This has been a great year so far for Cincinnati. The World Choir Games were held here, as well as the first ever Bunbury Music Festival. I had the pleasure of covering what was one of Cincinnati’s premiere music events of the year.
My friend Sarah accompanied me to the festival. As it is the first year of Bunbury, the both of us were especially glad to be able to attend. We left my place around 11:30am and got to Sawyer Point, which is where it was to be held around 12:00pm. Sarah went through the main gate as I made my way through the media gate. The staff at the media gate were all very helpful and friendly. As soon as I picked up my photo pass and wristband I was good to go! I walked in as it was still pretty early. Most of the tents that were selling t-shirts were up and other vendors such as the Craft Beer Village were all ready to go. Sarah and I decided to walk around to see where all the stages and everything were set up to get a feel for the grounds. I have been living in Cincinnati all of my life but had never been to Sawyer Point, so these next few days were extra special for me. Everything was set up really well. Plenty of space to walk and roam around, while enjoying 6 stages of music, all set a good walk apart. As we strolled around, I saw very few people there and I had this thought in my head: “Where is everyone?”
After walking to all the stages we made it to the Globili Stage (the main stage) where there was already a band performing. The band was called Scars On 45. They were really nice people and played a good set. One major drawback was the very few people number of people in attendance for the opening bands of the festival. Right after Scars On 45, I went over to the Landor Stage and caught Find Vienna, another talented act deserving of a larger crowd. After catching a bit of their set, I continued to walk around Bunbury to take in everything that was going on. While walking toward the main entrance I was stopped by a member of Lauren Mann & The Fairly Odd Folk and was told to check out their set at 4:30 at the CMC Stage. Following that encounter, I headed back to the main stage to check out Capital Cities. I got to the main stage right before they started and simply put, they were awesome. Everyone in the crowd was dancing and grooving right along with them. The bands trumpet player was one of the most active, jumping into the crowd. After shooting and catching CC, Sarah and I went to lunch at my favorite sushi place, Fusian, in downtown Cincinnati.
Following lunch, we headed back to Bunbury. After entering back into the festival, I headed to the Bud Light Stage to go catch The Henry Clay People. Upon getting to the stage, I was a little confused on who was on stage because the band performing didn’t look or sound like The Henry Clay People. Then I heard the band say “We wish we could stay but right after this we have to catch our plane to London.” By the barricade fencing in the middle, a man was passing out free CDs and the artist name was LP. That was honestly one of the best mix ups ever, because LP was great to watch and listen to. Such a great voice and performance.
Following LP’s set, Lauren Mann was getting ready to play the CMC Stage. I snapped a few photos of their set. They had a great mixture of instruments and a really fun presence on stage. Next, I headed back to the Bud Light Stage to catch and snap The Henry Clay People (for real this time). Those guys are really into their fans and making music for them. Noticing the time, I started to make my way to the main stage again to get photos of O.A.R. I know that this band has been around for a while and by the time I got the stage, they already had a crowd; a mixture of young fans to older fans. The thing I liked about their performance was their three-man brass section. O.A.R was just a really fun band to see overall. After I got my photos of O.A.R, I went to go catch Ra Ra Riot at the Bud Light Stage.
By this time it was 7:30pm and the number of people at Bunbury was massive. There were so many people there. I made my way toward the main stage to get photos of Airborne Toxic Event and once I got there, the field where the stage was set up was full of people. As soon as I took my photos, I ran back to the Bud Light Stage to get photos of Minus The Bear.
All of this running around was leading to the band I had been looking forward to seeing and taking photos of, Foxy Shazam. Foxy was closing the Landor Stage and the crowd for Foxy was huge. People had filled up all the seating to see the band play a hometown show. Following my three songs in the photo pit, I went straight into the middle of the crowd to enjoy myself and take some more photos. Their performance always leaves me speechless. After Foxy’s set wrapped up, I made my way to the main stage for the final time during day 1, this time to shoot Jane’s Addiction. When Jane’s began to play, everyone was screaming and acting nuts. On the river, there were a great amount of boats trying to catch the show as well. The stage setup for Jane’s Addiction was full of smoke, crazy lights and women in long dresses swinging on ropes. There were a number of “older” people there to see Jane’s Addiction but regardless of age, people were catching a great show.
The first day of Bunbury Music festival was a huge success. People had come from all over to see the festival’s debut. The amount of awesome musicians playing the first day was incredible. Two more days worth of coverage are left with so much more great music to discover and photos to share. This has been day one’s coverage of Bunbury by Sound Scene Press! Stay tuned for days 2 and 3!
Photos and article by Jon Medina.