It’s finally here! Today was day one of Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH. After months of growing anticipation, I was so excited to finally walk through those festival gates. VIP check-in was quick and easy, and we were on site in no time.
The entrance puts you right in the middle of the festival. You are immediately immersed in Bunbury. We took our time to explore – get the lay of the land. Then we naturally ended up at the VIP tent. We were greeted by a guest DJ, catering, and a private bar. I was feeling ambitious so I decided to try the custom mix drinks Bunbury had to offer – the Bunbury Punch, and the Bunbury Buzz. While neither Red Bull or tequila are really my thing, I just had to get the souvenir Bunbury mug that came with the Bunbury Buzz. (There’s a chance I came home with three by the end of the night because who knew red bull and tequila was delicious?) Once we had our drinks in hand, we wandered outside where we found a private VIP viewing section with a side stage view, and even some couches a little further back. I knew I was going to like VIP life…
The first band that was high on our list today was Royal Blood. The weather clearly didn’t care about our list. The set was delayed by a half hour or so while we all took cover from an incoming storm. It’s not a festival if your shoes don’t get muddy, right? But after the storm had passed, Royal Blood took the stage, and it was worth the wait. Even watching them two feet in front of me, it’s still hard to believe the music we’re hearing is just a bass player and a drummer.
The sun came out just in time for Fitz and the Tantrums. But Fitz and the Tantrums can clear up any rainy day, and they were the perfect band to cheer up the now soaking wet festival goers. The little dance breaks by Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick was enough to make anyone smile. Their happiness was contagious, and you could tell they were genuinely happy to be here.
Next was Young the Giant, who never disappoints. They started the set off strong with “Amerika” and “I Got” – hit after hit. They were the perfect ebb and flow for the lineup today. Their set went by far too quickly, and all the sudden it was time for the last band of the night – The Chainsmokers.
Admittedly, I went in with low expectations for The Chainsmokers. They are not my favorite band of all time, but I knew they would put on a show – and I was so very right. The lights, the confetti, the pyrotechnics! Sooo many pyrotechnics. One thing I was happy to discover is they are actual DJ’s and musicians. They don’t just press play on their Macbook Pros like I’ve seen so many other artists do. They live mixed, they sang, they jumped on instruments – it was an actual musical performance and not just a prepackaged DJ set. Besides one terrible version of The Cranberries “Zombie”, they went above and beyond my expectations.
Before we knew it, it was the end of the night. We went back to our room at the Radisson, happy to wash off our muddy feet and rest for day two. Good night, Bunbury. See you tomorrow!