Back in 2018, the National threw their first ever Homecoming festival, bringing a lineup of likeminded indie rockers to the Cincinnati riverfront alongside Bryce Dessner’s longstanding avant-garde and neoclassical event MusicNOW. It was one of the best music festival experiences I’ve ever had. They took off this year due to the busyness with lots of other ventures, foremost among them the release of an experimental new album and film called I Am Easy To Find. Well, prepare to be carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees because Homecoming and MusicNOW are returning in 2020.
Once again, the National will headline both nights of Homecoming, performing two unique sets. Whereas they performed 2007’s Boxer in full at the inaugural Homecoming, at next year’s fest they’re taking a complete run through 2010’s High Violet. Also on deck for 2020 are Patti Smith And Her Band, Sylvan Esso, Of Monsters And Men, Local Natives, Japanese Breakfast, Phosphorescent, Hamilton Leithauser, Jay Som, Velvet Negroni, and a trio of Cincinnati local heroes: Wussy, Triiibe, and Sudan Archives.
That’s all going down 5/8 and 5/9 at Smale Park. Tickets go on sale this Friday, 11/22, at 10AM EST. Concurrently, the 14th edition of MusicNOW will be happening 5/8, 5/9, and 5/10 at nearby venues. The lineup for that one is coming soon and reportedly features “world-class contemporary classical music and beyond, with special exhibitions and talks throughout the festival weekend.”