CINCINNATI, Ohio (September 29, 2009) – MidPoint Music Festival 2009, held this past week, drew more than 15,000 attendees to revel in 270 performances throughout Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky.
With more stages and a 45% increase in the number of performances over last year, organizers did not raise ticket prices and still experienced a 27% jump at the box office.
“With our current economy we wanted to keep things affordable for the fans,” said Executive Producer Dan McCabe. “In our eighth year promoting quality acts, people know we provide a good experience and we’re happy with the turnout fans showed us.”
Performers at the festival included the Heartless Bastards, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Chairlift, Micachu and the Shapes, God Made Me Funky, The Rosewood Thieves, The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, and Extra Golden.
Despite some less-than-friendly weather, venues often enjoyed capacity crowds all three nights. Fans jumped between the raindrops to new stages on Fountain Square, Havana Martini Club, Mainstay Rock Bar, The Segway Room, Washington Platform, and the Contemporary Arts Center. There were 23 stages in all.
The largest stage this year was the new Topic Design Tent set adjacent to Grammer’s in Over-the-Rhine, which saw crowds of 1,000 during headlining acts. While last year saw expansion into downtown venues, MidPoint continues to find new areas to grow and succeed in historical Over-the-Rhine.
Sergeant Scott Fritz of the Cincinnati Police reported there were no problems in the neighborhoods around the festival.
For the second year festival sponsor Scion deployed a fleet of Scion xB’s, shuttling 2,800 fans between venues, a 12% increase over last year. The popular Scion Streetcars ran the proposed Cincinnati streetcar route, helping fans walk less and listen more.
Texts and Twitter became a huge hit for fans wanting to communicate with bands and each other. Sponsors Cincinnati Bell and Topic Design set up a system allowing instant fan feedback using cell phones and displays set up at festival venues.
Hoping to cash in on the large MidPoint crowds, 35 businesses throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine extended their dining and shopping hours on Friday, offering special promotions throughout the city’s center.
Hotels were at capacity all weekend. The Garfield Suites Hotel, serving as a home base during MidPoint, sold out more than a month in advance. “We could have sold out twice with the response to our MidPoint promotion,” said Mick Douthat, director of sales for the Garfield Suites. “The festival was a huge success for us and we look forward to next year.”
“Cincinnati has always been a music town. The key to this for our city is the fans, artists and business owners working together,” McCabe said. “MidPoint is a fun cultural event that Cincinnatians should be proud of because they make it happen.”
One unfortunate event was a terrible van accident suffered by the Chicago band Scotland Yard Gospel Choir on Thursday. The van blew a tire and flipped over on I-65 on the way to Cincinnati, destroying all of their gear, and hospitalizing six band members, including one with spine fractures. Reports from their label, Bloodshot Records, say three have been released, but others remain in serious condition. Anyone interested in helping the band members out with what are sure to be costly medical bills, the band’s label has set up a site for donations. To help go to: http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/news/sygc-van-accident. MidPoint Music Festival wishes them all the best and hopes for a full recovery.
Plans for next year’s festival are already under way.