October 13, 2015
Ubahn Experience Oct. 16-17
Ubahn is the first underground music festival in Cincinnati and takes place this weekend, October 16-17 in the scenic and underutilized Metro Transit center under downtown Cincinnati's 2nd street. Ubhan features an eclectic lineup of hip-hop & electronic dance music.
View the full lineup and purchase tickets at www.ubahnfest.com.
Below is an opinion-editorial piece on Ubahn that was featured in the Enquirer and written by Allen Woods of MORTAR Cincinnati.
I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music. -Billy Joel
The date was March 18, 1988. My older brother hung up the pale yellow rotary phone attached to the wall in my childhood home and with a look of sheer defeat on his face, begrudgingly asked me if I wanted to go to a concert. I tried to hide my excitement, realizing that his date for the evening had just canceled on him - but I was the beneficiary - so I’m positive that the joy spilling from my eleven-year-old lips was evident as I accepted his offer with a downplayed “sure”. This was my very first concert.. Michael Jackson’s BAD tour in Indianapolis, Indiana. One of the things that I vividly remember most about that night was that, Market Square Arena was filled to the brim with people of all ages, shapes and shades; gathered in the same place singing the same songs all while wearing sparkle socks, pleather jackets with excessive zippers and solo gloves.
At some point, fashions changed. Music changed. Society changed. But in some ways they all seem to be the same. Want proof? I saw a pair of acid wash overalls in a store the other day, the most popular radio stations in local markets are playing recycled tunes and sometimes when I watch the news, it feels like we’ve gone back in time. The current racial climate in America is rocky at best, and Cincinnati has it’s own share of pages in that book. But, the good news is that Cincinnati is at a very special time where we have an opportunity to sample the lessons of the past and remix them creating our own destiny.
Change can be amazing and scary all at the same time. It seems like everytime I look up, there’s a new entrepreneur doing big things, an innovative art exhibit or a great concert happening in the city. These types of events do one of two things: they either bring Cincinnati together or they divide us. Where and how are the events being promoted? How much are the tickets? Who are the acts on the bill? These things matter if you want an event that has attendees that actually look like Cincinnati (all of it).. We’ve all heard the buzzwords playlist on repeat: inclusion, diversity, race relations. Sometimes, I think that we’re trying too hard though, it should just be something natural that just happens. Maybe the solution isn’t holding hands and singing Kumbaya.. but maybe the solution is to stop ignoring each other, take out our earbuds, and starting to listen collectively. Music has the power to unify the divided, heal the brokeness. There’s something almost therapeutic about sharing space with complete strangers, stealing moments in time - while singing songs you know all of the words to and sparking lighters (or cell phone flashlights). Cincinnati has an excellent opportunity to be the leaders in where we go next. The King of Pop may be gone, but we still have a chance to live like royalty. Turn up the volume; see you at UBAHN Music Festival on October 16th & 17th.
Allen Woods is the Co-Founder, Branding Gladiator & Chief Vision Caster at MORTAR Cincinnati, a local non-profit organization that strives to bring entrepreneurship training and pop up shop opportunities to non-traditional entrepreneurs in Cincinnati’s urban core. @justcallmeALLEN