Jesse Thomas ('07) Wows Crowd in Return Home for Bunbury Music Festival

Jesse Thomas at Bunbury
Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko, NKU

“You dream of obtaining the festival circuit ...
Just to see that sea of people in front of you, that’s every artist’s dream.”

The Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati welcomed some big name talents to the stage July 11-13 in its third year as the go-to local music festival, but Bunbury is also known for showcasing up-and-coming local talent.

This year two of the rising stars included NKU alumna Jesse Thomas (‘07) and Austin Livingood, a current NKU student majoring in public relations.

Inside NKU caught up with Jesse Thomas before her performance...


By Nancy Curtis
NKU Marketing + Communications Intern

Jesse Thomas has been working on her music steadily since 2008.

After graduating from Northern Kentucky University in 2007, the Covington native relocated to Los Angeles and the indie artist has toured with known names such as Young the Romans and has had her music featured in episodes of hit shows such as Shameless and Hart of Dixie.

Bunbury was the first festival for Thomas, who studied radio/television (now electronic media and broadcasting) at NKU and played softball for the Norse.

“I’m excited because I don’t really know what will happen,” Thomas said before the show. “Depending on the acts you’re up against, I could play to a lot or a little. There’s a real thrill of the unexpected.”

Thomas was looking forward to the idea of performing alongside big names such as Paramore and Fall Out Boy.

“You dream of obtaining the festival circuit,” Thomas said. “Just to see that sea of people in front of you, that’s every artist’s dream.”

She was also eager to play songs from her latest album, released earlier this summer, to new audiences and to old friends as well.

For Thomas, Bunbury was not just her first festival — it was also a bit of a homecoming, which allowed her to reconnect with her earliest supporters.

And of course, her mom “really appreciates” her return as well.

“It’s kind of cool to feel like a hometown hero of sorts, to see those familiar faces, get that familiarity,” Thomas said.

While Thomas knows that this festival will provide great future opportunities for her, she was really looking forward to meeting new people, seeing other bands perform and making new fans. Thomas hopes she entertained the audiences and gave them moments to hold onto that make them go home and look up her music.

“Nothing feels as good as fest,” Thomas said. “At a fest you get to see all the people out there sweaty and together. There’s nothing like that.”

Listen to Jesse Thomas Perform Fire  


Jesse Thomas at the Bunbury Music Festival

Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko, NKU