We were excited to cover the INKcarceration Festival in Mansfield, OH, but we had no idea that it would turn out to be the best festival experience that we have experienced.
I am not the biggest fan of festivals, so I sometimes find myself looking at the negatives. I fell into that trap about 8 PM on Saturday, but in all honesty, I really didn’t have anything to bitch about outside of the heat. Now you’re probably saying to yourself, this guy is just kissing ass. I will tell you 100% that is completely inaccurate. I am just like you. I am a fan first, a journalist second. I have my preferences just like you do. I’ve experienced many festivals over the years, but none hold a candle to the INKcarceration Festival. Why? I’m glad you asked. Here are 10 reasons why you should go.
1. The police presence is strong, so there were very few rowdy folks. That makes it a kid-friendly fest as well. I even saw a K-9 unit, which is pretty cool since I’m subjected to drug tests at my job. This way, we can all have a good time together.
2. The food trucks were all reasonably priced and from what we were told by many, quite tasty. I had food from the Pizza Cottage truck on both days we were there.
3. The drinks were a tad pricey, but that’s expected due to the logistics and manpower needed to provide them. Also, if you didn’t mind drinking an energy drink, Rockstar Energy was giving products away for free.
4. Did I mention that Rockstar was giving away free products?
5. The stage setup should be the blueprint for every festival from now till the end of time. Larger festivals overlap artists. The stages are usually a large distance from each other, so fans have to pick and choose who they see. Not at INKcarceration. The stages are setup in a L-shape with a large lawn area and the VIP tent sitting right in the middle of it all. The artists never overlap and you truly get your money’s worth.
6. Did I mention that you can actually see every artist you pay for? Yeah, that’s a damn big deal for folks on a budget, like myself.
7. The lineup was great. From top to bottom, both days we were there were filled with quality acts. Obviously, I had my favorites, but no one made cringe. That’s a win. The Sunday lineup was absolutely amazing.
8. The setting was the coolest you will ever experience. Seriously. An island setting for Jimmy Buffett would be perfect too, but we’re talking about rock and metal. What is more rock and metal than a damn prison? Nothing. Exactly. Thank you.
9. History. The Ohio State Reformatory or “Shawshank Prison” ad it’s often called is stunningly beautiful. Stephen King’s “Shawshank Redemption” used the prison as their filming location sure, but there is so much more to this place than that. It truly is a must-see.
10. The staff. Security were all incredibly kind. From the Officers directing traffic to the many that I thanked personally, everyone were so kind. The volunteers at the Prison were very helpful and knowledgeable. Adrenaline PR, who handles publicity for INKcarceration, were on-site and always available for whatever questions we had.
I wanna wrap this up by asking you a question. Do you think I’d write an entirely separate article from my coverage, just to lie to you? I didn’t. Make the trip. Dress lightly. Thank us later.