Brite Winter Festival warms up Cleveland with music

By: Kourtney Husnick

A crowd of excited concertgoers flowed into the fenced-in area on the west bank of the Flats. Throughout the evening, music played on a stage near each entrance as crowds of people walked into the festival.

The neighborhood was filled with smiling faces, many of them ready to enjoy the creative culture of Cleveland.

Brite Winter, a free entry showcase of Northeast Ohio musicians and artists, began at 3 p.m., Feb. 24. Despite the cold, people of all ages ventured out for the live music and visual arts. Dancing and huddling together for warmth, groups of people were scattered from the barriers in front of the stages to the fire pits that lined the way across the festival village.

Photo booths, food trucks and games were set up near the heated tents that housed DJs and art vendors selling items including painted records to handmade, pop culture themed ties. Live ice carving attracted attention throughout the evening.

Local and visiting musicians played on the two stages in the festival village and in the neighborhood venues. While most of the crowd seemed not to mind the cold, almost every artist made their own comments on the temperature.

“I don’t love the cold, but I love you guys,” Kenzie Coyne, vocalist for Hello Luna, said.

A similar sentiment came from several of the other bands, and the crowd unfailingly responded with cheers and the muffled clapping of gloves.

With all the different activities and musicians, it was impossible for everyone to see or hear every showcased artist. Seeing one performance always meant missing another. Two stages were set up in the festival village area, and five more neighborhood venues hosted bands with some of the final performances ending at 1 a.m.

As the evening went on, murmurs could be heard in the crowd about looking forward to next year.

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