Community calendar fragmentation

In any given week it seems there are many different kinds of events happening in Richmond and Wayne County. Sports games, lectures, art shows, educational events, government meetings, not-for-profit community meetings, outdoor adventures, book clubs, theatrical performances, events for kids and families, neighborhood meetings, block parties, live music, festivals, fairs, fundraisers, bingo, club events, sales and specials at local businesses, worship services, and much more.

There is a lot going on here, and that’s something to celebrate!

The challenge is that someone casually looking for “something to do” might have to search several different places before finding an option that appeals to them, and to get complete information about all of the events going on. If they don’t look in the right place, they might miss out. Doing a thorough search of all the local calendars could take hours, and each one has strengths and gaps in the info they provide.

For example, the Pal-Item events calendar has a lot in it and is the main source of info if you search online for “richmond indiana events,” but because they highlight regional items at the same level as local items, the “Popular Events” listings all take place outside of Wayne County. The WayNet calendar tends to be frequently updated, but only allows non-commercial events to be posted. The City of Richmond’s “things to do” calendar mainly features city government meetings. On some of these sites it can be very difficult to share the event details with friends and family, even just to generate an email with a link, let alone to re-share it on social media with all the needed details. And as you search through calendars hosted by our various not-for-profits, colleges/universities and other entities in Richmond and the surrounding cities, the trend continues.

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Prophets Fest

For seven years now, family-friendly music festival Prophets Fest has attracted many hundreds of people from around the region to a beautiful local farm just south of Richmond. Once there, they camp, eat, dance and enjoy the offerings of several different bands under the summer sky – reggae, funk, world music, electronic, jazz and many other kinds of sound.

The next Prophets Fest is coming up on Saturday, August 22nd and tickets are available now. It’s an impressive event and unlike anything else I’ve seen in the area, so I sat down with one of its organizers, Nick Green, to talk about why the event exists, what you might expect if you go, and what it’s like to put together this unusual local cultural offering in Richmond Indiana.

Listen here:

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