We might not have a Bonnaroo or a Lollapalooza, but Cincinnati is pretty rich when it comes to music festivals ... especially if you're a fan of local music.
Throughout the year, locally-focused, multi-performer fests offer a chance for fans to see all their favorites at one event, but they're also fantastic opportunities for curious newcomers to explore the talent our town has to offer. If you have a friend or family member who's a local music virgin and you take them to MidPoint or Cincy Blues Fest or the Clifton Heights Music Festival (which had another great event just last week), I guarantee they'll have a newfound appreciation for homegrown music.
Another great opportunity for exploration is the Cincypunk Fest, which celebrates its ninth anniversary this Friday and Saturday on the many stages of the Southgate House in Newport. The fest has raised thousands of dollars for charity since its inception; the recipients of this year’s proceeds are the Animal Adoption Foundation in Hamilton and Cincinnati’s Friends of the Children.
This year’s fest again keeps the quality bar high, with nearly 40 bands performing, ranging from established crowd favorites to the latest up-and-comers. (Note for the uninitiated: Don’t be fooled by the name. Punk plays a part, but the genre boundaries are pretty loose, with bands playing everything from Folk and Ska to Indie Rock and Hip Hop.)
Music is spread across the Southgate’s three stages. Friday in the Ballroom, catch The Seedy Seeds, The Harlequins, State Song, Frankl Project, Small Time Crooks, Charlie Hustle and Situation Red. The Parlour’s Friday lineup features Martin Luther and The Kings, Junkards, Animal Circles, Duppy a Jamba (pictured), The Tillers, Hazle Weatherfield and The Western. Holding down the Lounge Friday are This American Life, Tuck Me In, Josh Elstro and Skeletone.