Hutchfest 2025 to change format

The recent two-day Hutchfest 2024 music festival generated more than $15,000 in revenue to be shared among The Landmark Columbus Foundation, The Crump Theatre and the Miller House and Garden.

But a disappointing second-day crowd of 150 people at The Crump has triggered a change for the 2025 event, already scheduled April 25-26.

That includes returning to a one-day featured concert at The Commons in downtown Columbus — and then promoting and highlighting a lineup of live music throughout the area such as at nightspots and restaurants and allowing people to give to the cause at the door.

Organizers are casually referring to the revamped second night as “Hutchfest everywhere. maximizing everything that’s happening.”

Richard McCoy, founding executive director of the Landmark Columbus Foundation cares for, celebrates, and advances the cultural heritage of Columbus, took a moment while looking ahead to sound an upbeat note about the 2024 event.

“Hutchfest did not quite meet our expectations (in attendance), but we still had a good outcome,” said Richard McCoy of the donations.

The first night of Hutchfest attracted what organizers saw as a healthy crowd of 500 people. The second night at The Crump Theatre, with nationally touring band The Weird Sisters, a crowd of 175 people left organizers disappointed. But on that same night of April 20, the south Asian Mela gala nearly packed The Commons, and the ever-popular Columbus Indiana Philharmonic performed at First Christian Church, also downtown.

Plus, McCoy pointed out that there was live music at the Columbus Bar, The Garage Pub & Grill, and 4th Street Bar and Grill, all just a short walk from The Crump.

“In one respect, it’s definitely a good thing to have so many different things happening downtown,” said McCoy, one of the most vocal supporters in the past several years of an active downtown.

He added that the foundation would continue to keep the renovated Crump in mind for future events since he’s aware that some people haven’t had the opportunity to visit in years.

“At Hutchfest, we wanted to document, in a way, the fact that, ‘Hey — this building is really a cool place,’” McCoy said.

The event is named for longtime local community leader Hutch Schumaker, a board member for the Landmark Columbus Foundation and the most visible advocate since the 1990s for the use and refurbishing of the Crump Theatre. He also has supported the facility more than once with his own sizable donations.