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This year marks the 6th year that the Midpoint Music Festival had hit the Cincinnati area and this will be the second time I have written about the festival here on Each Note Secure. I get myself very excited for Midpoint each year in anticipation of an amazing lineup of bands and culture to call our own right here in Cincinnati. To me, the idea of Midpoint is brilliant. A long weekend dedicated to local and regional music with some other bands mixed in to the stew to draw in more folks.
The music takes over downtown and people from Indianapolis, Dayton, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington and Cincy share in the promotion of great music.
Unfortunately, I have not seen those results out of the Midpoint Music Festival. I have attended in the past but will not attend this year, and here are the reasons why.
Negatives Midpoint and the organizers have no control over…..
- Downtown - This was pretty bad last year as certain bars had to be re-opened to accommodate the festival. I am not certain but it could be the case again this time around. The plain fact of the matter is that downtown Cincinnati, as much as I wish it was, it not an ideal spot for a music festival. It should and could be, but it is not.
- Funding - I know that it cannot be easy to put on an event of this size every year, and the time and energy alone is probably never worth it from a monetary standpoint, but with limited funding you get limited resources, and that leads to a lesser overall event.
Negatives I place on the shoulders of Midpoint…..
- Overall Lineup - The lineup for this years Midpoint is one of the worst I have ever seen for a festival like this. The fact that a band like Superdrag are the headliners says alot about the overall quality of the booking. While I am sure some people are excited about this, to make a band that has not released a relevant album in 7 years. Local favorites Forget Cassettes will sell a few tickets, but lets be honest, these guys hit the area at least 2-3 times a year, so there is not much urgency to get to Midpoint just for them.
And while I am happy to see some of my favorite locals on the bill like The Seedy Seeds, Wussy, Turnbull ACs and The Times (and there are more), these are bands that all of us here in the area get a chance to see multiple times a year, sometimes a month. Once again, not much to get me excited about heading downtown in late September. And I will not play the “I never heard of most of these bands” card here, I actually have heard of loads of them, I just don’t care about them much, honestly. Nor do I think many of them will ever emerge outside of our fair queen city. I wish this was the only year this happened, but it really has been for awhile now, just check out the alumni if you do not trust me.
- Exposure – I don’t see Midpoint aligning themselves with many people and I hate to say that it sorta smells of arrogance on their part. This is only speculation of course but there are so many resources out there, (even in Cincinnati) that would be willing to get behind an event like this on our own turf but are simply not associated.
Now, I am not one to whine and not at least offer some type of solution or idea for improvement. So, here is one thing I can say right off the top that makes sense. Be more like the Midwest Music Summit! As someone who has attended both I can honestly say that our neighbors in Indy have this down so much better than Midpoint. Not only does MMS embrace label showcases and book strong upcoming bands from all over the region, but they do the event in a rather vibrant fun area of town in Broad Ripple. I know, I know, MMS is not happening this year right? Well, I do not know all the reasons for that but I do know that if Midpoint would have taken a year off, (last year or this year) and focused on improving the event as a whole, it could have made the return of the event much much stronger. Not to mention that the organizers of MMS are doing a massive national festival this summer out at Red Rocks in Monolith.
For those in strong disagreement, and I know some of you will be, let me just say that I am passionate about music here in Cincinnati and seeing it move forward. That is the reason for this piece. I want nothing more for Midpoint to become the top emerging artist event in the midwest. I do however, welcome your comments, in agreement or otherwise.
Sorry, comments are closed.