Buy Gift Cards
happening DOWNTOWN

Happening Blog

Middle of Everything

Sep 25, 2014

What is MPMF? And where Is everything?

MidPoint is a music festival that focuses on helping emerging artists gain quality exposure at multiple venues throughout downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. This year the festivities are Thursday, Sept. 25 to Saturday, Sept. 27. This is the 13th annual MidPoint. 

Who Goes to MidPoint?

Pure and simple, music fans. In the convivial and supportive atmosphere of the festival you will find moms and dads, hipsters, hippies, and every kind of musician. MidPoint is about hearing great music, finding a new favorite band, and buying a beer for that drummer you think is awesome.

Can I still get “tickets”?

The best way to enjoy all MidPoint has to offer is buy the all-access wristband, which gives you admission to ALL shows at ALL venues, fire marshal rules permitting. There are also single day passes and it’s possible to pay a cover charge at the door. But the wristband is the way to go and you can buy them here. 

Then turn in your ticket for a wristband at the MPMF box office on the MidPoint Midway, at 12th and Vine Streets. The Midway box office is open Thursday through Saturday from 4 – 11 p.m. The Washington Park box office, at the corner of 14th and Race Streets, is open from 5 – 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 1 – 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Has anyone I’ve heard of ever played Midpoint?

Why, yes, many bands you have seen, heard, and currently have on your iPod have played MidPoint. To name a few: The Head and The Heart, The Breeders, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kurt Vile, Kishi Bashi, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, The Walkmen, Dinosaur Jr., Tom Tom Club, Ralph Stanley, Andrew Bird, Cut Copy, The Joy Formidable, Okkervil River, Booker T Jones, Phantogram, Surfer Blood, Caribou, TEEN, Lord Huron, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cults, Lydia Loveless and Heartless Bastards.

Is it all indie rock?

While the focus of MidPoint is pop and indie rock, you will find bands for all musical tastes. Here are few highlights in other genres, if you want to break up your music diet over the weekend.

  • Country: Nikki Lane, Margo & the Price Tags, Bulletville,
  • Folk: Lost in the Trees, Mutual Benefit, Woody Pines, The Ridges,
  • R&B: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Magnolia Sons,
  • Blues: Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, No Sinner, Left Lane Cruiser,
  • Heavy Metal: Deafheaven, Liturgy, as well as more dance-oriented sounds like
  • Hip-hop/EDM: Tycho, Dessa, WHY?, Body Language, and Parallels.

Who’s playing this year?

About 150 acts from seven countries, 57 cities, and across the region are performing. Here is the full schedule.

Among the highlights are Chromeo, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and Nikki Lane on Thursday.

On Friday, Real Estate plays a free, happy hour show at 6 p.m. at the MidPoint Midway. The big show that night is the return of one of the best bands from the ‘90s. Local heroes The Afghan Whigs make their only regional appearance during current world tour, playing in Washington Park.

Saturday features the always fun OK Go, along with The Raveonettes, Empires, and Speedy Ortiz.

You will find plenty of great Cincinnati bands playing, too: Automagik, Black Owls, Bulletville, Culture Queer, Darlene, Fathers, Fists of Love, Heavy Hinges, Honey & Houston, Honeyspiders, Injecting Strangers, Leggy, Molly Sullivan, Old City, Prim, Public, Smasherman, State Song, The Afghan Whigs, The Almighty Get Down, The Ready Stance, Us, Today, WHY?, and Wussy.

This is great! I want to tell all my friends – How do I do that?

Since it’s the 21st century, you can share all the awesome experiences you’re having via social media. You can interact with the festival, bands, and other fans on MidPoint’s Twitter (@MidPointMusic), Facebook ( and Instagram (

I have kids but still like rock ‘n’ roll. What can I do?

MidPoint has more all-ages stages than ever before, with shows at the Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Ballroom, Memorial Hall, the MidPoint Midway, Christian Moerlein Brewery Outdoor Stage and Washington Park. Kids under 10 can even go to the Washington Park shows for free, with a paying adult. And there are plenty of daytime events at Washington Park and the Midway.

