These events bring the city to life, and show the possibilities of what could be in store for our downtown with eventual repopulation. People stream from bar to bar, venue to venue. Armed with an all access three day pass, gangs of friends roam from show to show to try and uncover the best act of each night. We drink beer and dance our faces off. We tweet inappropriate things to make them show up on the big screen in the Grammar's parking lot. Then we go to bed and do it again. And again. It's an energy that is hard to explain, but absolutely intoxicating.
I'm lucky to have some great musical guru friends who do a lot of research and help tune me in to bands I might not recognize. The weekend before MidPoint I sit down with my computer and go through friends' recommendations, Spotify, and the funny, descriptive rundown of each band from CityBeat (Low Cut Connie sounds like The Black Keys and Ben Folds hit the road in a van that runs on bourbon and expired pork barbecue? I'M SO THERE) to develop a working schedule for the weekend.
This year MPMF put together an interactive schedule - you can go through the lineup and select bands you want to see, and it will save it into a printable/saveable/shareable format. Super fun - go check it out at live.mpmf.com - you can check out my picks for the weekend if you need inspiration. I tend to gravitate towards upbeat, danceable music that sounds like it would be a more fun live show over beautiful (slower) music. I've got a Spotify playlist with my anticipated bands for your listening pleasure as well.
Here are my tips for an epic MPMF weekend:
- Use Twitter - the #mpmf hashtag not only allows you to search and see what bands are blowing up, at capacity/sold out, or lame, but you can also send tweets using the hashtag and they'll show up projected at venues around the festival. Pretty fun!
- Check out the MidWay - Even if you're not feeling down to drop $70 on a three-day pass, you can still participate in MidPoint fun. 12th Street will be blocked off and have free bands and cool stuff in pop up trucks (collaborating with ArtWorks!), as well as food trucks and beer vendors. Also, Washington Park will be loud enough to project beyond the barrier they put up, if you don't mind not seeing the performances.
- Ride your bike! There is, very sadly, no shuttle traveling around to venues this year - which sucks especially because there are some really good bands playing at out of the way (comparatively) venues like the Taft and Mainstay Rock Bar. If you have lights and access to a bike (or $15 to drop on a nightly rental), biking (on the street! going the correct way!) is a much better alternative to walking.
- Have some backup bands - If a show is super popular, you might not get in to the venue if you get there a little late. Also, despite your best efforts, after drinking a few beers, walking ALL THE WAY to a certain venue might seem like a daunting task.
- And above all - Go with the flow! Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the band you thought for sure you were going to see is already at capacity. The beauty of the pass is that you can go to ANY of the venues. Relax your expectations, and you will be guaranteed a great show and a fun experience no matter where you end up - which is the most fun part of all.
T minus 3 days and counting! I'll see you out there!