MidPoint Gets Crafty This Year

P&G presents new MidPoint Indie Craft Village

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While MidPoint has consistently stayed true to its vision of spotlighting new and innovative music, certain things about the festival have changed over the years, often inevitably. One of this year’s most noticeable (and, in our humble opinion, coolest) changes is the addition of the MidPoint Indie Craft Village in Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park (see map below).

In previous years, MPMF converted 12th Street (which connected the Main Street venues with the Washington Park stage) into the MidPoint Midway, filled with food and other vendors, as well as interactive art installations and a showcase stage for musical acts. But, as anyone in the area who has watched the local news or ventured into downtown and Over-the-Rhine in the past year knows, our city’s core is currently in construction mode, as infrastructure for our city’s new public transportation option, a streetcar system, continues to be built. This could be great for MidPoint in the future in terms of getting around the neighborhoods more efficiently, but it also means that the Midway’s 12th Street home is currently unusable.

For the past four MPMFs, the Midway was something of a “social hub” for MidPointers, a fairly relaxed place to hang out, grab some food and drinks and socialize/people-watch while waiting for the next act on your schedule to start.

This year, organizers have re-envisioned that social hub in the form of an exciting new concept: the first-ever MidPoint Indie Craft Village, which will also be free and open to all ages (even if you don’t have a MidPoint ticket).

The Village will take over the part of Washington Park near 12th Street, with the Washington Park main music stage location remaining opposite it, on the 14th Street side. As the name suggests, the festival-within-a-festival will feature local and regional artists and crafters of all sorts, as well as craft beers from various breweries (primarily local ones). The crafters will be showcasing and selling their unique, handmade wares, including everything from paintings, photography prints and jewelry to bath and body products, distinctive home décor items, wedding decorations and much more.

The addition of the MidPoint Indie Craft Village was inspired by several things. Last year, CityBeat (which owns and operates MidPoint) presented its first successful Crafts + Drafts event based on sister publication Washington City Paper’s long-running and wildly popular Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair. The success and nature of the event (as well as the need for a Midway-type replacement) seemed to be something that would be a perfect fit for MidPoint. And Cincinnatians especially have shown a willingness to embrace craft fairs like the Crafty Supermarket and The City Flea. A free “Village” at the blockbuster Lumenocity event in Washington Park was also a big success, attracting those attending the event as well as those who just wanted to check out the scene.

There will also be a variety of live music throughout the weekend in the Village, starting Friday at 6 p.m. with a free kick-off concert featuring Detroit-based Indie Pop/Rock duo JR JR, which has a huge and devoted national following. Previously known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (no, the musicians didn’t change the moniker because of threats from the racecar driver; Dale Jr. actually loved the shtick!), the band’s MidPoint appearance (made possible by fest sponsor P&G) will be something of a milestone day for the twosome, marking its first official show as JR JR and also falling on the day its new self-titled album (its third overall) is being released by Warner Brothers Records. Other live music will be interspersed throughout Friday and Saturday, possibly including some “second-play” sets by various 2015 MPMF performers.

The Village will be open on Friday at 5 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Saturday’s hours run 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday you can hang in the Village from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The craft vendors will be set up on Friday and Saturday only, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Craft beer will be available each day in the Village. Food trucks and vendors from Eli’s BBQ, Island Noodles, Keystone Bar & Grill, Hungry Bros. Food Truck and Umami Bites will also be in the Village to provide some good eats for festgoers and Village-visitors.

The following is a list of just some of the craft vendors participating in this year’s Indie Craft Village: Meagan Martin Maker; Quirky Clean; Paper Acorn; Forklift Ohio; Sarah Lalley Fine Art; dRock Press; Mixie Studio; JEM Jewelry Designs; Scott McHenry Photography; Dear Pennyroyal; Hannah Hoffman Jewelry; Barbara’s Atlas Oils Inc.; Terraphilium; and Lucca Laser Workshop. (Up to 10 additional crafters are expected to be added before the event.)

And for craft beer fans (an increasingly loyal-demographic that seems to grow by the day), here are some of the brewers offering their goods in the Village: Christian Moerlein (a presenting sponsor of MPMF); Oskar Blues; Braxton Brewing Company; West Sixth Brewing; Rhinegeist; MadTree; Taft’s Ale House; Great Lakes Brewing Company; Kona Brewing; Goose Island; and Blue Point Brewing Company.

Visit mpmf.com for updates and more info.

For more information about MPMF.15, visit these sections of our official guide:

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