It is Monday morning in Cincinnati. While most of us are begrudgingly starting our week, the banks of the Ohio River are getting some well-deserved rest. For the past three days it has played host to thousands of music lovers who gathered for The Bunbury Music Festival. The event featured dozens of local and national bands on six stages set up throughout Sawyer Point Yeatman’s Cove.
This was the third year for the Cincinnati festival, but it was my first Bunbury experience. I must admit I went into it feeling more than a little apprehension. My concern was that I was only familiar with a handful of the eighty bands that would be playing over the course of the three day span. What would I do with myself during all of my “downtime?” Downtime…ha-ha, I laugh at myself now. As soon as one band would finish, another was starting up on a nearby stage. With every band that I saw, my concerns of down time faded away.
While music was the main focus of the event, Bunbury was so much more. It was like a little village was established in the heart of Cincinnati complete with food, shops and spirits. In this village a community gathered made of people from all different walks of life coming together with one common passion. Despite the different types of people, everyone managed to co-exist with no drama or conflicts. There were people playing Frisbee and folks snoozing on sprawled out blankets on the grass. Others bounced from stage to stage catching every note of music they possibly could, and judging from the strange aroma that would catch the air, some found other recreational activities. No matter what you came to Bunbury for, it was cool. Everyone let everyone be. It made for an awesome atmosphere. One of my favorite moments came just before Fall Out Boy hit the stage on Saturday night. At first, I was less that excited about the swell of young teenage girls that began to gather around me. Then I saw a young girl who was probably around fourteen or fifteen years old. She wore a Fallout Boy T-shirt and a smile from ear to year. She looked at her friend and said, “I’m so excited!” I couldn’t help but smile. That young girl got it. Music is so exciting! That is why we all came to Bunbury.
If I had to choose one word to sum up Bunbury for me, it would be discovery. I found myself going home each night after the festival and researching bands that I had seen that day. It is not to say that I loved every band I saw, but I definitely came out a better music fan for having had the experience. With three days of music featuring eighty bands, I could write pages and pages about the highlights of Bunbury 2014. Instead, I will show…