Helpful tips, need-to-know information for LumenoCity weekend

CINCINNATI -- With more than 40,000 people expected at the four-day LumenoCity concert and festival, there's a lot to know to get the best experience at what will be a crowded Washington Park throughout the weekend.

Between Friday and Saturday nights an approximate 30,000 people showed up to the event in its second year.

RELATED: LumenoCity's opening night brings large crowds to Over-the-Rhine

By Saturday morning ticket holders were showing up outside of the park's gates, ready to pick their space for Saturday's show. The greatest problem though wasn't finding a place to sit in Washington Park.

Some visitors said finding a nearby place to park was the bigger issue and recommended staking a place to stash the car as early as 4:30 p.m. Sunday for the last show.

People line up outside of Washington Park early Saturday morning to claim their spot for the 9:30 p.m. show.

With that in mind, here are the ins and outs of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's second annual free event, from helpful tips to all the information you need to enjoy Cincinnati’s visually breathtaking show.

Festival hours/gates open (see the bottom of this story for a map of the event and gate locations):

Friday, Aug. 1 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday, Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

On Thursday, July 31, gates opened at 6:30 p.m. for a working dress rehearsal. Although the spectacle officially kicks off Friday, thousands packed Washington Park for the behind-the-scenes look at how LumenoCity comes together.

GALLERY: LumenoCity rehearsal draws thousands to Washington Park

Among the crowd was Sara Storn, who was lucky enough to score a ticket - and a front row spot for LumenoCity's opening night. She brought her 2-year-old daughter along for the festivities.

"She loves music, music and dance," Storn said of her little girl.

Not too far away was Alan Solomon, who came to Thursday's rehearsal from Highland Heights.

"I'm kind of excited about seeing the light show," he said. "I can't imagine where it's going to be, and I like the orchestra."

Before Thursday's event began, organizers predicted a crowd of 6,500. They expect twice that many to attend each night of LumenoCity.

*Be ready! The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. each night!

Music you can expect at the show

Beginning at 8:30 each evening, John Morris Russell will conduct the Orchestra as the Cincinnati Pops. A short intermission will lead into music director Louis Langrée guiding the Orchestra through a display of sound and lights.

VIDEO: Meet two very different LumenoCity conductors

The second half of LumenoCity will give a sneak peak into the CSO's 2014-15 season. Projected onto the front of Music Hall, music fans can watch animation that moves with the CSO beat. Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," commissioned and first shown by the CSO in 1942, is ready for LumenoCity.

Also on board is "Short Ride in a Fast Machine," by John Adams, the fourth movement from Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, Elgar's moving "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations, and Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor. Plus other surprises. 

Cincinnati-based Brave Berlin will take over visuals for the second portion of LumenoCity, so animation will be projected onto Music Hall from trailers set up on Race Street.

As for other music before and after the LumenoCity event, a full schedule of live performances can be found at the bottom of this story.

Are tickets exchangeable?

No -- the event will take place rain or shine and you cannot switch your tickets to a different day.

But what if it rains?

In extreme inclement weather or with the threat of lightning, the event organizers may issue a rain delay. Otherwise, bring a poncho!


The CSO hires security officers to patrol the areas surrounding Music Hall on concert nights, and LumenoCity is no different. Those attending the event are encouraged to ask for assistance or directions. 

The CSO has also worked with the city to ensure that Elm Street, Central Parkway and the pedestrian bridge to Town Center Garage are lit and security-monitored.

Attendees should call 513.381.3300 or email with any questions or concerns.


Plan accordingly! Southbound I-71 will shut down completely starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, August 1 through 5 a.m. on Monday, August 4 due to demolition work on the Conrail Bridge just north of the MLK Drive overpass between the Taft Road and Dana Avenue exits. Those headed toward LumenoCity from north of that closure should take State Route 562, the Norwood Lateral, over to I-75 and make their way southbound to the Ezzard Charles exit.

Regardless of the closure, concert-goers should arrive early enough to find a comfortable spot, and expect congestion around the downtown

area as the evening goes on.

Which streets will be closed for this event?

14th Street between Elm and Race will be closed for the festival. Elm Street will be closed at the parking garage entrance and will be two-way at the end of the event each evening. At the discretion of the Cincinnati Police Department, Race Street will be closed between 13th and 14th Streets.

