A History of Ohio’s Most Disastrous Festivals

Ep. 12 “Ohio v. Festivals” LISTEN HERE

FyreFest, Altamont, Woodstock ’99, Astroworld are some of the biggest festival disasters in American history, today we’ll look at some of the most flawed festivals in Ohio history in our Season 7 Finale.

We start with BalloonFest ’86 a fatally flawed world record setting balloon release festival in Downtown Cleveland. We relive the ecological disaster and dangerous consequences of the City of Cleveland’s releasing of 1.5 million balloons in September 1986. We’re joined by Cleveland sports personality and Twitter legend Chris McNeill, better known as Reflog_18 on Twitter to discuss 1980s Cleveland and the ill-fated BalloonFest ’86. We’ll also talk about Chris McNeill’s leading role in the “Perfect Season Parade” to protest the Cleveland Browns winless 2017 NFL season. Follow Reflog_18 on Twitter and check out his Ohio-based weekly sports show, the BIGPLAY Reflog Show here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjqGMjGtAUKxlthtZ7hXt7Q

Next we revisit the economic disaster that was AmeriFlora ’92 in Columbus, Ohio. This horticultural exhibition was everything and nothing. Part theme park, part flower show, part mixed message branding nightmare. This $95 million boondoggle projected some 5+ million visitors but fell way short of those numbers. Tim Trad, the creator of onlyincbus, details the big swing and miss that was AmeriFlora ’92. Follow @onlyincbus on Instagram and check out Tim’s incredibly interesting content here http://www.onlyincbus.com

We go all the way back to the 1950s for one of the first failed music festivals in American history. We replay an interview from a previous episode with Jerry DePizzo of the famous Ohio rock band O.A.R. about 1952’s Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland. The rock n’ roll show hosted by the famous DJ Alan Freed, the man created with popularizing the phrase rock n’ roll music. We follow Alan Freed’s career and his disastrous event at the Cleveland Arena in March 1952, regarded by many as the first rock festival in the United States.

Lastly, we sit down with friend of the show Vince Tornero to discuss the wildly successful concert series the World Series of Rock in Cleveland during the 1970s. We hear clips from his great new podcast season for the Evergreen Podcast Network show PrOHfiles called The Wrath of the Buzzard. His show documents the meteoric rise and fall of 100.7 WMMS – the iconic Cleveland FM rock station that proved to be one of the most influential radio stations of all time. We also discuss the disasterous 1979 World Series of Rock that resulted in violence and even the breakup of the famous band Aerosmith following their headlining performance at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Check out The Wrath of the Buzzard here https://evergreenpodcasts.com/prohfiles

We’re proud to be part of the Evergreen Podcast Network. Go to http://www.evergreenpodcasts.com for our show and dozens of other great podcasts. Thanks for listening to Season 7, we’ll see you all again in 2023 for Season 8.

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