In late 2001, Sean Rhiney and Bill Donabedian met for lunch at a local pub. Rhiney, a 1991 graduate, and Donabedian, now an X.M.B.A. candidate, were deep into their careers. But both were also musicians with years of involvement in the Cincinnati music scene, and they had concluded that local musicians were long on talent but short on publicity.
Before lunch was over, they had the solution—a music festival to bring together artists, audiences, media and industry insiders, and “put Cincinnati back on the map as the independent music capital of the world,” says Rhiney.
So in September 2002, they launched the MidPoint Music Festival, drawing 150 artists and 10,000 spectators. This year, the three-day festival has grown to 300 acts, a trade show and seminars. Crowds are expected to reach up to 50,000.