Parking for the event:

There is no reserved parking for the general public, or for CSO/Pops patrons. For a map of area parking, CLICK HERE.  All parking rates apply.

The CSO/Pops is offering shuttle service to and from Union Terminal for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances. Free parking will be open at Union Terminal after 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with 900 parking spots available. Free shuttles will be provided to and from Union Terminal and Music Hall starting at 4 p.m. to midnight all three nights. ADA shuttles will also be available at this time.

What can you bring in during the event?

You can bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers with food and non-alcoholic beverages. According to Ohio state law, audience members are prohibited from bringing alcohol into the park. Concessions and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on site.

Gate attendants may ask to search any coolers and bags.

To help ensure the comfort of all guests, event organizers ask that you keep your carry-in items to a minimum, and want to stress that absolutely no umbrellas will be permitted into the event.

What if plans change and now you can’t attend?

Tickets are not returnable or exchangeable but you can transfer your tickets to another party through the website so as many people as possible may enjoy the festival.

To transfer your tickets, log in to your Ticketmaster account , then click the “Transfer” button to start the process.

Do you need a ticket for your child or baby?

Yes, all audience members require a ticket to enter the ticketed area of the festival. Child and baby tickets “count” toward your four-per-household ticket limit.

Don’t worry – if you didn’t grab a ticket, you can still watch.

There are still great places to watch the show outside of the ticketed area in Washington Park.

There are also several ways to experience LumenoCity outside of Washington Park, including tuning into WCPO 9 On Your Side for a live streaming concert Saturday, Aug. 2.

MORE: WCPO 9 On Your Side to air Saturday, Aug. 2 LumenoCity concert live

See LumenoCity's broadcasts page for more ways to listen and watch the concert.

Last year, there weren’t enough porta-potties and concession stands. Has that changed?

That’s one of the reasons the event is ticketed this year -- to create a better patron experience for everyone and to create easier access to facilities and concessions. Significant increases have been made in the number of and access to facilities and concessions this year.

Are dogs allowed?

For safety and space concerns, organizers cannot allow dogs in the ticketed section of the park. Service animals are the exception. Dogs are welcome in LumenoCity Village, which encompasses the dog park in Washington Park.

Where can you get food and drinks on site?

At LumenoCity Village, located at the south end of Washington Park. Food, beverage and artisan crafts will be available for purchase. No ticket is required to enter the Village.

Here are the vendors available:

- 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab
- A&A Concessions (Crab Cakes)
- Andy's Mediterranean Grille
- Asian Food Festival
- Busken's Bakery
- C'est Cheese
- Cincinnati Cooks Catering
- Cincy By the Slice
- Coffee Emporium
- Dojo Gelato
- Findlay Market
- Graeters
- Huit Craft BBQ
- New Orleans to Go
- Panino
- Red Sesame Korean BBQ
- Street Pops
- Taste of Belgium
- The Bonbonerie
- The Phoenix
- Urban Grill

If you'd rather purchase a picnic box for four by the Taste of Belgium, CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

Day-by-day music line-up

Friday, August 1:
4:30 p.m. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
5:30 p.m. Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle
6:30 p.m. Los Honchos
8:30 p.m. LumenoCity
10:30 p.m. DJ Matt Joy

Saturday, August 2:
12:00 p.m. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park presents Storyteller Diane Macklin
1:00 p.m. Drums for Peace
2:00 p.m. Young Heirlooms
3:00 p.m. Baby Money and the Downpayments
4:00 p.m. Frontier Folk Nebraska
5:00 p.m. Comet Bluegrass Allstars
6:30 p.m. Crown Jewel of Jazz
8:30 p.m. LumenoCity
10:30 p.m. Cincy Brass

Sunday, August 3:
1:00 p.m. My Cincinnati
2:00 p.m. Bi-Okoto Cultural Institute
3:30 p.m. Josh Eagle
5:30 p.m. Classical Roots Community Mass Choir (members of)
6:30 p.m. DAAP Girls
8:30 p.m. LumenoCity

View a map of the event here.

Check out a photo gallery of the first LumenoCity concert event: LumenoCity at Washington Park

For more information about LumenoCity, CLICK HERE.

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