For years, the MidPoint Music Festival has been the best city festival in the midwest. And when it comes to a full on city festival, it’s only natural to takes cues from the ‘grandaddy’ of them all, SXSW. MidPoint has taken a tip here and there from the Austin, Texas based beast, and so when I was approached with the idea of doing a proper day party this year for MidPoint, I jumped at the chance. For those familiar with the concept, a day party basically extends the life of a festival, taking it from all evening showcases to mid afternoon showcases as well.
At SXSW, almost all of the day parties are free, and take place all over the place, bands will play at multiple parties, some even booking themselves at as many as 8-10 performances over the course of 4 days. Once things really developed on the day party side of things, it became normal for free food and beer to be associated with parties, and once the people came, so did the sponsors.
Since our day party idea is in its infancy, we took the appropriate baby steps to build a foundation. So for the first year, we decided on one party, with four bands. Thankfully, I was able to choose from the wealth of talent that was already on the bill for MPMF 2011 to fill things out. The Capstan Shafts, Total Babes, Bro. Stephen and Nerves Junior were all kind enough to come play an early set (some after a very late night) for nothing more than some free Vitaminwater and a handful of new fans.
Overall, the experience was great, the crowd was thin to start the day, but it was pretty early too, and by the time our last band went live, we had a nice group of folks in attendance. As I’ve said to many in the past few months, if you want the day party concept to take off in Cincinnati for MPMF, then come to this show, take notes and let us know what we can do to improve things. To put it simply, I learned alot this year and hope that the experience will help us build more and better day experiences for MidPoint in future years.
For those of you that came to the party, thank you. For those that could not attend, I understand, it’s hard to break habits and get out early on a Saturday. Thanks to Dan McCabe for giving me the keys to make this happen, thanks to my dear friend Meredith Melragon for being a great connector, thanks to the guys at Crash Avenue for their help as well. And thanks to Nick Miller for creating a great poster for the show as well. But most of all, thanks to the bands, Total Babes, The Capstan Shafts, Nerves Junior and Bro. Stephen (who admirably filled in for Cheyenne Marie Mize at the last minute).
I already know what I want to do differently next year, but I welcome your comments and suggestions here, especially if you attended the show.