Big To-Do Festival returns to Bowling Green

Andrew Critchelow

Music fans, art enthusiasts and fun-lovers will soon congregate to Edgehill Farm in Bowling Green for the second annual Big To-Do Festival. 

David Downing, co-founder of the festival and president of Yellowberri productions, said the festival is a way to highlight Bowling Green’s culture. 

“We want to be able to showcase Bowling Green’s musical and artistic talents and to expose people to some artists that they may not have ever heard of,” Downing said. 

This all-ages festival will include 29 bands, art booths, on-site camping and much more. The festival will start on Thursday at noon and will wrap up on Sunday night. Weekend passes are available for $49 while Saturday-only passes are $30. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance on the Big To-Do website.  

Edgehill Farm has been the venue for past Bowling Green music festivals including the Newgrass Festival and Starry Nights, both of which are no longer under operation. Downing said the Big To-Do festival was founded to try to keep music festivals alive in Bowling Green. 

“We just wanted to bring something back to our area that people can be proud of, take part in and hopefully help grow,” Downing said. 

The lineup this year will offer a variety of musical genres and feature local acts such as The Cartoons, Mona and Government Cheese. Though most of the bands performing hail from the Bowling Green area, the festival has recruited acts from other areas; these include Genevieve from Chicago and Penguin Prison from New York City. 

Chris Rutledge, member of The Cartoons, said the Big To-Do is a celebration of Bowling Green’s music scene. 

“What’s great about the Big To-Do is that it’s like Bonnaroo if all your friends were in it,” Rutledge said. “It’s all the cool things about a festival you love, but you know everyone.” 

Downing also believes the Big To-Do festival is a great experience for WKU freshmen and newcomers to Bowling Green. 

“If you’re new to this area, this is a perfect opportunity to expose yourself to what makes our region great,” Downing said.

Matt Pfefferkorn, owner of Mellow Matt’s Music and More in Bowling Green, said the Big To-Do festival is a step in the right direction for the community. 

“Bowling Green needs a festival,” Pfefferkorn said. “It’s a town that’s rich with music and has proven that over the decades.” 

In addition to the music, the festival will also include booths for local artists to showcase their work, local food vendors and several new activities. Some of these activities include hot air balloon rides, a gigantic piñata and a 12-foot beach ball.

“We’re just trying to have fun,” Downing said. “We’re trying to give people a reason to come out and do something.”