The anticipated initial lineup for Homecoming, the two-day hometown festival celebration curated by the National – along with the initial program for MusicNOW, its long established companion festival now in its 13th year – have been announced. Both festivals will take place during the final weekend of April in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 in Smale Park on the Cincinnati waterfront, Homecoming boasts a tasty lineup of major alternative rock artists such as Father John Misty, Feist, Future Islands and Lord Huron, along with Ohio legends The Breeders and exciting newcomers like Julien Baker, Moses Sumney, Alvvays and Big Thief.
The National will headline each evening with two completely different shows. Additional acts, along with more details about the festival experience, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for Homecoming are on sale now at ntlhomecoming.com.
Homecoming will complement MusicNOW festival, the renowned contemporary music festival founded by Bryce Dessner in 2006. MusicNOW will open Friday evening, April 27, and feature a variety of world-class contemporary classical, electronica, folk and alternative rock concerts, with special exhibitions and talks throughout the festival weekend.
Groundbreaking acts such as electronic explorers Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mouse on Mars and Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (formerly of alt-rock favorite Múm), along with leading new classical pioneers eighth blackbird – with special guest Bonnie “Prince” Billy – and the Crash Ensemble, will join Bryce & Aaron Dessner and others in an unforgettable weekend of kaleidoscopic performances. Former Westminster Abbey organist James McVinnie will also return to MusicNOW to present a special concert.
Some of MusicNOW’s many highlights will include:
eighth blackbird with Bryce Dessner perform the evocative music of late composer Julius Eastman
eighth blackbird join Bonnie “Prince” Billy in a powerful performance of Frederic Rzewski’s politically-charged classic, “Coming Together”
Ireland’s Crash Ensemble perform Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s masterpiece, “Schnee”
Organist James McVinnie performs the work of Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Meredith Monk, Bryce Dessner and others
Noted writer and musicologist Will Robin will host several pre-concert discussions.
Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center will host an exhibition by photographer Graham MacIndoe, featuring images from The National’s “Sleep Well Beast” and subsequent tour curated by The National’s Scott Devendorf.
Also running concurrently with the festival: two video installations by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson – a frequent collaborator with The National and the Dessners – on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum, “The Visitors” and “Scenes from Western Culture.”
The Cincinnati Ballet will present a work based on Bryce Dessner’s “Murder Ballads” with music performed by eighth blackbird and choreography from the legendary Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet in several performances during the weekend.
The full lineup and program for MusicNOW – along with the full schedule and ticketing information – will be announced in early February. Homecoming passholders and VIPs will be offered a special pre-sale, along with discounts and free admission to select MusicNOW programs.
“I look forward to coming home to Cincinnati every spring for the MusicNOW festival, which has become a huge part of my artistic life,” reflects Bryce. “I am unbelievably excited to invite my bandmates and fellow Cincinnatians from The National this year to join me in creating a new outdoor event called Homecoming that will feature performances from many of our favorite artists in the world.”
Homecoming in Association with MusicNOW is produced by AC Entertainment, founders and producers of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Big Ears Festival, Forecastle Festival, High Water Festival and others.
Now in its 13th year, Cincinnati’s MusicNOW, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Bryce Dessner, is known around the country for its eclectic and thoughtful combinations of contemporary music, world premiere commissions and visual art installations. The festival’s mission is to present the best in contemporary music, offer artists an opportunity to take risks and commission new work. The celebrated artists and composers who have gathered at past festivals include Sufjan Stevens, Kronos Quartet, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, eighth blackbird, Caroline Shaw, Andrew Norman and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.