The festival will be held in Columbus, August 17 and 18, at On The Lawn at CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society (2540 Olentangy River Road). WonderBus and CAS have guaranteed a share of revenue to help programs fighting depression at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health.
“Depression leading to suicide or drug abuse is on the rise, especially among young people,” said Rick Milenthal, CEO of The Shipyard, a leading, independent marketing consultancy and the world’s first marketing engineering firm. “By having a festival with some of the best artists in America, we create a venue to reach thousands of people about this issue.”
Designed as a unique music, food and entertainment experience, WonderBus will have a diverse number of hit makers including Walk The Moon, X Ambassadors, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and The Revivalists; indie favorites Jenny Lewis, Bishop Briggs and Mt. Joy; and dynamic eclectic performers Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The Festival’s focus on changing the conversation around mental health has received praise from public advocate leaders such as Governor Mike DeWine and University President Dr.Michael Drake.
WonderBus will be produced in partnership with the Elevation Group, the creators and producers of Cleveland’s highly successful music LaureLive festival. The group includes Columbus native Cliff Chenfeld, co-founder and former owner of leading indie record label Razor & Tie Music, and Kidz Bop; and Michelle Wesley, a Cleveland-based businesswoman, philanthropist and founder of Music Elevates. Chenfeld and Milenthal grew up together in Columbus.
“Cliff introduced me to The Elevation Group. They are the best in the country at creating this kind of festival. That is why we have such a terrific line-up of artists,” says Milenthal.
The Shipyard’s partnership to launch WonderBus is a part of a multi-faceted commitment by the agency focusing attention on mental health issues for young people. The Shipyard helped launch the#OnOurSleeves™ national campaign for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. This included the recent NBC’s TODAY Show segment during Mental Health Awareness week where Ohio teen Julia Paxton opens up about her own battle with mental illness and how she’s become an advocate to help break stigmas around mental health.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 6.9% of adults in the U.S. (16 million) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
- 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
- Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. (Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.)
- Just over half (50.6%) of children with a mental health condition, ages 8 to 15, received mental health services in the previous year.
- Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24.
Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.
“Wonderful progress is being made by the medical teams at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” says Milenthal. “But, what we do at The Shipyard can also help. We understand how to reach and inspire millions of people. And we intend to use those skills to let people know there is hope and there is help. When more people talk openly about depression and trauma…..more lives are saved.”
About The Shipyard
The Shipyard is a leading, independent marketing consultancy and the world’s first “marketing engineering” agency. The company was founded in 2013 by industry veteran Rick Milenthal, who was CEO of the leading national digital agency, Engauge, now a part of Publicis Groupe.