MidPoint Music Festival: Celebrating Music and Cincinnati

MidPoint Music Festival: Celebrating Music and Cincinnati

Cincinnatians and music fans from around the Midwest flocked to the 2017 MidPoint Music Festival this past weekend in downtown Cincinnati. This year, the fest moved from the streets of Over-the-Rhine to four stages set up inside the Taft Theatre and Cincinnati Masonic Center, with beer and food trucks, a Shake It Records booth, merch tables, a photo booth, API poster show, and more set up throughout the two buildings.

Citizen, a pop-punk band from Toledo, closed down the festival Saturday night in the Taft Ballroom.

Citizen, a pop-punk band from Toledo, closed down the festival Saturday night in the Taft Ballroom.

This year’s festival saw 57 acts ranging from bluegrass and country to pop-punk and indie to singer-songwriter and DJ sets. Around 20 local bands and numerous other Ohio-based groups took the stage, including Cincy’s breakout stars Walk the Moon, who closed out the festival Sunday night in the Taft Theatre (which is the same venue where guitarist Eli Maiman attended his very first concert, the crowd learned). Around 22 of the sets featured female musicians, proving something Women of Cincy has always known: #womenrock.

Varsity, an indie rock quintet from Chicago, performed in front of a #DuffleShuffle banner. Photo: Ann Gilly.

Varsity, an indie rock quintet from Chicago, performed in front of a #DuffleShuffle banner. Photo: Ann Gilly.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from the weekend:

  • “This charity is awesome. There’s so much bad stuff happening in the world right now so it’s awesome to see this charity working for good. I can’t think of a more worthy group than children,” said Eva Hendricks of Charly Bliss as she encouraged concertgoers to purchase Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky’s #DuffleShuffle T-shirts, with proceeds going to local children in out-of-home care.

Eva Hendricks gave an incredible and energetic performance, despite being sick. Photo: Ann Gilly.

Eva Hendricks gave an incredible and energetic performance, despite being sick. Photo: Ann Gilly.

  • Indie-electronic artist Dan Deacon performed for arguably the most energetic crowd of the weekend, encouraging concertgoers to participate in a dance battle and group interpretive dance contest.
  • “We don’t have to have all the answers, but we do have to keep working on it,” said riot grrrl icon Corin Tucker of Filthy Friends (and feminist band Sleater-Kinney), explaining the song "No Forgotten Son" about Trayvon Martin.

Filthy Friends, a "rock supergroup" originally formed to cover David Bowie songs, consists of members from Sleater-Kinney, R.E.M., Minus 5, and King Crimson. Photo: Ann Gilly.

Filthy Friends, a "rock supergroup" originally formed to cover David Bowie songs, consists of members from Sleater-Kinney, R.E.M., Minus 5, and King Crimson. Photo: Ann Gilly.

  • Walk the Moon played three songs off their upcoming album coming out November 10, which the hometown crowd already knew most of the words to. Band members Kevin Ray, Nicholas Petricca, Sean Waugaman, and Eli Maiman reminisced about getting their start in Cincinnati, where WNKU (sadly going off the air this Thursday, September 28) was the first radio station to play the band on the air.

Check out the full lineup of bands from this year's festival or get a taste of the artists in MPMF’s 2017 Spotify playlist.

Megan Park: Capturing Passion

Megan Park: Capturing Passion

Tamaya Dennard: Bring a Folding Chair

Tamaya Dennard: Bring a Folding Chair