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The Burning Couch Festival celebrates nearby companies and bands



Bloomington, Indiana – At Switchyard Park, the Burning Couch Festival began at 11:30 a.m. and ran until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Attendees have the opportunity to sample local cuisine, browse a wide variety of local shops, and enjoy live music.

In 2022, Ahmed Al-awadi, an IU student, initiated the event. The festival’s mission is to provide a platform for emerging bands and artists in the area by bringing them together to perform.

On Sunday, the pavilion’s main stage featured a lineup of twelve musicians, while the acoustic stage included nine. This year’s lineup included “Six Foot Blonde,” “Wishy,” and “The Matriarch,” among other acts. The Burning Couch Festival website has a complete roster of bands that played.

The main stage was situated in a sizable field where people could play yard games with their friends or just relax in the grass while listening to music. Kam Shaw, a sophomore at IU, said she had a good time even though she didn’t know what the event was about.

“Last year when I came, I had some of my upperclassmen friends ask me if I wanted to tag along, and I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “It was probably my favorite event I attended as a freshman.”

Inside the pavilion, local artists were selling their own designs in addition to the live music that was played all day long. Attendees looked around some of the nearby companies there. Handmade jewelry, clothing, luggage, and even press-on nails were offered by vendors.

The founder of Sustain Locally and one of the small business owners, Anna Schwartz, originally sold her goods at The Burning Couch Festival in 2023. In an effort to connect with consumers who could be interested in her products, she has now attended numerous music and art events. In order to keep waste out of landfills, Schwartz handcrafts each of her goods, repurposing post-consumer materials like broken jewelry or single-use shopping bags.

“I love coming to the art festivals and getting to sell in person because I love meeting people and talking with them,” she said. “With Sustain Locally, we really want to spread a positive message when talking about climate change.”

Local food vendors with a wide range of alternatives for attendees, like Pappyshack, Great White Smoke, and La Poblana Taco Truck, also made an appearance at this year’s festival.

Volunteers answered inquiries and gave participants directions throughout the event in an effort to help them as much as possible. Grace Carmichael, one of the volunteers, mentioned how much she loves attending these kinds of events and how she had gone to many of the music festivals in Bloomington.

“I like the fact that we’re supporting local artists and it’s just a fun way to spend time with friends,” she said.

While the Burning Couch festival ended/concluded pick one this year, spectators can begin anticipating the music and art extravaganza that will take place the following year. The Burning Couch Festival website and Instagram account provide updates and other details on the event.




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