A Feast of Fests

Summer isn't summer without at least one trek to an outdoor music festival and all the awkward tan lines, sweaty tees, Instagrams and red Solo cups that accompany them.

ARTSONG (July 12-Aug. 2, Cincinnati Art Museum)

EdenSong, the free, long-running summer concert series presented by the Queen City Balladeers, moves inside the Cincinnati Art Museum this year. The series — dubbed ArtSong — features an excellent collection of primarily local Americana/Roots music performers. The Friday concerts take place in the museum’s Fath Auditorium and start weekly at 8 p.m. July 12’s opening concert features Shiny & the Spoon, Ma Crow & the Lady Slippers, Lisa Biales, Anachrorhythms and Bob Kotz. For the July 19 show, catch Ricky Nye, Wild Carrot & the Roots Band, Jim’s Red Pants, Steve Bonafel & One Iota and Ellie Fabe. The July 26 show features Anna & Milovan, Red Cedars, Silver Arm, Greg Schaber and Calamity Rain. And, for the Aug. 2 closer, you’ll be able to see/hear The Rattlesnakin’ Daddies, Bromwell-Diehl Band, the Hertz Brothers, Ann & Phil Case and John Ford. (queencityballadeers.org)

MACY’S MUSIC FESTIVAL (July 26-27, Paul Brown Stadium)

Macy’s Music Festival 2013 features one of the best lineups for the long-running R&B/Soul fest in recent memory. Friday’s performers include headliner Jill Scott, plus Charlie Wilson, TGT (Tyreese, Ginuwine, Tank) and Cincinnati’s own, Bootsy Collins. Saturday’s lineup has Leela James, KEM, Morris Day and The Time and headliner R. Kelly. (macysmusicfestival.com, ticketmaster.com)

VANS WARPED TOUR (July 30, Riverbend)

As the longest continually running package tour on the market, Vans Warped Tour has succeeded by providing a consistently strong, all-day concert experience and usually reliably solid lineup of Punk, Metal and artists from various other genres. When the tour comes to Cincy this year, it’ll have Allstar Weekend, Architects, August Burns Red, Big D and the Kids Table, Billy Talent, Black Veil Brides, Bring Me The Horizon, Defeater, Forever The Sickest Kids, Hawthorne Heights, Kevin Seconds, Like Moths to Flames, MC Lars, Memphis May Fire, Motion City Soundtrack, Never Shout Never, Reel Big Fish, Silverstein, Sleeping with Sirens, Black Dahlia Murder, The Story So Far, The Used, The Wonder Years, We Came As Romans and many, many others. (riverbend.org, vanswarpedtour.com)

CINCY BLUES FEST (Aug. 2-3, Sawyer Point)

Presented by the Cincy Blues Society, the Cincy Blues Fest is the Blues event of the summer for the region. This year’s event will feature a “Women in the Blues” showcase on Aug. 2, featuring EG Knight, Tempted Souls Band, The Juice and Rio and the Ramblers. The Blues Fest has Watermelon Slim and the Workers, Reba Russell and Steve Tracy on the Main Stage Aug. 2, while artists such as Ana Popovic, Honey Island Swamp Band, Nikki Hill and Stacy Mitchhart are Aug. 3’s main-stagers. August 3 also sees the return of the “Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame Piano Stage,” with artists including Lila Ammons, Bruce Katz, Bob Seeley, Axel Zwingenberger, Ricky Nye and many others. The St. Vincent DePaul “Local Stage” will spotlight the best of Greater Cincinnati’s Blues both days, featuring G. Miles & The Hitmen, Noah Wotherspoon, Brad Hatfield, Chuck Brisbin and the Tuna Project, The Soulfixers and many others. (cincybluesfest.org, cincybluesfest.bpt.me)

(Aug. 15-16, Southgate House Revival)

Local record label Grasshopper Juice presents its eclectic annual art/music fest at Newport’s Southgate House Revival this year. The lineup this year is a diverse collection of local and regional artists, including The Harlequins; The Village Bicycle; The B.E.A.T.; Meiosis; Revenge Piñata; Black Pharaoh; Hickory Robot; Filthy Beast; Homemade Drugs; Saturday Batteries; Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues; Mama’s Porch; Chick Pimp, Coke Dealer at a Bar; Counterfeit Money Machine; Lazy Ass Destroyer; Vampire Weekend at Bernie’s; Freeform Connection; Jamwave and many others. (grasshopperjuice.com, southgatehouse.com)

(Aug. 21-24, various venues in Over-the-Rhine and Mount Adams)

This year’s Crown Jewels of Jazz extravaganza, presented by the nonprofit Learning Through Art, Inc., adopts a new format. Jazz will be showcased over four nights on various stages in Over-the-Rhine (with the main stage being at Washington Park) and Mount Adams (with a main stage at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion). A $15 wristband will get you into all performances (as well as discounts at more than 30 participating restaurants and retailers); $40 gets you entry into all four days’ worth of events. The lineup this year features Diane Schuur, Gregory Porter, Kathy Wade, Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra, Mandy Gaines, Marc Fields, Phil DeGreg and the Samba Jazz Syndicate and many more. (learningthroughart.com)

(Aug. 23-25, Hannon’s Camp America in Oxford)

Cincy Rock/Reggae crew The Ohms announced a little hiatus earlier this year, but in late August they’ll be coming back strong with their annual Ohmstead Music Festival at Oxford, Ohio’s Camp America. The camper friendly event this year features a mix of Hip Hop, Reggae, Rock, Soul and Progressive/Jam bands. Scheduled to appear: The Ohms, Elementree Livity Project, Aliver Hall, The Zionites, Tropidelic, Baoku and the Image AfroBeat Band, Shrub, Reelbeat, Mr. Brown’s Mysterious Sounds, Pharoah Loosey, Rusty Van Band, Grover, Junya Be & Wazali and many others. (ohmstead.wordpress.com, ohmsmusic.com)

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.