11:06 PM

WonderBus music festival to support Ohio State’s mental health programs

A new music festival will benefit The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

The inaugural WonderBus festival will be held Aug. 17-18 on the lawn at CAS. CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, formerly hosted Picnic with the Pops. The location is adjacent to campus and CAS is donating its lawn to support the festival.

The outdoor venue now will be home to a festival that includes Cincinnati-based Walk the Moon, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, X Ambassadors, Bishop Briggs and more than a dozen other acts this summer.

President Michael V. Drake and Gov. Mike DeWine helped unveil the lineup today with concert organizers.

“To be able to use this great space, to be able to bring music to the people and to bring music to the people with a purpose in mind, is something we appreciate very much,” Drake said.

The concert is organized by The Elevation Group, which created a similar festival in Cleveland called LaureLive. Columbus-based marketing company The Shipyard is also helping to produce the festival.

“I’m looking forward to a great celebration, a celebration with a real purpose,” DeWine said.

CAS and festival organizers have guaranteed dedication of a certain share of revenue to the medical center’s programs for fighting depression.

“One of the things that we are looking to do is develop a more comprehensive treatment program for people in crisis,” said Eileen Ryan, interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

Ryan said the support from the music festival also helps challenge the stigma that can sometimes be associated with mental illness.

“Depression and mood disorders are illnesses just like diabetes, asthma or chronic illnesses, but they are very treatable. They are as treatable as illnesses such as heart disease or pulmonary disease – we just need to get people in to be diagnosed and treated,” she said.

Details about lineups, tickets and parking can be found at https://www.wonderbusfest.com/