Monday, February 20, 2006


Desdemona Independent Arts Festival

Two-Time City Council Candidate, Alchemize part-owner, and general 'urbanist' Nick Spencer has announced a new initiative. I've been hearing talk of it for a few weeks now, but wanted to chat about it quickly here on this blog.

The details are somewhat thin so far (other than dates (June 23-25 - recently expanded to include a third day), and the announcment that national indie music mag Filter as an official sponsor). The Desdemona Independent Arts Festival which will focus on National acts of the 'indie' variety (though their not REALLY indie, since most of the acts be tossed around as possible are at least signed to small labels). Just to toss out a couple names of bands that have been mentioned to give you an idea: New Pornographers, Old 97s, Sleater-Kinney, Heartless Bastards, the Constantines, etc... for probably 90% of the reader of this blog, those names mean nothing. But these are some pretty big names on the indie level. The point being that, I think for a good number of Cincinnatians when the list of bands is released, I wouldn't expect people to know a lot of the bands. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go to the show. In fact, it's probably THE reason you should. There is a lot of great music out there, and the show will be outdoor at Sawyer point. It should be a great time, you'll get introduced to bands you've never seen/heard. But more importantly it will continue Cincinnati on the path towards 'cool'. If this event can grow and be as successful as MPMF, it will be a great bookend to MPMF.

It would create a national buzz about Cincinnati as a 'progressive' city. A city that supports not only our wonderful 'established' arts venues (Art Museum, Playhouse, Symphony, etc), but also the up and coming. Desdemona focused on national/regional touring indie bands. MPMF focused on purely 'unsigned' bands, and Cincy Fringe Festival promoting visual and performing arts that are new and interesting. If all of these events can grow, and succeed, that's a pretty impressive combination of interesting arts festivals for our 'sleepy little midwestern' town!

Joe, thanks very much for the nice mention. This post does a better job summing up the fest's intent than I have at times! I hope it will be a great compliment to MPMF that allows them to keep focused on unsigned talent.

Obviously, the Filter announcement is a pretty big deal, especially considering the actual coverage the magazine is giving us.

As for bands, I'm still trying to stress that no acts have been announced, and for folks to focus on the festival, not headliners per se. I think everyone will be happy with the final lineup.

Thanks again!
Judging from the names I've heard, this festival will totally eclipse MPMF. I attended MPMF this year and was severely disappointed. Almost every band I saw was a generic Puddle of Mudd/Nickleback clone with minimal talent. I'm sure I missed some good acts but to me it seems Midpoint is lacking any sort of filter for the bands they accept. this festival sounds awesome and I can't wait to see it happen.
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