Fountain Opening Showcases Best of Cincy
I had planned to spend the whole evening this past Saturday at the Fountain Square reopening concert, but I didn’t plan for the weather. Testing the air outside of my house, I figured a sweatshirt would be enough to brave the slight nip in the air; the gusts from the river took the nip to a harsh early winter chill level, so I had to bail (in my defense, I had a 2-year-old in tow). I did manage to catch the amazing set from Talib Kweli, who was joined for about half his set by bonafide Cincy Hip Hop legend Hi-Tek (who rapped instead of DJed). It was a magnificently diverse crowd, if a little thin (surely things picked up for later headliners OK Go and Los Lobos). Since I had to leave early, check out a wonderful report from the festivities from my friend, local musician Dave Purcell, who joked to me at the event about how it was amusing that it took a white kid from the ’burbs (MidPoint Music Festival co-founder and new 3CDC guy Bill Donabedian) to book the most diverse concert in Cincy history.
People are moaning about how the Square was not fully completed (staging areas were clear, but there’s a lot of work still to be done, leading some to question whether the unveiling would even be able to happen), but I took this event to be more of a “Here we are! And here we go!” statement to show some of the great potential of the space. It would be great if the Square became the center of a new downtown revitalization, with concerts and other events drawing some of the many folks who now mostly just pass through on their way to Newport. The Banks project would be a great push to put things over the top (holding breath … turning blue), but, for now, the Square is shaping up to become a fun downtown destination point once again. — Mike Breen