CINCINNATI — When Bunbury Music Festival organizer PromoWest announced this year's lineup in January, it once again presented a mix of familiar and new favorite artists who will perform during the eighth edition of the three-day fest.
Headliners Fall Out Boy, Greta Van Fleet, The 1975, Girl Talk and Run the Jewels lead the list of performers who will play four stages at Yeatman's Cove and Sawyer Point.
The Orphan The Poet will kick off the music inside Sawyer Point at 1:30 p.m. Friday, while The 1975 will close out Bunbury on Sunday night. This is The 1975's second time performing at the music festival; the English indie rock/indie pop band first played at Bunbury in 2017.
Here's what else you need to know before you go.
While not necessarily new, it should be noted organizers moved the River Stage of the festival due to a rising Ohio River.
Water was encroaching the Serpentine Wall area were the stage typically sits by Friday morning. The stage is now set up near the official Bunbury merchandise tent on the lawn of Yeatman's Cove between the Monster Energy Stage and the Purple People Bridge.
The move has not affected the schedule of performances on either stage.
The biggest addition to Bunbury this year isn't even taking place at the festival's riverfront parks venue --- or during its regular hours.
Bunbury Late Night: The name says it all. PromoWest, in a new partnership with iHeart Media, has added four mini-concerts that will take place at different venues.
The official Bunbury kickoff party: AC Upper Deck, the rooftop bar at AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks, will host the official Bunbury kickoff party from 7 p.m.-midnight Thursday. Los Angeles-based sextet Paper Jackets will perform. The party is free and open to the public until the bar is full. The hotel is located at 135 Joe Nuxhall Way.
Bunbury Late Night at Aloft: Brooklyn-based band American Authors will perform a free acoustic set after the first day of Bunbury ends. The afterparty will take place 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday at the Aloft boutique hotel in Newport. Aloft is located at 201 E. Third St., next to the Purple People Bridge. The show is also open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis.
Bunbury Late Night at Mikey's Late Night Slice: Chicago-based Friday Pilots Club will play a free show at the recently opened Mikey's Late Night Slice in Over-the-Rhine on Saturday night. The afterparty will take place from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. at the pizzeria located at 2014 Elm St. Again, admission is first-come, first-in.
Bunbury Late Night at Memorial Hall: This year's Bunbury fun won't end when The 1975 closes out the music festival Sunday night. The Orphan The Poet and lovelytheband will play an acoustic set together from 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday in Memorial Hall. This show costs $10 and is 18-years-old-and-older. Memorial Hall is located at 1225 Elm St. in Over-the-Rhine.
What's the same?
Spoiler: Pretty much everything, minus a few name changes to reflect new sponsorship.
The Acoustic Sound Stage: The name may change each time Bunbury returns, but the small acoustic venue will be in Sawyer Point again this year. This weekend it's going by the name "metro by T Mobile Acoustic Stage." The stage still will be located near the Braxton Brewing Craft Beer Village.
Braxton Brewing Craft Beer Village: Braxton is back for its third year. The Covington brewery claimed naming rights as the craft beer village's main sponsor in 2017. The village remains located near the Purple People Bridge. Fifty West, Sun King, Sweet Water, Terrapin Beer Co., New Belgium and Southern tier craft breweries will be serving beer with Braxton in the village this year. No longer on tap – West Sixth, Lagunitas, Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's.
Buzz: If you're a Braxton beer drinker, then you've probably already sampled Braxton and PromoWest's collaborative beer, Buzz, this year. Braxton's honey-and-peach-infused light beer has become a seasonal staple for the brewery since its introduction in 2017. Buzz is available in cans at most Kroger stores and other outlets. And, of course, it will be on tap at Bunbury all weekend long.
Showtimes: The gates for the festival will open at noon Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Music will start at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The final performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will end at 11 p.m.
Paper tickets and cash: PromoWest will continue using paper tickets, admission wristbands and direct cash purchases from vendors on site this year. There will be plenty of ATMs on site. For those picking up tickets on site, Bunbury's box office is located in the Sawyer Point parking lot at 705 E. Pete Rose Way. Box office hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-10 p.m. Sunday.
If you purchased tickets online through Bunbury-approved ticket provider and official collegiate partner JusCollege, the vendor will provide information regarding will call and ticket pick-up.
The stages: The festival’s main three stages will be pretty much in the same places as last year. Those stages will be located near the Southgate-Taylor Bridge in Yeatman's Cove, along the Serpentine Wall on the Ohio River and on the main lawn just behind the entrance to Sawyer Point near the I-71 bridge. The entrances again will be located near the Southgate-Taylor Bridge and the main entrance to Sawyer Point just past the Purple People Bridge. VIP seating also will be in the same places near the main stages at Yeatman's Cove and Sawyer Point.
Tips for enjoying the festival
Show up early: Even with two entry points, it is still worth arriving earlier than planned. We repeat: Gates open at noon Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Map your day: Use the music schedule Bunbury released in advance to plan which acts you absolutely have to see. Check the full schedule here.
Watch the weather: Dress accordingly. Wear sunblock and bring bug spray. You also might want to pack a poncho in case of rain; umbrellas are prohibited.
Plant a flag: OK, not really, but plan times and meet-up spots with friends in case your group gets separated or wants to see different performances.
Plan the best way to get there: There are multiple ways to get to Bunbury without fighting riverfront traffic and trying to find somewhere to park.
- Public transportation: Metro in Cincinnati and TANK in Northern Kentucky have convenient bus stops within a short walking distance to Bunbury. Metro has a free smartphone app and interactive tool on its website to help plan your trip. TANK offers a similar real-time planning tool on its website. The Cincinnati streetcar is another option to avoid traffic along the riverfront. The streetcar will run from Over-the-Rhine north of Findlay Market to Walnut Street at The Banks 6:30 a.m.-1 a.m. on Friday, 8 a.m.-1 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday. There's also a free smartphone app for the streetcar.
- Rent a parking space: Parking spots near the festival also can be reserved in advance through Spot Hero.
Rent a locker: If you're planning to stay the full day at Bunbury, it might be wise to rent a locker once you go through the entrance gate. Bonus: Each locker doubles as a cellphone charging station.
Re-entry: Unless you bought a three-day pass, plan to stay at the venue the entire day. Organizers will not let single-day general admission ticket holders leave and re-enter.
What can you bring?
One sealed 20-ounce bottle of water, empty plastic bottles and CamelBaks are allowed. You can fill empty plastic bottles and CamelBaks at the free water stations.
What can't you bring?
• Weapons of any kind
• Illegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernalia
• Aerosol (spray) sunscreen or aerosol can of any kind
• Framed or large backpacks, oversized bags
• Selfie sticks, monopods, tripods
• Long lens or detachable lens cameras
• Glass containers
• Food or beverages
• Skateboards, inline skates, bicycles, carts, Segways, scooters or personal motorized vehicles
• Large chain or spiked jewelry or clothing
• Hula hoops
• Musical instruments
• Fireworks or explosives
• Laser pointers
• Pets (except for service dogs)
• Video equipment
• Professional still cameras and equipment
• Audio recording equipment