The Cincinnati natives in The National moved to Brooklyn to launch their hugely popular Indie Rock group, but will return to the Queen City later this month for the two-day festival they curated dubbed Homecoming. A couple of other Cincinnati musicians — Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler — also moved out of the city, but not nearly as far and well after developing their international reputation with the sublime music of their band Over the Rhine. They’ve also been doing their own carefully curated festival, Nowhere Else, for the past couple of years at their new home in Martinsville, Ohio, located about an hour Northeast of downtown Cincinnati in Clinton County.
Described as “an extended musical family reunion,” Nowhere Else Festival returns to the couple’s rural farmland this Memorial Day weekend (May 26-27). The recently announced complete lineup of musicians, artists and writers for the third-annual event once again perfectly captures the artistic and spiritual aesthetic of Over the Rhine, which has been tenderly and diligently fostered since the band’s inception more than 25 years ago. Bergquist and Detweiler launched the festival in 2016 as a way to bring together friends and fans, as well as draw attention to and help fund the restoration of the more than 140-year-old barn located on their property. The duo plans to convert the space into a multifaceted performing arts center, where they’ll host concerts, workshops and more.
The music lineup for this year’s Nowhere Else Festival again features an excellent selection of dynamic performers, largely from the Americana universe. Over the Rhine performs on both days (as well as at the May 25 opening VIP party), with a few other acts that have appeared at previous festivals joining them, including Birds of Chicago, Red Dirt Boys (whose members Will Kimbrough and Phil Madeira will again also play separate sets), Carrie Rodriguez and Cincinnati Folk faves The Tillers. Masterful local multi-instrumentalist Bradley Meinerding is also returning as host of the event’s Sunday morning open jam.
New to Nowhere Else this year is a pair of massively acclaimed and influential veteran singer/songwriters — Mary Gauthier and Loudon Wainwright III. Lucy Wainwright Roche, David Wax Museum, Daniel Daniel and Peter Mulvey round out the musical portion of 2018’s Nowhere Else.
Non-musicians participating in workshops, exhibitions and other presentations at this year’s festival include author John Baskin, painter/photographer/sculptor Suzanne Marie Lambert (who splits her time between her studios in France and Cincinnati) and filmmaker Scott Teems. Returning for this year’s Nowhere Else is Michael Wilson, the legendary Cincinnati photographer who has worked extensively with musicians over the past three decades. Wilson’s photography has been featured in the art for albums by the likes of Lyle Lovett, The Replacements, Jason Isbell, The Muffs, B.B. King, Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, as well as Cincinnati artists like The Tillers, Dawg Yawp, Jeremy Pinnell, Rob Fetters and Over the Rhine, with whom he’s worked extensively since the band’s 1991 debut album.
Early-bird discounted one- and two-passes — as well as three-day VIP tickets — are available now at nowhereelsefestival.com, where you’ll also find complete festival details.