Update: Brite Winter Festival Organizers Announce Lineup for This Year's Event

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click to enlarge Update: Brite Winter Festival Organizers Announce Lineup for This Year's Event
Emanuel Wallace
Update: The organizers at Brite Winter, the annual winter music and arts festival, have just announced the lineup for this year's event which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 18, on the West Bank of the Flats.

Some of the city's best local bands, including the Lighthouse and the Whaler, the Modern Electric, Ottawa, Wesley Bright & the Honeytones, Archie Green with Uptowne Buddha, Signals Midwest, Runaway Brother, Morgan Mecaskey, So Long, Albatross, Mourning [A] BLKstar, By Light We Loom, Tim Moon, Midnight Passenger and Walker OG, are scheduled to perform.

A slew of other local acts are also on the bill.

"This year we expanded our selection process to include a review committee of over 30 people that work in or around the music community in Cleveland," says music director Justin Markert. "It really helped us diversify the lineup. More than half of the lineup has never played Brite Winter before. It's a perfect cross section of the amazing things happening in all corners of the Cleveland music community."

Dia De Muertos Ohio, Sankofa Fine Arts Plus, Negative Space Gallery, Robin Heinrich, the Fire+Light Performing Arts, Andrew Kaletta, MXLXTXV, RGI Inc. will provide the visual art.

"Releasing the band lineup and featured artists for Brite Winter is one of our favorite days of the year," says executive director Brian Horsburgh. "We've had more community involvement than ever in the selection process, and we're excited about how the 2017 lineup came together."

Some changes are in store for this year's incarnation, which features larger festival grounds and more heated tents. 

"We'll be expanding our footprint once again on the West Bank with the addition of the DayGlo Experience at Mulberry's," says Horsburgh. "We've also doubled the space in our heated artful experience tents, so no matter what the weather, we invite all Clevelanders to come take part in Brite on February 18th."

Set times will be announced on Feb. 1 at Platform Beer Co. as part of a Brite Fundraiser.

Original Post: Brite Winter, the annual winter music and arts festival, began a few years back in the Flats near what is now Merwin’s Wharf.

Organizers had to learn a few hard lessons before they were able to turn into the well-oiled machine it has become.

“We literally weathered a blizzard our first year and found out the hard way that yes, you need to cover bands if you want them to play in the snow and a rear-wheel drive U-Haul van is tough to drive on unsalted brick roads,” says co-founder Emily Hornack in a press release announcing the return of this year’s event, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, on the West Bank of the Flats.

For the next four years, Brite Winter took place in Ohio City. 

“Wow, has that neighborhood become a powerhouse,” says Hornack. “Craft beer and food are thriving, housing is booming, and artisans are bustling. Our time there saw a range of weather from those snow bands barreling across Lake Erie and dumping inches upon inches of fluffy white stuff on us; to two years in a row of temperatures so cold that we actually had to heat the beer in order to keep it flowing.”

Last year’s event, which took place on the West Bank of the Flats, featured record-breaking high temperatures of 66 degrees. The festival subsequently drew record-breaking crowds.

“We are thrilled to be returning to the Flats [in 2017],” says Hornack. “This is a neighborhood also in the midst of a positive transformation. We are changing the way we make decisions about the musicians and artists involved in Brite Winter, asking up to 50 members of the community to help us make programming decisions, and involving more people just like you in making art. We continue to reach out and try to get more individuals and more communities involved in our little winter festival. And more than anything, we wait in wonder with a healthy dose of anxious excitement, looking for what Cleveland will give us next.”

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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