The Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati

by David Harris

Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival began in 2001 and has become one of the city's biggest festivals for indie rock. Past performers have included A Place to Bury Strangers, Caribou, Surfer Blood and Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices fame. In 2010, 20,000 fans attended the festival, a big increase from 13,500 the year before.

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Basic Information

Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival is held over three days in late September. The festival takes place in numerous venues in downtown Cincinnati and the nearby Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Fans can buy a wristband in advance that will get them access to all shows for a fixed price. If you only want to attend the festival on a specific day, one-day wristbands are also available. VIP wristbands allow attendees to jump to the front of any line, but cost more.

Bands

Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival offers selections from most genres of indie music, ranging from rock to avant garde to electronica. The producers of the festival invite 250 bands from all over the country to play, but hold 75 slots for local musicians. Between February and May, musicians from the Cincinnati area submit applications for a chance to be part of the festival. The board picks bands that will best suit the festival and notifies them by late May.

Summer Series

In 2009, MidPoint Music Festival expanded beyond its late September form to include the MidPoint Indie Summer Series concerts. Held on Fountain Square, the main public meeting space in downtown Cincinnati, these free concerts feature indie acts from the city and beyond. Beginning in early June and running through September, this series is a good way to learn about up-and-coming acts. People who attend the MidPoint Indie Summer Series concerts have the opportunity to buy discounted wristbands for the music festival in September.

Getting Involved

One free way to attend Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival is to volunteer. If you are 18 years old or over, sign up to help work at the event and you will receive a free wristband for the day you're not working and a T-shirt. Volunteers help run the events and spread the word about the festival.

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