MidPoint Music Festival starts living off the wall

MidPoint Music Festival starts living off the wall
MidPoint’s palette takes on new color introducing the MidPoint Poster Expo to Cincinnati


CINCINNATI, Ohio (September 7, 2010) – Don’t look now, but soon MidPoint Music Festival will begin moving Cincinnati into more uncharted waters, trying new ways to draw attention to creative artists of the region. The festival, which runs September 23–25, will join together with some of the most relevant poster makers working today to present the first ever MidPoint Poster Expo.

Since the dawn of concert promotion there has been the concert poster. Throughout the 1960’s as rock music grew, so did the importance of poster art, serving not only as an advertisement, but also as a reminder of a place, group, or time. Despite more marketing happening online than in print, today the poster is as important as ever. Bottom line: people love to look at them.

The MidPoint Poster Expo will be on display in the lower level of the Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., and will be free and open to the public. It will feature work from several regional artists spanning a variety of styles, focusing on contemporary music and event posters, mostly with limited print runs. In many ways this represents a revival of the 1960s era of silkscreened posters, which is actually enjoying quite a renaissance in Cincinnati. Many of the posters are silkscreened by hand, with limited print runs for each show, making them more unique and collectible.

Helping to organize the exhibition is Brian Bergen of Powerhouse Factories. Bergen’s Newport, Kentucky firm is a go to design group, creating posters for concerts all around the country. A quick glance at their portfolio shows off work for artists including Wilco, Spoon, The Black Keys, OK Go! and many more.

Concert poster exhibitions are popular with enthusiasts. Powerhouse Factories has participated in Flatstock, a series of poster conventions held at various locations around the world by the American Poster Institute (API). Flatstock, which started in 2002, attracts thousands of visitors at notable music festivals including Austin’s South by Southwest, Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival, and the Bumbershoot in Seattle. People flock to meet the artists who create these original works and sometimes take a poster or two with them.

Bergen says he thinks MidPoint could attract similar poster pundits to Cincinnati in the future.

“We are talking with API about the possibility of this becoming an official Flatstock event,” Bergen said. “We believe in the concept and its organizers. We want to it see it grow into one of the ‘can’t miss’ events of the summer. It has the potential to attract even more great artists, musicians and fans to the area.”

The MidPoint Poster Expo will be open to the public from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. all three days of the festival. On display will be work from the following design houses: FNHarsh (Dayton, OH), Powerhouse Factories (Newport, KY), Southpaw Prints (Cincinnati, OH), and Warnick Art (Cincinnati, OH). Others may be added as plans develop.

People looking for music won’t have far to go. The Dewey’s Pizza Stage will be just upstairs (requires MidPoint admission) with showcases starting around 9 p.m. Go to mpmf.com for official schedules with bands and set times.

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