COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– The WonderBus Music & Arts Festival returns this weekend after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The two-day, multiple-stage event happening on the lawn at CAS features huge names like Kesha and Wilco as well as local acts that support the festival’s mission of shining a light on mental health issues.

This mission aligns with the message of Columbus band Pray For Sleep.

“One of our big focuses from the beginning has been mental health,” said Pray For Sleep drummer Reno Houston. “A lot of the songs that we write are mental health based, whether it’s been like stuff we’ve been through [or] other people we know. So we [got] in contact with the people who run WonderBus, and we thought it was really a good fit, because that’s our main thing we want to do. Obviously, we want to play music as a career and make that kind of like our life goal, essentially, but we want to have a deeper meaning behind it.”

“It’s just amazing to see so many people backing such an important topic and doing what they can to raise awareness,” added vocalist Grant DeCrane. “Whether it’s the butterfly runs that Nationwide [Children’s Hospital] puts on, this festival, using music to raise awareness, all of it just kind of coinciding with the way that we try and use music to raise awareness and bring a message to people of hope and awareness through that is really cool to see. And the amount of support that it’s getting just from the community in general is also really encouraging.”

Reno, Grant, and Pray For Sleep guitarist Hayden Kissler formed the band a few years ago when they were still teenagers.

“And we started talking about it and just saying, ‘Hey, we want to have a big meaning behind the band and not just be three guys playing music together,'” Reno said about their formation.

“We want to keep the mental health side in your headspace as much as we possibly can. Because we do want to help people, just in a different way. You know, there’s a lot of people that are out there that are, you know, doctors, nurses, counselors, stuff like that that are super, super, super helpful. We want to be kind of in a space where you wouldn’t expect that necessarily, and help people as much as you can, while still doing what we all love together,” he added.

WonderBus will be held August 28th and 29th. Guests are required to wear masks unless they show a COVID-19 vaccine card or proof of a negative COVID test. CLICK HERE for more information and to buy tickets.