West Fest makes a rhythmic return

By Elizabeth Coss

Westside Bowl is known for hosting local bands, but for the first time in two years, the West Fest is making a return March 19. 

Nathan Offerdahl is the owner of Westside Bowl, and he said the event honors the anniversary of the building’s purchase with some of the venue’s favorite acts.  

“It’s sort of the unofficial-official celebration of our four-year anniversary. It’s a bunch of bands that have been playing here since our first year. East 9th sort of put everything together,” Offerdahl said.

Ryan Racketa, one of the organizers and member of the band East 9th, saw the opportunity to create the event for their anniversary with local bands. 

“Playing in Youngstown over the years, you make friends, you make contacts with a lot of other bands,” Racketa said. “We kind of organized the first one on our own for the most part. This time around we started it, but we had help from other bands putting this together.”

Racketa described the event as being festival-like with live music from around the area. 

“When it was their one-year anniversary, it was one of our favorite shows to date. We had over 200 people there,” Racketa said. “It’s just a big festival style – eight bands over the course of six or seven hours.” 

Jarrett Walters is in two of the bands that will be performing: East 9th and JW & The Convenience Band. 

“I am a part of JW & The Convenience Band — that is my solo project,” Walters said. “East 9th is my primary band that I have spent the past six years writing and arranging and performing with.”

Walters, a junior communications student at YSU, said Westside Bowl offers more than just live music. 

“There’s bowling upstairs, there’s a record store, there’s an arcade, there’s great food and great drinks. It’s a great atmosphere,” Walters said. 

Bands that will be playing at the event include:

  • Ravine
  • East 9th
  • Starletta
  • The Smokey Honey Bluesband
  • The Esteems
  • Whiskey Pilot
  • JW & The Convenience Band

The doors open at 4 p.m. and the music starts at 5 p.m. Tickets can be bought in advance at eventbrite.com or at the door.