Happy MidPoint Music Festival weekend! More than 120 acts will perform everything from indie to alt-rock to hip-hop at multiple venues in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown, and it’s the perfect time to find a new band to love. Check out our top nine must-see shows at MidPoint, as well as suggestions based on other bands you might like.
Friday-Sunday. For venues, showtimes and tickets: mpmf.com
DevouGrass Music and Arts Festival is partnering with Covington's Braxton Brewing Co. to bring bluegrass music, craft beer, food trucks and arts and crafts vendors to the bandshell in Devou Park on Saturday. The festival is also partnering with storytellers from the Kenton County Library and the Devou Trails Collective, who will host races and bicycle demos as part of their Fall Bike Bonanza.
Noon to dusk Saturday. Devou Park Bandshell, Covington. Free admission. devougrass.com
Covington’s annual arts festival, Art Off Pike, returns Sunday, featuring work from more than 60 artists, spoken word and dance demos, art installations and activities, and live music from Josh Eagle, Cream & Sugar, Fairmount Girls, Pike 27 and other performers.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Pike Street, Covington. Free admission. artoffpike.org
Clifton will host its own celebration of arts and music during CliftonFest. Expect to hear from performers such as the Faux Frenchmen, Baoku Afro-Fusion Band and Wade Baker Trio. Other activities include the TriHealth 5K Run/Walk, street art and performers, yoga, cornhole, the Blessing of the Pets and a pet parade, as well as magic, dance and puppet show performances.
6-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Ludlow Avenue, Clifton. Free admission. www.cliftonfest.com
Up for a little fishy fun? The Weeki Wachee Mermaids return to the Newport Aquarium on Friday. The colorful mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.) State Park will stay through Oct. 12, swimming through the aquarium’s 60,000-gallon Coral Reef tank and taking photos with guests. There also will be a costume party Friday, the Mermaid & Pirate Family Ball, where you can get up-close and personal with the mermaids during meet-and-greets and enjoy food, drinks, a treasure hunt and dancing.
Mermaid & Pirate Family Ball: 7-10 p.m. Friday. Admission $45; $36 for passholders. For other general admission times and ticket information, visit NewportAquarium.com.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 120th season this weekend, and WCPO Contributor Rick Pender’s season preview named the program as one of the nine CSO and Pops concerts you won’t want to miss this year. From his guide: Music Director Louis Langrée will conducts a program featuring Russian pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Béla Bartók’s second piano concerto. It’s a powerful, percussive piece that Bartók wrote to perform himself. The program opens with the overture to Beethoven’s only opera, "Fidelio," and includes Berlioz’s phantasmagoric "Symphonie Fantastique," which traces a doomed affair that ends with the lover’s execution.
11 a.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. $10-$118. www.cincinnatisymphony.org
Oktoberfest season is STILL going on, and this time it’s Newport’s turn to celebrate. Newport Oktoberfest will celebrate German food, music and beer on Riverboat Row this weekend.
5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Riverboat Row, Newport. Free admission. www.oktoberfestnewport.com
An international fireworks competition will blast off at Coney Island on Saturday. Fire Up the Night IV will pit fireworks teams from Australia, Brazil and England against each other. Cincinnati’s own Rozzi Famous Fireworks will provide its own show for the finale.
8:30 p.m. Saturday. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave. Admission $30 a carload. www.coneyislandpark.com
The Cincinnati Street Food Festival will let you stuff yourself on food from some of Cincinnati’s most popular food trucks and mobile vendors, including.Empanadas Aqui, Red Sesame, C’est Cheese, Catch-a-Fire Pizza and Bistro de Mohr. There also will be live music from Jake Speed and the Freddies, Monk River, Steve Schmidt's Organ Trio, Baoku Afro-Fusion Band and Sonny Moorman.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 770 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills. Free admission. For more details visit the event’s Facebook page.
Bonus: Bret Michaels will headline the Merchants & Music Festival on Saturday in Tower Park. Do I really need to say anything else?
2 p.m.-midnight Saturday. Tower Park, Douglas Drive, Fort Thomas. Free admission. www.merchantsandmusic.com