The Fest began in 2007 as the New Bohemia Music Festival. The founders of the festival, the New Bohemia Group, wanted to provide Cedar Rapids with a unique visual and performing arts experience that celebrated the creative spirit of the New Bohemia Arts and Culture District. The long Labor Day Weekend seemed the perfect time for scheduling the event. The first festival had 6 outdoor stages located within a four block area of the 3rd metal to techno and everything in between. The music provided our 1500 guests with a rich variety of alternative music.
It was the New Bohemia Group's goal to support local musicians and provide commerce for the local merchants, bars and restaurants. The festival was an unqualified success and has become an annual tradition.
The Flood of 2008 presented planners with major challenges. With 3rd from catastrophic flood damage, it was decided to stage the festival in three alternative locations. As a result, festival events were relocated to Iowa City, Waterloo and the Southeast side of Cedar Rapids. To the credit of our dedicated volunteers, organizers and sponsors, we were able to pull together a second festival and prove we could rise above the Flood of 2008.
In the years since 2008, the festival has grown and developed with the New Bohemia District. This year is the ninth year of the festival. We are proud to co-host the 2015 festival with NewBo City Market.
The 2015 New Bohemia Arts Festival will feature a half marathon run, an art fair in NewBo Park, music stages located in 7 local bars and restaurants, sculpture and ceramic shows in the Cherry Building, an Emerging Artists Gallery at the NewBo City Market and street artists performing throughout the day.
The New Bohemia Arts Festival is a rare mix of music, art, theatre, dance and food – come enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of NBAF9!