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Ohio University Eastern and Blame My Roots Fest partnership celebrates alumni, offers music industry employment opportunities

Ohio University Eastern, a Belmont-county based regional campus of Ohio University in Athens, today announced a newfound partnership with its neighbor on route 40. Ohio University Eastern has teamed up with the 2022 Blame My Roots Festival (BMRF) to both celebrate alumni and extend music-industry employment opportunities to current students as part of its 65th anniversary.

Ohio University Eastern set out to make this partnership one that would appeal to both past and current students. Alumni will be invited to enjoy a Bobcat tailgate like no other all weekend long during the BMRF festivities. On-site happenings will include corn hole, ping pong, a great view of the show and two-times the Ohio University mascot, Rufus: once as a towering inflatable that will beckon guests to their private area on the hillside; the other as a walking, talking, living, breathing Rufus that will enjoy Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy et. al with the rest of us on Saturday.

Current students may register for on-site festival employment and thus offer unique insight into a music-industry setting. No need to go to the big campus to gain big experience in an entertainment venue - this relationship landed big city dreams right in students’ backyards.

Ohio University Eastern Dean of Campus and Community Relations David Rohall is excited to have formed this partnership and thinks it’s a wonderful way to connect with Bobcats from all walks of life on multiple levels.

“OHIO Eastern is excited to partner with Blame My Roots this year.  To celebrate, OHIO Eastern will be offering drawings and giveaways to students and the community in the time leading up to the festival, culminating in a hospitality tent onsite during the event.  We hope that community members and OHIO University alumni from all over visit us at during the festival.  We appreciate the opportunity and the ongoing engagement with Blame My Roots, and hope that this will be a long-term partnership.”

From a BMRF-team perspective, a partnership between the two entities makes perfect sense. Exceptionally close proximity (approximately two miles) aside, Blame Fest Co-Creator Chris Dutton and his parents, John and Rita, are proud Bobcat alum.

“When we started conversations with Ohio University Eastern regarding this partnership, it felt like something had come full circle,” Chris said. “Both my parents and I went from being Ohio University students, to alumni, to now partners amidst the single biggest business venture we’ve ever embarked on as a family. The things the three of us collectively learned during our time at the university undoubtedly helped us get to this point. It’s a crazy, really humbling and wonderful.”

An influx of Ohio University alumni converging on the Belmont-county based event will provide a boost in local tourism as folks make use of hotels, restaurants and shops in the area, a fact that Belmont County Tourism Executive Director Jackee Pugh is thrilled about.

“The newfound relationship that Ohio University Eastern and Blame My Roots have forged is incredible for each of them, as well as for Belmont County at large,” Pugh commented. “The third weekend in July continues to grow year after year, and local partnerships like this fast-track that growth.”

Blame My Roots Festival is slated for July 14-16 at Valley View Farm in Belmont and will feature Dierks Bentley, Chase Rice, Ashley McBryde, Randy Houser, Niko Moon and more. Tickets are on sale at Blamefest.com.