Dayton has long been recognized as a hotbed of creativity. That point is abundantly clear each spring when Dayton Circus Creative Collective presents its annual Sideshow.
The all-volunteer, donation-driven community art show and music festival, returning to the Yellow Cab Building in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, is a showcase of the region’s imaginatively eclectic side.
This year’s event, Sideshow 9, features diverse contributions from more than 40 local artists and live entertainment from more than 40 bands and performers. Visual art on display will run the gamut from paintings and sculpture to photographs and installation work. Participating artists include Leesa Haapapuro, Christine Gaffney, Etch, Tiffany Clarke, Ron Rollins (who is the Dayton Daily News’ associate editor), Jessica Dubis, Matthew Walland, Ellen Bukvic, Parker Fritz and Stephanie Dever.
“We’ve got 42 artists, which is just on the edge of what we can handle,” lead art coordinator Jennifer Taylor Clarke said. “It’s usually more like 50 artists, but this way we’ll have more space for people to show their work.”
Dayton has plenty of musical talent but not one distinctive style. That diversity will be driven home by this year’s musical lineup.
“We make sure it’s not just a show with your standard rock ‘n’ roll bands,” said local musician Todd the Fox, who curated the musical acts for Sideshow 9. “We have more performers this year and we have a little bit of every type of music you can imagine. We also have more musicians volunteering to help run the show than we’ve had in previous years. That’s something we really push.
“We really want people to come together as a community,” he continued. “We want to make sure everyone is working to the greater good to showcase the creative energy here and just how awesome Dayton is musically and artistically.”
Music begins at 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Friday’s bill includes rockabilly from Cherry Lee & the Hot Rod Hounds, roots rock from The New Old-Fashioned, rap from Tino and psychedelic blues from Evil Eye Gypsy. More than 20 acts will perform on Saturday, including indie rockers The 1984 Draft, punk band Sam at Eleven, Americana group The Repeating Arms and electronic duo Dirty/Clean.
While the event is free, Dayton Circus Creative Collective is not-for-profit, and mounting an event like Sideshow is an expensive endeavor. The group has already raised money through benefit shows and an Indiegogo campaign. However, donations are welcome to help defray the costs of promotion, renting a PA and tent for the bands and other expenses.
“We’ve tried a few different ways to try to raise some money,” Clarke said. “We have this big boulder, and it weighs about $6,000 dollars. It’s a lot of work, but we’re able to move it up the hill, little by little, with a lot of hands.”