Heights Music Hop kicks off Sept. 13

Heights Music Hop 2017. Photo by Gabe Schaffer.

The sixth annual Heights Music Hop, a free live-music festival, kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 13. This three-day weekend of more than 60 musical performances takes place in more than 28 venues across three business districts in Cleveland Heights. Each night of the Hop takes place in a different neighborhood: in Coventry Village on Sept. 13, in Cedar Fairmount on Sept. 14, and in Cedar Lee on Sept. 15.

This annual event offers a variety of musical genres at each free concert, such as classical, rock, rap, country, reggae, bluegrass and American roots.

Since it started in 2013, Heights Music Hop has attracted more and more concert-goers, adding more venues and performers.

“It’s a festival of local talent,” says Heights Music Hop Coordinator Ann Koslow. “It just keeps getting bigger and better.”

Last year, nearly 7,500 people attended Heights Music Hop, with an estimated economic impact of $200,000.

The concerts take place in an assortment of Cleveland Heights businesses, including restaurants, bars and small shops. On Thursday, in Coventry Village, the venues are Mac’s Backs, B-Side Liquor Lounge, Grog Shop, the Coventry Village branch of Heights Libraries and Panini’s Bar & Grill.

On Friday, in Cedar Fairmount, the venues are Appletree Books, Luna Bakery Café, The Fairmount, Nighttown, Pavilion Home & Floral, Parnell’s Pub and Still Point Gallery.

On the final night of the Hop, the confirmed venues in Cedar Lee are CLE Urban Winery, Dewey’s Pizza, Lopez, New Heights Grill, Phoenix Coffee, Heights Arts, Heights Music Shop, Marotta’s, Mitchell’s, Rudy’s Pub, The Rib Cage Smokehouse & Bar, The Social Room, Washington & Lee Service, Stone Oven, The Tavern Company and Boss Dog Brewing Company. CLE Urban Winery, 2908 Lee Road, will again host a local music showcase.

While most of the action takes place south of Cedar Road, Washington & Lee Service, 2080 Lee Road, will host a garage party beginning at 7:30 p.m. Then, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., The BottleHouse Brewery and Meadery, 2050 Lee Road, will host an after-party—a last “hurrah” for festival attendees and volunteers. Featured bands at the after-party are SamFox, Outside Voices, and The Bush Administration. While attendance at all of the venues is free, the after-party has a ticket price of $10. Advance tickets are available on the FutureHeights website, and tickets will be sold at the door.

Among the many performers scheduled for this year’s event are Eric Everett Jazz, DJ Guilty Pleasures, p.stoops, Dark Water Rebellion, Shawn Brewster and the Lovelies, The Baker’s Basement, Floco Torres, Corey Grand, MaAmin Collective, Orange Animal, Maura Rogers and The Bellows, Alexander Wright & The Collective, Hannah Stak, Leaf Borbie & The Family Tree, Theta Waves, The Whiskey Hollow, M. Moody, Madeline Finn, Forager, Megan Sullivan, Joey Aich, Arms & Armour, Kent Archie, Wildcard Leader, The Village Bicycle, Only Native Sounds, C-level,  Xe La Sol, Charlie Mosbrook, Mourning [A] BLKstar, The Bluegrass Sweethearts, and Cory Michaels. A full schedule and list of performers will be available on the Heights Music Hop website and its social media accounts.

In preparation for the Hop, locals should keep an eye out for the Heights Music Hop venue decal posted at official performing venues in the three Cleveland Heights neighborhoods. The decal will inform community members about where they can find free concerts over the course of the weekend, Sept. 13-15. A different “District Sponsor” decal will identify businesses that aren’t music venues but are part of the event with their own special events or promotions.

Heights Music Hop is presented by FutureHeights, in partnership with Heights Arts and the city of Cleveland Heights. It is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a Cuyahoga Arts & Culture grant. The event is also made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. 

The festival’s goal is to enhance Cleveland Heights’ reputation as a community for the arts by providing a platform for rising musical talent. The Hop also celebrates the city’s diversity, introduces its unique spirit to the region and displays its vibrant business climate. In addition, Heights Music Hop generates a positive financial impact for Cleveland Heights, influences the city’s image and competes with other destination neighborhoods in the region.

The event relies on volunteers throughout the weekend to staff music venues, canvass the business districts with maps and answer questions, and assist with musician check-in. Volunteers receive an event T-shirt and their choice of a FutureHeights Chance Raffle ticket or a ticket to the after-party.

"It is a great evening to come out and enjoy all the wonderful things that Heights residents know are present in our community," said Clare Taft, 2017 Heights Music Hop volunteer coordinator. "It's an easy volunteer project; you get to be an ambassador, enjoy music and have a good time."

Sponsors include: MetroHealth; Dominion Energy; Zagara’s Marketplace; The MarketFarm; Coventry Village, Cedar Fairmount, and Cedar Lee special improvement districts; Confluence; Keller National; Greg Bonanno, Bolt & Spool; Montlack Realty; Heights Observer; and Northeast Ohio Parent and Boomer and Beyond magazines.

Family Connections, Ensemble Theatre, Artful and other nonprofit partners, will stage additional programming for all ages in grassy areas around each business district. Interested sponsors should contact Bob Rosenbaum at brosenbaum@heightsobserver.org. Those interested in volunteering should visit www.heightsmusichop.com/volunteer. 

Heights Music Hop is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Heights Music Hop website, www.heightsmusichop.com, its Facebook page, @heightsmusichop on Instagram, and @HeightsMusicHop on Twitter.

Julie Hullett

Julie Hullett is a 2018 graduate of John Carroll University and a summer intern for the Heights Observer.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 1:56 PM, 07.31.2018