4 October 2013
MidPoint Does not Disappoint
by Joel Turnbull
Cincinnati is a respectable indie rock town. We’ve kind of had a re-surge recently with this Summer’s Bunbury Festival and last weekend’s 2013 MidPoint Music Fest.
The beautiful thing about MidPoint is is this feeling of shared discovery. Nobody knows hardly anything about 95% of these bands, the whole event was an exercise in cramming beforehand and rolling the dice, running into people and reporting it. The artists mingle with the common slobs. There’s a very good chance that dude standing next to you drinking a beer is in a band, or some guy you used to party with in high school. It’s a crapshoot where you have a very good chance of winning.
Having said that, they couldn’t have pulled better headliners to sell me a wristband. METZ and Kurt Vile. The sound quality at the Grammer’s tent was really top notch, and the booking everywhere was great. BRMC, The Breeders, The Thermals and your choice of three hundred other acts. Weird stuff, soulful stuff, loud stuff, folksy stuff, get-down stuff, and more. I think this creation by Erin Kidwell wraps up the scene pretty well.
I saw the whole city, I walked from OTR, to The Taft, to Mainstay. I’m just a dude from Hamilton, I’m not even sure I’ve been to an urban music festival quite like MidPoint. One that happens mainly in the city’s drinking establishments. You can step into anything, anywhere, on any given night. Ghost Wolves at Mainstay. Sun Country at the Below Zero Lounge. Never heard of the band or the bar, happened to walk by, had an amazing time. It was impressively orchestrated. I think when all was said and done, I probably visited four new venues and saw eight shows. Ryan probably visited zero new venues and saw twenty.
I’ve been to MidPoint before, I skipped a couple years. I spoke with a few veterans who were grumbling a bit. Coming to it fresh, I have to describe it as refreshing. I had a great time downtown enjoying MidPoint 2013, it did not disappoint, and it seems to keep getting better. Kudos to the organizers. It was a tremendous mix.