By Stephanie Wilks
October 2, 2012
Cold Showers at MOTR
After a full weekend of Midpoint Music Festival fun, I have to say it’s curious that a “toilet shortage” was the most popular local news story of the event. I witnessed over a dozen bands at eight different venues, and the longest line I ever waited in was for beer at Washington Park. You can call me lucky, or you can draw your own conclusions as to why some people chose to relieve themselves in nearby yards.
Potty talk aside, can we chat about the people for a moment? I don’t think Cincinnati has seen this many hippies and hipsters in one place since the 70’s. The excitement for great music was evident in the attire. Fringe, boots, colorful boho patterns, dreadlocks, and music-themed tees and sweatshirts were plentiful. Not only did this make for some great photos, but it also set the tone and atmosphere for an out-of-the ordinary, artful weekend in OTR.
PUJOL at Below Zero Lounge
Bands like The Walkmen, Tennis, Dirty Projectors, The Antlers, Dinosaur Jr, Best Coast, and Freelance Whales attracted huge crowds from the tri-state area and beyond. An estimated 35,000+ people attended (still waiting on the exact figure) one or more shows this weekend. And, with over 185 bands in attendance, there were plenty of shows from which to choose.
Some may say that this year’s line-up could have included more popular headliners (a couple of bands like Sleigh Bells cancelled their performance just days before the event). Regardless, it’s clear that Midpoint Music Festival has already begun to create waves.
The increasing popularity and success of MidPoint has put Cincinnati on the radar as a favorable touring locale for indie bands. It already paved the way for the inaugural Bunbury Festival over the summer. Plus, many internationally-known bands could be found commenting kindly about our city on social media and interacting with local fans this weekend as well.
Case in point, a tweet from musician F. Stokes:
Gratitude to @MidPointMusic for having me. One of the best festivals I’ve ever played. Thank you. http://instagr.am/p/QJf86WgKML/
Perhaps unrelated, but nevertheless notable, The National, of indie rock fame and Cincinnati origins, announced a surprise concert at The Emery Theatre (a Midpoint venue) this Thursday.
Kyle Kivett & Zach Stanfield at Below Zero Lounge
Midpoint has also introduced thousands of local residents and tourists to newly renovated areas in Over-the-Rhine like Washington Park, the Emery Theater, The Know Theatre, and dozens of restaurants and shops on Vine Street. Many of these venues have received money from city grants, including 3CDC funding as a way to increase economic activity in the downtown/OTR area. MPMF is a great example of a return on that investment.
Speaking of spending a little money in our city’s center, many MidPoint attendees could be found snacking at one of a dozen food trucks set up near Washington Park or on the corner of Central Parkway and Main Street. Trucks like C’est Cheese (grilled cheese) and Café de Wheels (burgers, fried chicken, and fries) dished out quick bites to new fans all weekend long.
Midpoint Music Festival, along with similar cultural attractions like The World Choir Games and Bunbury, as well as the upcoming FotoFocus Photography Festival, have and continue to benefit our city’s national image. It’s no coincidence we were recently named the 21st Best city to live by Business Week. In 2011, we didn’t even make the list.
If, after a weekend hopping from one OTR venue to another, the worst thing the local news can say is “there weren’t enough toilets,” (which wasn’t even true) then things are really looking up. Of course the worst thing for me, aside from having to ice my feet Saturday morning from all that walking, was my inability to find nearby parking. But I guess these are the prices we pay for success.to top ↑