Big names will draw big crowds to Ohio Stadium this weekend, when “Piano Man” Billy Joel and “Gold Dust Woman” Stevie Nicks bring their “Two Icons, One Night” tour to town. Early next week, the stadium will host another pair of musical megastars — Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe — whose “World Tour” stop in Columbus is sure to be a mind-melting mix of metal and moshing!
Cultural celebrations are also on the weekend agenda as the Dublin Irish Festival comes back for its 35th year and the Ohio Ghana Festival makes its debut. Additionally, local Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-owned vendors, entertainers, and workshops will promote the benefits of plant-based living at Plant the Power VegFest.
This is just a handful of the happenings available for your entertainment pleasure. Read on for more details. To receive these ideas in your inbox each week, sign up for the Life in the 614 newsletter.
Symphony’s Community Concerts are back
The Columbus Symphony, in conjunction with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, will present its free Community Concerts series on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The hourlong performances will take place at 7 p.m. Now in their third year, the concerts feature the entire orchestra presenting family-friendly fare from symphonic works to pop and movie hits familiar to everyone. The locations of the events will be: Thursday – Barack Community Center, 580 E. Woodrow Ave.; Friday – Westgate Community Center, 455 S. Westgate Ave.; Sunday – Driving Park Community Center, 1100 Rhoads Ave. (columbussymphony.com)
Acclaimed Dublin Irish Festival returns
The Dublin Irish Festival, named one of the 10 Best Cultural Festivals for 2023 by the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice poll, is returning for its 35th year of music, dancing, food, shopping, and more. Set on 38 acres at Coffman Park, 5600 Post Road, Dublin, the fest runs from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. One-day admission costs $25 online and $30 at the gate on festival day. Those 60 and older, as well as military and students with valid ID, pay $20 at the gate. Children 10 and younger are free. Weekend passes are available online only for $60 each. Tickets are non-refundable. Admission is free before 11 a.m. on Sunday with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the Dublin Food Pantry. (dublinirishfestival.org)
Naked Karate Girls to show off their chops
They’re fully clothed. They don’t specialize in martial arts. And they lean more toward the masculine side. They’re the Naked Karate Girls and they’re coming to Easton Town Center at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9. These merry-making men — a rotating crew of 12 performers, actually — are a professionally touring Vegas-style show band billing themselves as “The Greatest Party in the Galaxy,” a title they’ve legally trademarked. The Cincinnati-based group is known for their lively stage shows and diverse, ever-evolving repertoire that covers everything from Elvis, Elton, and Eminem to Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Megan Thee Stallion — with some country tunes thrown in for good measure! Their free performance, the final offering in Easton’s Sounds of Summer concert series, will be held on the Town Square, just south of Brio in the south district of Easton Town Center. (nakedkarategirls.com)
Annual convention to present impressive antiques
Lovers of all things vintage are invited to the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America’s 43rd annual convention this weekend at the Doubletree Worthington Hotel, 175 Hutchinson Ave. A free open house will take place 4-6 p.m. on Friday and 9-11 a.m. on Saturday (organizers recommend going Friday or early Saturday to get the best view of the items). Attendees can scope the Victorian hardware, ask about the history of their favorite knobs, and do some buying, selling and trading. (antiquedoorknobs.org/convention.html)
Performance and exhibition to center Black women
The Urban Arts Space, 50 W. Town St., Suite 130, will host “Thick Like Me … The Dawn of Body Liberation” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. The exhibition and performance will focus “on the intersection of fat Black women in dance … (and) reimagine what types of artists and what kinds of bodies are celebrated in fine art spaces,” according to the Urban Arts Space website. Each performance will be followed by an artist talkback. Additionally, there will be free interactive movement workshops on Saturday, including one for K-12 students from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and one for all ages from 4-5 p.m. (uas.osu.edu/events/thick-me)
City to host celebration of Ghanaian culture
Columbus residents will experience the rich culture of Ghana through music, food, art exhibits and more at the Ohio Ghana Festival on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. at Historic Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd. Ghana’s capital, Accra, is one of Columbus’ Sister Cities, and part of a program of cultural, intellectual and economic exchange. The festival also highlights the vibrant Ghanaian community in Columbus. Admission is free. Related festivities include: Akwaaba Night, featuring traditional Ghanaian music, dance, and more at Columbus Africentric Early College High School, 3223 Allegheny Ave. at 5:30 p.m. Thursday; and the Symposium/Taste of Ghana event, where attendees can learn about Ghanaian culture, trade, investment opportunities, heritage, food, and more at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Franklin University. Additional events are set for Sunday and Monday. (ohioghanafest.org)
Music legends to rock the Ohio Stadium
Two legendary recording artists and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will visit Columbus for an unforgettable show. Billy Joel and Steve Nicks are bringing their “Two Icons, One Night” tour to the Ohio Stadium, 411 Woody Hayes Drive, on Saturday at 7 p.m. Joel is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time and third best-selling solo artist, according to Live Nation. He is known for his hits such as ” Uptown Girl,” “Piano Man,” and “Just the Way You Are.” Nicks is known for being one of the members of rock/pop band Fleetwood Mac and for her own solo career. The singer has sold more than 140 million albums and is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Tickets for the Columbus show start at $101. (ticketmaster.com)
Columbus show to offer healthy helping of heavy metal
On Tuesday, heavy metal legends Def Leppard and Motley Crue will bring “The World Tour” to Ohio Stadium, 411 Woody Hayes Drive, at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Consisting of members Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Vivian Campbell and Rick Allen, Def Leppard has sold more than 110 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Mötley Crüe, consisting of members Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars, has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and has three Grammy nominations and five New York Times best-selling books. Ticket prices vary. (ticketmaster.com)
Vinyl party brings tunes to the beer garden
Dance the night away, old school-style, at the ReDO: Land-Grant Edition. The all-vinyl DJ showcase will take place in the beer garden at Land-Grant Brewing Company, 424 W. Town St., from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Enjoy craft beer, food trucks and classic tunes. Seating is first-come, first-served. (facebook.com/theredoohio)
Festival to promote wellness at Franklin Park Conservatory
Learn about the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle at the Plant the Power VegFest, which will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St. The plant-based food and wellness event features local Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-owned vendors, entertainers and workshops. The goal is to “expose, educate and empower folks on the holistic benefits of plant-based living for our personal health, nonhuman animals and our environment,” according to the event website. (plantthepower.com/vegfest)
Dispatch reporter Micah Walker contributed to this story.