In 1972 a group of community activists got together to throw a "party with a purpose." Have you ever wondered who those folks were and what they were partying for? Perhaps you’re just wondering how a bunch of hippies manage to put together this huge event every year.
The history of the Community Festival is waiting to be written. In 2006, a group of brave volunteers dedicated themselves to the tasks of collecting, conserving, cataloguing, digitizing, and sharing ComFest’s audio, visual, and material culture. We have been digitizing old programs, photographing t-shirts, and interviewing organizers and festival attendees - past and present.
So, this is a call to all the pack rats and storytellers in our midst. Send us your ephemera, kind words, and good vibes.
We are currently educating ourselves and others about the origins of the festival. We know people will be interested to learn more about the radical folks who formed the Free Press, Tenant's Union, Health Clinic, Recycling Center, Crisis Hotline and other service organizations who sponsored the first festival as a form of publicity. 35+ years later, the mission and purpose of the festival and work in the community are still informed by that history.
Some of the questions guiding our oral history interviews include:
- How and why did you begin volunteering with ComFest?
- What’s your earliest memory of Community Festival?
- In your words, what’s the purpose of this party?
- How do you describe The Community Festival to people who’ve never been here?
- What does ComFest mean to Columbus?
- Talk about something special that happened to you or someone you know at ComFest.
- What’s something you miss from ComFest’s past that you would like to see revived?
- What will ComFest be like in 5 or 10 years?
- Who’s your favorite "ComFest personality," past or present?
- What’s your favorite thing to eat at ComFest?
- What does ComFest Magic mean to you?
The archive committee needs volunteers to help us digitize documents and photos, conduct interviews, and catalogue data. If you are interested in learning more about our work and getting involved, please contact Jodi Kushins.