Saturday, September 27, 2003

Festival boosts city

Thumbs up: MidPoint

Those who bemoan Cincinnati's entertainment scene as a case of "feast or famine" can certainly get their fill this weekend.

The MidPoint Music Festival is bringing 204 varied musical acts to 15 stages in 13 clubs throughout the Main Street district of Over-the-Rhine.

It's wall-to-wall music, an event that aims to encourage up-and-coming musicians, keep the Main Street boom alive, help spiff up Cincinnati's image, and attract young professionals to the city.

In short, it's just the kind of event our area needs.

The festival, which winds up tonight, provides a regional showcase for rising musical acts in a variety of genres - rock, blues, bluegrass, hip-hop and more.

Among the acts are groups called Johnny Socko, Buckra, cari clara, Digby, Moth, Spindle and the Westside Daredevils. Not national household names, but that's just the point. This is an opportunity for music fans to discover them while the buzz is just starting.

"MidPoint," by the way, refers to Cincinnati's central location in our region.

Organizers expect total weekend attendance of 20,000, or about double those who went to last year's inaugural festival.

But MidPoint could be more than a feel-good event for city boosters - it could be a real economic tool.

Little wonder the city of Cincinnati and Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce signed on as sponsors this year.

"This is about image building and it's about creating excitement in the city that will attract investors long-term," Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley told the Enquirer. He's right.

MidPoint may be the weekend's high point, but with hard work and a bit of luck, such excitement could be business as usual in Cincinnati before long.

Feast on.

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