Thursday, August 30, 2007

Midpoint hoopla?

In the wake of the schedule release for Cincinnati's Midpoint Music Festival, a regional blog weighed in and wasn't too happy.
Cincinnati blog Each Not Secure wrote this article on the festival. Then more people read the article and began commenting about the festival on the message board.
The gist if their complaints are that Midpoint seems stuck on being focused on unsigned and regional bands. Others are upset that it seems the same bands play every year.
I guess my take on it is that, sure a lot of the same bands play every year. It's a regional festival. But when I saw the line up this year I thought it showed a pretty good grasp of including bands from all around the region. Many had never played Midpoint before. More so than I have seen in previous years. The only complaint I had was that too many good bands were playing at weird time slots, in different bars, at the same times. I won't be able to see them all now.
Maybe they have a point about Midpoint being taken away from the downtown area. But I'm not so sure I agree with slimming it down to include less bands on a couple stages at Sawyer Point - like Desdemona. If that happened Midpoint would more likely be reduced to any other national show that comes to town. You'd probably have Bad Veins, Wussy, Pearlene (the same bands invited to every other Cincinnati festival - for good reason, cause they're good) opening up for some low grade national indie band. Boring. It would take the soul out of the festival.
I don't know anyone who helps create the festival, I don't have friends on any panels. But I know that I have been to a lot of regional music festivals and hands down Midpoint is the best. It has always been the best managed event by far. Bands actually get paid and people sell their CDs. It has also been the best attended. Where else can you find +300 people crammed into a bar to check out a bunch of local bands? No other night than the three days of Midpoint.
I've been to the Midwest Music Summit and saw great bands playing to five people. The same could be said about NXNE, or even events in Boston or Nashville. There is something special going on with Midpoint. Should that be nurtured into including bigger bands on a national level? I guess. But the coolest thing about Midpoint has always been that it doesn't need them.

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