Wow — what a weekend. I am so grateful for everyone that makes this machine go around and around again and again each year for 26 years now. Hookahville is the longest running music festival in the State of Ohio…next fall will be number 50! That is a testament to the band ekoostik hookah and their legacy. It really is something to be proud of and newsworthy. I am grateful to be part of it and to be working with Jim Garibaldi to be good stewards of that legacy.

I want to thank everyone who took time off from work and family to make sure each element worked the way it should. These events are not easy to do and unless you have lived it, is hard to describe. Bottom line, it is about hospitality. and making sure that all participants feel welcome and loved. That is my first priority and hopefully that comes across in the events I throw. I do not care about being the biggest, or the most bad-ass — having a bunch of stages and bands — or being first to the punch — what I care about is that when you come through those gates you feel like you are one of us, that we are all in this together and sharing in the spirit of community and each other through something we all can relate to, living life amongst the music in a little town known as Hookahville. If you could feel that this weekend and had a fun and relaxing time then I have done what I set out to do in this life.

Thanks to Jim Tauscher for his attention to detail. To Lisa LiSa Moon for taking such good care of production and to Mindy Harney for her work on volunteers. Others that I need to thank include,  BigJim London, Michael Crazylegs Hemann,Jon Baldridge and his crews — including Andrew Daugherty who was there from the beginning this year. Liz Maher our webmaster and communications expert. Our coordinators and facility managers,Frank Sargent, Jonny Dread and John Snyder who went beyond their initial role to help in any way they could. Our production office and crew leaders, Erica Thomas, Michal Oliver, Rachael Urschel, Joshua Santana were all on top of their game once again this year and to Nathan Doutt and Central 8 Studios for their work with our sponsors for the Forefathers Health and Wellness stage.

I want to thank all the bands and their members, especially Dave R Katz who sets the bar just high enough for all of us to push the envelope just a little harder and makes Hookahville what it is. To Jeff Austin Band for being such a great outfit to work with this year and making Hookahville XLVIII extra special for our fans. Facebook will not allow me to tag everyone, but want to include Dark Side of the Moon, Glostik Willy,Joe Marcinek, Vibe & Direct, Subterranean, Jones For Revival, Derick Howard, Derek Woods. To Aaron Armstrong and Joe Smith for being there and entertaining the crowds like you do. To Project Shelter, Zero Waste Event Productions, Jerry Workman, our merch and food vendors, especially Wild Bill and our own Corinne Henahan for the festival merch and her crew — to Jason Snyder and Fire and Ice Concessions for bringing out the straw. To Justin Moon, Kyle Stewart, FlowPoetry (Adam Gregory Pergament) for their work on the John Mullins video and tribute — including, Christian James, Scott Preston, David J. Schwartz and everyone who submitted pictures of John. To Joshua Isadore Heller “Izzy” and his team (Ryan and Mike) who made sure all of our bands and crew could eat each day. To Zane Shawnee Caverns, Nightwind and Luke Peshewa Pope for opening your arms to Hookahville and helping us find our new home and a safe place our people to be free and fly their freak flags. To our visual Artists and live painters, like Vince Krivda and our crew leaders Christina Tybeck and Jami Barefoot Mcgee, including Jo Jo Davis –their hard work brought another layer of beauty and spectacle of the event–including our fire and poi techs. To all of our volunteers and staff, we could not have done any of this without you. All of you are at the core of our ability to carry out this passion and make it possible. I do not think enough emphasis goes to the volunteers at any event, but you are all amazing people. I’m sure I have missed a lot of people, too, but you are not forgotten…i’m still unloading as I type this — so forgive me for any misses.

Above all, I thank the Hookah family — the fans, the parents and children, of a couple generations now, who give us the opportunity to keep this treasured event happening each year. You are all good people and loved by this band. Thank You for this opportunity.

~Tom Blessing, Alchemy House