Riverbend: Cincinnati's Summer Home
by KRIN CURRIN '20
In some cases, turning 16 means you have the freedom to go to concerts and you are now legally eligible to take your drivers test after completing the requirements. This means you are now fully in control of a complex moving vehicle alone on the dangerous streets without parental guidance. Therefore, you now have control of the radio, air conditioning, mirrors, lights, speed, and your direction. This power not only controls the car’s performance, but your own. This sense of control and power builds up your feelings. Just as humans have control of their cars, music has the ability to control our feelings and mood.
Feelings shape our identity and form our perspective to the life around us. Riverbend, a music center filled with various feelings, is located on 6295 Kellogg Ave in Cincinnati Ohio. This summer, Riverbend was a home where anyone was welcomed. It was a home for both west and east siders to be together at the same place and same time. Riverbend boosted your feelings, making you feel alive and connected.
Riverbend is not just your traditional concert setting, and it is more than just a music center; it is anything you want it to be. Everyone goes to Riverbend for the same purpose - to be lifted by the music and spend time with your friends. Memories are made, pictures and videos are taken, outfits are coordinated, and even friends are made. Riverbend controls your feelings. Your feelings are based off of your outfit, the artist, the sound, your surroundings, and who you are with.
This summer, various artists performed, drawing in a variety of audiences. The capacity is 20,500 people, meaning 20,500 different outfits, and 20,500 different minds captivated all by the same sound. This experience leaves you with the possibility of having no voice or no sleep, but it leaves you with endless memories and the best feelings. Each concert is different, just as each individual has different experiences and perspectives.
A personal experience is from Saige Smith, ‘20. Saige’s favorite riverbend concert this summer was Wiz Khalifa on July 25th. She says, “I remember when I was sad because I was unable to get a good spot on the lawn, but a college girl from the University of Cincinnati let me stand by her and we are friends to this day!” Saige enjoys Riverbend concerts because she loves being in a place where everyone cares about music just as much as she does. She believes in the power of music, and Riverbend allows her to experience this.
The Wiz Khalifa concert was also sophomore Emma Lohrer’s favorite concert. Factors that benefited her experience were her unique outfit, and the amount of people she knew. Emma says, “My favorite memory from Wiz was when three of my friends and I went into the crowd and found this group of people. We were all dancing and having fun without knowing each other.” Emma says during this moment you all feel so connected as you scream at the top of your lungs, allowing yourself to feel fully alive.
Not only did Saige and Emma have impactful Riverbend experiences, but so did Madi Hardin, ’20 and Marie Mechley, ’21, who bought Country Mega Tickets this summer for Riverbend. This ticket includes a seven-show country music package, with performances from the most popular country artists. For instance, they saw Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, and more! These tickets allow access for the general lawn, but you are able to purchase close up seating too. Marie explains the seating: “If you want to sit, you can buy tickets for pavilion seats and enjoy the concert from there. If you want to lay or lounge on the lawn, you can buy tickets for there and walk around as you please." Madi’s favorite concerts were Brad Paisley and Thomas Rhett, but her favorite memory was being able to touch Chris Lane’s hand. Marie’s favorite memory was taking hundreds of videos of her and Madi singing to every single song they loved at the top of their lungs, as they know can look back at the videos and relieve and experience the feeling.
Instead of listening to the music in your car now that you are 16 and legal to drive, drive to Riverbend and encounter this feeling!