Review: Sunday at The 2014 Bunbury Music Festival
After beautiful weather for the first two days of the festival major thunderstorms hit Cincinnati Sunday afternoon, putting a major damper on the start of Bunbury’s final day. The earliest bands kicked off their shows but had to wrap up early and clear the stage due to heavy rain. Festival-goers scattered to try to make their way to one of the few tents on site. Power was lost to the tents and stages. This wasn’t the first time Bunbury has dealt with rain, so they were prepared. Since Bunbury’s first festival two years ago, rain has hit on the third day of each fest.
In the VIP tent there was still plenty to do in the rain. Though Kopecky Family Band’s 3pm performance was delayed due to the power outage, VIPs could get complimentary massages, have their hair styled, or enjoy deeply discounted drinks at the VIP bar.
Bunbury did a great job of communicating information about rain delays and the new schedule. They stayed on top of their social networks, posting and responding to comments. From the start of the rain, it took about an hour to get the festival back on track. By then there was a new schedule available online, in the Bunbury app, and on the screens at the main stage. Most sets were simply delayed an hour.
When the music started again, Kopecky Family Band played a short two-song set in the VIP tent when was shortened due to the proximity of the main stage, where Columbus band Red Wanting Blue began to play. The band had new tunes to perform from their new album released on July 1st. They played through some light rain and as always, they put on a great show. They performed their song “You Are My Las Vegas” and as the last note rang out, lighting stuck somewhere across the river, followed by a huge crack of thunder.
Next I caught Joywave on the Warsteiner Stage. Their set was very loud, even in the back of the crowd. While they sounded good the set was not totally engaging and I bailed early to get to the River Stage for Robert DeLong. Robert DeLong is a one-man techno band that played the Main Stage at Bunbury last year. He was so great that they brought him back for this year’s festival. He integrates things like joysticks and Nintendo Wii controllers to distort his voice and control sound effects. The whole crowd was jumping and dancing. However, he lost a lot of his crowd when Young The Giant took the Main Stage.
Rain threatened to cause more delays around 8:15pm, but luckily passed quickly. The Orwells took the Warsteiner Stage for those not already camped out at the main stage for The Flaming Lips performance. The Chicago group put on an energetic performance.
The Flaming Lips brought the night to a close with a unique performance on a psychedelic stage covered in giant mushrooms. They rocked through more rain and a fireworks display celebrating The Cincinnati Reds victory at the field just a few blocks away, bringing Bunbury Festival 2014 to an epic end.
All photos by Casey Rife and Miranda Rife.