Heights Music Hop returns Sept. 23 & 24

Local band oldboy plays to a standing-room-only crowd at The Wine Spot at last year's Heights Music Hop. [Photo credit: Gabe Schaffer.]

The Heights will be hopping again this fall, Sept. 23 and 24, as the Heights Music Hop returns—bigger and better than ever. This fourth-annual festival, presented by FutureHeights, has become one of the region’s premier events, featuring live music, art, food, local merchants and a showcase of Cleveland Heights business districts. Nearly 70 musical acts are expected to perform during the free festival.

For the first time, the Hop will run for two days instead of just one, and will move beyond the Cedar Lee Business District. On Friday, Sept. 23, the live music festival will kick off at 5 p.m. in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, and then move to Cedar Lee on Saturday, Sept. 24, where performances will begin at 3 p.m.

Throughout the Hop, FutureHeights will hold a chance raffle.

Friday night’s performances at venues throughout Cedar Fairmount will culminate with a special benefit concert and party at Nighttown, 9–11:30 p.m. “FutureHop: a Benefit Party for FutureHeights” will feature an exclusive performance by Sammy DeLeon y su Orquesta, a regional favorite for Latin jazz and lively dancing, and a silent auction. Individual tickets, $40 each, include light appetizers and a cash bar in the dancing room. A VIP package, $320, includes a table and tickets for four, light appetizers and a bottle of wine. To purchase FutureHop event or raffle tickets, visit www.futureheights.org or call 216-320-1423. The only ticketed event of the otherwise free festival, this benefit party will provide vital funding for FutureHeights and the Heights Music Hop. 

Heights Music Hop performers include regional favorites Honeybucket, Marcus Alan Ward, By Light We Loom, oldboy, Move, Charlie Mosbrook, Teddy Boys, Walker OG, Corey Grand, George Foley, Morgan Mecaskey, Joey Aich, and Common Ave.

“By expanding the Hop’s footprint to multiple business districts this year, we are able to incorporate even more incredible homegrown talent into the lineup,” said Michael Kinsella, Heights Music Hop co-founder and 2016 music committee chair.

“This festival has some of the biggest acts in Cleveland,” added committee member Wallace Settles, a local musician, artist representative and concert booker who works for the Grog Shop. “We’re the home of Cleveland’s music at the Grog Shop, providing great concerts nightly, and this festival will spread that energy across our town and bring back the old feel of Cleveland Heights.”  

Music venues for Sept. 23 in the Cedar Fairmount Business District include Appletree Books, Cleveland Heights Church, The Fairmount, Luna Bakery Café, and Pavilion Home & Floral, in addition to Nighttown, site of the benefit concert.

Sept. 24 Cedar Lee venues include some four-year Hop participants, some brand new businesses, and even a nontraditional concert space—the Cedar Lee parking garage. Cedar Lee venues are: Anatolia Cafe, The BottleHouse, CLE Urban Winery, Dewey’s Pizza, The Fix Bistro, Heights Arts, Heights Music Shop, Lee Road Library, Lopez, Lucky Sparrow Tattoo, Marotta’s, New Heights Grill, Parnell’s, Phoenix Coffee, Rib Cage, Rudy's Pub, The Social Room, Stone Oven, The Tavern Company, The Wine Spot, and Washington & Lee Service, along with the lower level of the parking garage, accessible from Tullamore Road.

With a wide array of venues and performers throughout both districts, festivalgoers are sure to encounter both old favorites and new experiences. The diverse musical genres featured by the Hop provide opportunities to expand one’s musical palette and celebrate the Heights as a home for the arts.

“This year, the Hop will be twice as nice, as this signature event expands to the Cedar Fairmount district,” said Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District, which has hosted the Heights Music Hop since 2013. “We welcome fans, neighbors and visitors to explore our unique host venues, experience a multitude of local bands and artists and celebrate music genres of all types. There is free parking [at meters] that weekend in the Cedar Lee district, courtesy of the City of Cleveland Heights, so get here early to enjoy our dining and nightlife destinations, as well as your favorite performers.” 

The Heights Music Hop is free and open to all ages, although some performances and venues may limit underage attendees. Both nights will provide family-friendly activities, such as a kids’ activity area provided by Family Connections, and a new addition this year: the Sugar Pie Family Band Family Music Workshop—a 45-minute musical experience in which the whole family can join a band.

The fourth-annual Heights Music Hop is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Motorcars has offered a challenge grant to match funds raised during the Hop. Zagara’s Marketplace, Nighttown, FutureHeights, the Heights Observer, Jakprints, and the Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount special improvement districts are all supporting the Hop through generous donations. Additional sponsors include the City of Cleveland Heights, Dewey’s Pizza, New Heights Grill, Big Coffee Consulting, Keller National, Digizoom Media, Cedar Lee Theatre, Green Tara Yoga & Healing Arts, Heights Youth Club, Montlack Realty, Verne & Ellsworth Hann, Larchmere PorchFest, Brite Winter, WJCU, Artful, Heights Arts and Dirty Jones Productions.

To view the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.heightsmusichop.com, and the Hop’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Daniel Budin

Daniel Budin is a lifelong Cleveland Heights resident and a member of the FutureHeights Board of Directors.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 08.30.2016