What’s this Midway you keep talking about?

It will be as much as it sounds! In a partnership with the folks at ArtWorks, and thanks to a sponsorship from P&G, the block between Vine and Walnut Streets will have music, food trucks, and vendors, and art and activities. The Midway is a fun way to take a break and explore some of the other amazing art in Cincinnati.

This is where you’ll find the CincyInk., a citywide celebration of love for Cincinnati that invites devoted Cincinnatians to “ink their love” – a crowd-sourced poem about Cincinnati will later be divided and permanently inked on 200+ participants as part of the Cincinnati Tattoo Project.

More fun can be had at the SkateAble Track and Screen Printing by Able Projects. Live professional and amateur skateboarding will be on demonstration using ink themed sculptural ramps.

Short-Order Poetry by Chase Public will co-create poems about personal connections to Cincinnati. Each visitor will receive a poem inspired by their own responses to various prompts and questions. They may take it with them or contribute it to CincyInk.

Ink Our Icons by Amanda M. Crane invites people to help raise awareness and solidarity for Union Terminal and Music Hall by “inking” their memories of the landmarks on postcards.

Plenty of other cool things are happening at the MidPoint Midway.

What if I get hungry?

Pro tip: You need to eat. Most likely you won’t want to miss anything, so plan to eat on the run. This is easy to do with all of the food trucks along the Midway. There will be lines, if there is an open spot in your schedule go then, during a show. You will still have a wait, but you will be less cranky and your friends will be much happier. Choices at the Midway include Keystone Bar & Grill (mac & cheese!), Mr. Hanton's Handwiches, Turophilia Quesadillas, Vinnie's Gourmet Pretzels, Eli's BBQ, Island Noodles and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.

Grabbing a slice of pizza is a tried-and-true MipPoint tradition. Lucy Blue, at 35 E. Seventh St, and 1126 Main St., serves hot and fresh pizza until after 3 a.m. Tacos more your style? Gomez Salsa has a taco window at  107 East 12th Street, serving chips and salsa, tacos, and turtle shells (don’t ask, just order it) until 3 a.m.

Need to sit down? Drop by Shanghai Mama’s, 216 E. Sixth St., and carb load until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

I’m going to a 8:15 show at Mainstay and I want to go to the 9:30 show at MOTR. How can I do that?

Ride your bicycle! Or more accurately, ride a share bicycle: Cincy Red Bike. This new bike share program, with stations throughout downtown and Over-the-Rhine, makes it easy to get from one venue to the next quickly, plus it's easy on the environment. For $8 a day (or $80 for an annual pass - what a deal!) you can rent a bike to get from place to place – you just need to check it in once an hour. Which is easy to do, since you’ll want to drop it off before you go to the show. Then you pick up another Red Bike to ride to the next item on your agenda.

Whether walking or biking, you will be standing, a lot, at Midpoint, so wear comfortable shoes. MidPoint is no time to break in those new fall boots or drag out those sneakers with the hole in the sole. And nobody want to hear about how much your feet hurt. 

Where exactly are all the show?

  • Arnolds Bar & Grill, 210 East Eighth Street
  • Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1621 Moore Street (2 stages)
  • Contemporary Arts Center, 44 East Sixth Street (all ages)
  • The Drinkery, 1150 Main Street
  • Bioré Stage at Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson Street (2 stages)
  • Mainstay Rock Bar, 301 West Fifth Street
  • Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm Street (all ages)
  • Midpoint Midway Presented by P&G, 12th Street, between Vine & Walnut (all ages)
  • MOTR Pub, 1345 Main Street
  • Mr. Pitiful’s, 1323 Main Street
  • Taft Ballroom, 317 East Fifth Street (all ages)
  • Washington Park Presented by Dewey’s Pizza, 1230 Elm Street (all ages)
Stay hydrated! Have fun!

Find out what’s happening in downtown Cincinnati. Sign up for our weekly email here!