Excitement for an annual indie rock showcase in downtown and Over-the-Rhine piqued Wednesday with the release of the first slate of artists set to perform at this year's event.
Organizers of the 13th annual MidPoint Music Festival have announced the names of 23 additional acts set to perform at various music venues in Cincinnati's urban core over the course of three days in late September.
Some of the bands on this year's lineup include the likes of Panda Bear, The Raveonettes, Sun Kil Moon, Mutual Benefit, St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Ex Hex. (Full list below)
The news comes a week to the day after MPMF organizers announced local rockers The Afghan Whigs as the headlining act for this year's festival. The Whigs are tentatively scheduled to headline the lineup at Washington Park on the Friday night of the fest. The fest runs from Thursday, Sept. 25 through Saturday, Sept. 27.
More acts will be announced in the months leading up to the festival.
When MPMF was started 2001, organizers sought to not only create a hip music event that promoted emerging artists, but also to bring attention and financial resources to the resurgence of OTR and Cincinnati.
"Each September, fans across the entire region trek to Cincinnati to get up close and personal in some of the most intimate festival settings available," wrote MPMF officials in a release.
"For three days each fall, fans can walk or bike easily between venues dotted throughout beautiful, resurgent Over-the-Rhine. This collection of young creative talent amongst an architecturally rich urban setting makes MidPoint a one-of-a-kind experience."
Tickets for the event are on sale now at MPMF.com.
An "All-Access Pass" pass costs $69 ($79 after Sept. 1), while a "VIP Pass" costs $179.
People who prefer to purchase tickets in person can find a box office available on Fountain Square during the free MidPoint Indie Summer concerts, happening each Friday evening, May 30–Aug. 29.
MidPoint Music Festival Initial Artists Snapshots
The Afghan Whigs
Recent release: Do To The Beast; First new material in 16 years. Only regional concert stop. “The combination of dark and sexy tells us we’re in the right place.” — American Songwriter
Recent release: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper due in July; Panda Bear, a.k.a. Noah Lennox from the popular band Animal Collective, is known largely for sonic pop songs built around looping.
Recent release: Atlas; “There’ll be plenty of albums this year that grab you by the throat more vigorously than Atlas does, but very few of them will be quite as lovingly nuanced--and none will make the guitar sound anything as appealing.” — The Line of Best Fit
Recent release: Observator; Danish indie-rock duo now based in the U.S. who combine arty noise with melodic elements of 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll.
Sun Kil Moon
Recent release: Benji; “Kozelek is a songwriter operating with audacity and confidence, composing wry and forthright confessionals….” — musicOMH.com
Recent release: Awake; Debuted #23 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums, #3 Billboard Independent Albums and #2 Billboard Electronic Albums
Recent release: Sunbather; “You can spend hours dismantling Sunbather and cooking up a neat sub-sub-genre for it (post-black-metal-gaze-death-dreamcore-whatever). Or you can just call it one of the year’s best records.” — Now Magazine
St. Paul & the Broken Bones
Recent release: Half the City; “The band's music doesn't just mimic the soul sounds its members love; it regenerates the tradition. Half the City is the first major recorded statement from a band already growing into greatness.” — Ann Powers, NPR
The Cave Singers
Recent release: Naomi; Their fourth release, this neo-folk trio has grown in size and sonic pallet. “…like any good muse, will captivate, invigorate and satiate.” — Paste Magazine
Recent release: July Talk; Debut release for this Toronto band featuring the most sweet and rough boy-girl vocals, all at the same time.
Recent release: Love’s Crushing Diamond; “[A] collection of seven gorgeous, baroque-folk songs.” — Pitchfork
Gardens & Villa
Recent release: Dunes; “Innumerable intricacies layered into the background make for an encompassing wall of notes that pulls you into a unusual dance.” — Paste Magazine
Recent release: Save Charlie; The best kind of party music to make you smile and dance.
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages
Recent release: Dig Thy Savage Soul; "A ferocious blast of distorted guitar riffs, skronking sax and explosive testifying." — Mojo
Recent release: Ex Hex; A new power trio featuring Mary Timony, formerly of the 90s pop guitar deconstructionist band Helium. “It's sheer glammed-out swagger…” —Pitchfork
Recent release: The Future’s Void; “It simultaneously aims for your head, your ears and occasionally your heart and at times even hits all three.” — PopMatters
Recent release: Major
Arcana; “Best New Music” — Pitchfork
Recent release: Violent Light; Second full-length album for this indie rock band with a big, pop melodic sound.
Recent release: Midnight Passenger; Driving Memphis punk band fast gaining attention. They recorded this latest album with modern punk hero Ty Segall producing.
Recent release: Upright Behavior due in July; Front man Adam Schatz also performs with Vampire Weekend and Man Man. Landlady is a six-piece, folk-pop collective with much more developed sound.
Low Cut Connie
Recent release: Call Me Sylvia; Rolling Stone “Band to Watch;” “Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when.” — Ken Tucker, Fresh Air
Recent release: Make Out King and Other Stories of Love; Silky vocals float over a blend of rock, soul, jazz and pop music churned out by this rising Houston quartet.
Recent release: Cheerleader EP; “A charming mix of lo-fi guitar grunge, The Beach Boys’ good vibes, and Wavves-inspired nonchalance.” – MTV Buzzworthy
Recent release: Cruel Runnings; This is a band trying to communicate the essence of a feeling. They write fun songs that focus on singularly personal experiences.