What better way to kick off the month of June than to hit Sawyer Point and Yeatmans Cove in downtown Cincinnati for three days of sold-out performances from artists like The Chainsmokers, Royal Blood, Incubus, Foster the People, GRiZ, Jack White, Post Malone, The Dropkick Murphys and so many more. The weekend didn’t kick off without a hitch though. Friday, June 1st, brought out what the Midwest is notorious for, random thunderstorms that dumped a monsoon on festival-goers, but it definitely did not slow down the vibe.
Friday’s monster storm put a slight delay in Royal Bloods set, but the weather did not slow down Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher from became the rock saviours they are and wowing onlookers. Hailing from the UK, the two-piece band is setting out on their first U.S. headlining run. While artists like The Chainsmokers, Young the Giant, The Front Bottoms, and Fitz and the Tantrums hooked the audience with their dance skills, amazing lighting, and all around energetic sets, one particular artist showed the festival how hard she goes for her fans. Bishop Briggs packed out the CVG riverside stage with fans fighting for a spot to witness what was the best performance of the festival. Briggs shyly walked out on stage, thanked her fans for being there and flashed the innocent smile she’s known for. Briggs began her set with “White Flag” off her newest release Church of Scars. Bishops heart and soul shined through the overcast, while she gave the best performance of the entire weekend.
Saturdays performances ranged from Incubus, Foster the People, GriZ, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Misterwives, Moonbeau, and several others. Third Eye Blind took festival goers back to the 90s with hits like “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life.” Incubus closed out the night with Brandon Boyd’s unique voice echoing across downtown Cinci. The talent that shined most was the L,A, based indie folk band, Magic Giant. Billboard singled the gents out as one of “10 Awesome Bands” playing on the festival circuit, along with Rolling Stone hailing them as part of 10 new artists you need to know. These guys far exceeded the hype Billboard and Rolling Stone stirred up before they set out on their festival run.
Sunday introduced the young American country singer hailing from Nashville, Lillie Mae, to an intimate crowd on the Nissan mainstage. Lillie Mae stepped into a spotlight that wowed most everyone watching. Several fans screamed out to her how much they loved her music after hearing her for the first time at Bunbury. After wrapping up her set, she spent a little one on one time with Substream to talk a little about her music, her roots, and her love of thrift stores. Substream had the chance to shoot a few intimate portraits of Lillie while she discussed her multi-instrumental talents. Sunday continued on with performances from The Dropkick Murphys, Coheed and Cambria, Manchester Orchestra, Lacrae, Sir Sly, The Commonheart, Black Pistol Fire and many more. The sunset on Post Malone’s storytelling of his 10-0 championship beer pong win of the day. Several artists talked about Posts interest in learning about the bands playing the festival that day and how he spent a lot of time out and about making friends with those who shared the stage with him. Playing several songs off his recent release, Beerbongs and Bentleys, the sunset on a sold out crowd with Post sincerely showing his appreciation for his fans. Jack White closed the festival out on the Nissan mainstage playing some of his most nostalgic songs.
Bunbury was a weekend full of Island Noodles, craft beers, indie and known artists from various walks of life, friends and amazing memories for everyone who attended. Bunbury organizers played a significant role in promoting women in music with a very large variety of women musicians playing consistently through the weekend. This was such a refreshing treat for women in the industry who have worked tirelessly to set themselves out in the worlds eyes. Until next year, Bee Here, Bee You and Bee Free.