Best Of 2020

Best Latest Round in the Battle Between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky: Major riverfront projects

Ever year at the annual Labor Day fireworks spectacular, WEBN leads the masses assembled on both sides of the Ohio River in a friendly game of “who can be louder.” As both sides of the river have seen major riverfront projects spring up in recent years, that rivalry has been more focused on business competitiveness — and it’s a bit less friendly. The great riverfront music venue war of the ’20s have officially begun. Last year, plans for a new music venue on the Cincinnati side were unveiled. The announcement of the forthcoming ICON music venue on the Cincinnati side was met with controversy after some city officials expressed the desire to work with Columbus, Ohio concert promoter PromoWest on the project. After the venue was awarded to local Riverbend and Taft Theatre promoters MEMI, Newport officials announced that their own very similar project would be helmed by, you guessed it, PromoWest. Ideally, music lovers in Greater Cincinnati will be the big winners, with a wealth of concert options on the horizon, but some have wondered if the marketplace can support both mid-sized venues, which would essentially be competing for the same tours.