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Wonderbus Music & Arts Festival // Live @ The Lawn at CAS // 8.26-28.22

Article & photos by: Linda Carlson

Columbus, OH – August is a reliably hot month in Ohio, and the weekend of Wonderbus 2022 was no exception.  This three-day celebration of music saw not a drop of rain, and nearly no clouds in the sky.  It made for brightness and light, and heat!

Set amidst the sprawling Ohio State University campus, the festival grounds featured three stages: one quaint stage (the RADD stage) and two large stages (Elevation Music and White Claw).  The line-ups were arranged to allow attendees to move from one stage to the next to enjoy the offerings without missing performances, or having shows interfere with one another.

The festival included a variety of local, regional, national and international (Duran Duran, Lorde, The Blue Stones and James Bay) musicians.  A significant number pulled from Ohio (The Orphan The Poet, The Vindys, Detention, Cousin Simple, Jack Harris, 90’s Kids, Cautious Clay, .Wavrunner), Nashville (Coin, Colony House, Phangs, Tayls), New York/Brooklyn (The Knocks, Daisy The Great, Chloe Lilac, Rebounder, Noah Chenfeld, Max) and California (Local Natives, Cannons, Almost Monday, Morgxn).

Friday evening hosted terrific performances from Cannons, Daisy The Great, and Tayls, while Duran Duran closed the night to a raging enthusiastic crowd spanning all ages.  This 1980s band has cultivated a vast fan base of both young and… you know, the folks from the 80s!  The lawn was packed, and fans were unbelievably pumped.  No one was disappointed as the band played hit after hit after hit.  The band paid a touching tribute to the people of Ukraine, dedicating “Ordinary World” to their struggle.  The band closed their encore with “Rio,” to everyone’s applause.

Duran Duran

Saturday and Sunday each brought 15 bands to the stages.  There were vivacious performances on Saturday from bands like Coin, Max, Cousin Simple, 90’s Kids, Hembree, Almost Monday and .Wavrunner, as well as more contemplative and introspective performances by Cautious Clay, The Blue Stones and Chloe Lilac.  Electronic dance music was brought by The Knocks.  As well, performances by Daisy The Great, Day TVVO and Argonaut & Wasp.  Lorde closed Saturday.

The Blue Stones
Cousin Simple

Sunday started with a terrific set from Jack Harris, an unassuming, talented young singer-songwriter from Cleveland.  The Vindys were a hit, with lead singer Jackie Popovec giving a performance with a steamy prohibition-era speakeasy soulful vibe, but with an edgy, modern kick.

The Vindys

Columbus’ own The Orphan The Poet gave the local crowd a rousing performance, entering the crowd, relentlessly jumping and spinning in the blazing sun.

The Orphan The Poet

Colony House, taking the slot for Megan Myers, gave a terrific dose of genuine rock ‘n roll, and Detention just completely rocked the small stage with punk rock fervor.


James Bay was especially delightful.  Hailing from England, he made the comment that he could be identified as such because his skin lacked exposure to sunshine.  This young singer-songwriter has an amazing voice and his songs resonated with the crowd.

James Bay

Other Sunday performances were also well-received, including Local Natives, Mills, Beach Bunny, Morgxn, Rebounder, Noah Chenfeld, Little Image and Phangs.

Local Natives

The Lumineers closed the festival with a performance that was spectacular on so many levels.  The staging included a catwalk of sorts that brought performers into the audience, with a drumkit that emerged from below.  Lighting was amazing, as well.  And the performance itself was electric.  Whether performing quiet, reflective songs or rousing stomp-your-feet-and-dance numbers, the staging, vocals, musicianship and overall engagement by each band member, were flawless.  Heartwarming storytelling, heart-stopping music… what a way to end the festival!


Wonderbus 2022 will go down in the books as a rousing success!  Can’t wait for Wonderbus 2023.

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.