By: Kourtney Husnick
Fires burned, rain fell and music played as Brite Winter took over the west bank of the Flats for the 10th year in a row. Five stages ensured the music never stopped in the festival village and neighborhood venues, while art tents and ice carving demonstrations showcased visual displays.
Fire pits and heated tents were scattered throughout the festival area for warmth. S’mores kits and hot cocoa were sold by several vendor stations, which added to the crowd’s fun as the smell of fresh, burning wood settled over Main Avenue.
People of all ages came out to celebrate the arts and community activities. Children and adults alike played games outside, like bowling and a soccer version of skee ball.
Onstage, Northeast Ohio bands and musicians ranged from Cleveland’s own Front Porch Lights, which garnered a continuously growing crowd throughout their set, to Columbus-based band Honey and Blue. Some Brite Winter performers, like Front Porch Lights’ Dillon DeVito, have Cleveland State University connections. However, not every band in attendance was local.
Headlining band, Smallpools, is a Los Angeles band with members from New York, New Jersey and Oregon. The band has toured with big-name bands like Twenty-One Pilots and Walk The Moon, as well as performing at festivals like Lollapalooza. They hit the covermymeds stage on Elm Avenue at 10 p.m.
For those needing a break from the cold, music was not limited to the stages outside. DJs played in the art tents throughout the day. Whether concertgoers wanted to dance, warm up, shop for art or give their feet a break in one of the unique seating areas, options were stylized for the event’s Brite10: Onward! theme, which the event crew described as “a journey unlike any other full of immersive environments that harken back to the golden age of travel, taking visitors across time and space.”
Brite Winter began at 3 p.m., and the last band started playing at 11:20 p.m. The all-day event was diverse in the art presented and people attending, and murmurs of coming back next year could be heard from the crowd as they came and went throughout the event.