m still going to dance like crazy because they’re that good.

The crowd sang along loudly, and was very excited as frontman of Young the Giant suited up in his jeweled jacket and picked up a rose a fan had tossed near the stage. The crowd cheered loudly as they exited the stage, but dispersed quickly to all head over the the Music Elevates stage for the Head and the Heart. Sadly, the Head and the Heart started their set a smidge later than planned, and I had to leave about one song in. However, though the night was nearing it’s end, the crowd still swayed and hummed to the music. LaureLive year two was a success. 

Listen to our playlist of our Sunday favorites here.

Photos & Review by Sophie Minello.

Sunlight Magazine