MusicNOW Announces Lineup during The National’s Homecoming Festival (May 8-10, Cincinnati)


MusicNOW, the renowned contemporary music festival founded by Bryce Dessner, is proud to announce the lineup for 2020. Now in its 14th edition, MusicNOW will be taking place May 8, 9 & 10 throughout downtown Cincinnati, including intimate, unique spaces.

Presented in association with Homecoming, the hometown celebration curated by The National in partnership with AC Entertainment (May 8 & 9 at Smale Park), MusicNOW will host late night events on Friday and Saturday, May 8 & 9 following Homecoming, with a full-day Music Marathon on Sunday, May 10 beginning with a free event at noon in Washington Park. MusicNOW’s late night events will be separately ticketed with a limited number of all-inclusive MusicNOW Sunday passes available. Individual tickets will also be available for select MusicNOW Sunday performances as capacity allows.

Homecoming has also unveiled its daily lineups with The National headlining Friday, May 8 with a full performance of High Violetand a career spanning set on Saturday, May 9. Friday also includes performances from Sylvan Esso, Local Natives, Phosphorescent, Archives and Triiibe with Saturday featuring support from Patti Smith and Her Band, Of Monsters and Men, Japanese Breakfast, Hamilton Leithauser, Jay Some, Velvet Negroni, and Wussy. 1-day General Admission and VIP tickets for Homecoming along with all tickets for MusicNOW will be available beginning Friday, February 7 at 10am EST. The full daily schedules and ticketing information for both MusicNOW and Homecoming can be found below.

Friendly reminder, Homecoming 2-day Platinum tickets are sold out and only a handful of 2-day VIP tickets remain. 2-day General Admission tickets for Homecoming are currently available for $159 but will move to the next (and final) tier pricing soon.

“Over the last 15 years, MusicNOW has always been a celebration of our hometown of Cincinnati and a place to bring new music and collaborations to life,” says Bryce Dessner. “We are so excited to present this year’s lineup in partnership with Homecoming, which features many of our favorite artists taking risks together and premiering new music. The initial idea we had 15 years ago to create a festival that could be about process and creative residencies, and making room for artists with diverse educations and backgrounds, remains a huge part of why we do this. It’s an honor to do this in the city and in partnership with Homecoming.”

In the week leading to the festival, many of the MusicNOW artists will participate in a 37d03d residency to collaborate and refine their work. The programming will include Bryce Dessner – who released four albums this year, El Chan, Tenebre, When We Are Inhuman and the soundtrack to The Two Popes – Aaron Dessner’s Big 37d03d Machine will be fresh off a European tour with Bon Iver, and Ashley Fure & Lilleth Glimcher will present their work High Rise, in development for Berghain/Berlin.

William Brittelle’s I Will Call You Master is a brand-new project centered around poetry, ignited at November’s 37d03d residency in Eaux Claires HIVER, and cellist Gyda Valtysdottir will work with a local choreographer Taylor Carrasco, who was nominated to participate in the residency by the Cincinnati Ballet. Alexi Murdoch will be debuting new music and Moses Sumney, will perform ahead of his new album Græ (out May 15). The lineup also includes Eve Owen, Helado Negro, Leif Vollebekk, Lilleth Glimcher, LNZNDRF and Mina Tindle.

Leslie Feist will perform Odyssey Project with Shahzad Ismaily and Todd Dahlhoff and develop a MusicNOW Chorus on the ground in Cincinnati. The project was born of a series of improvisations made by Feist, Todd Dahlhoff and Shazad Ismaily, during the 37d03d residency in Berlin, August 2018, and developed at Sounds from a Safe Harbour in September 2019 in Cork, Ireland. Based on Emily Wilson’s lucid and remarkable translation of Homer’s Odyssey, the trio experimented with reframing the text as well as manipulating electric, electronic, and acoustic instruments.

In a rare one-off performance, Eighth Blackbird and members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will perform Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians (Reich is one of Bryce Dessner’s mentors). “We were all grad students in Cincinnati and are thrilled to be able to come back and perform one of our favorite pieces of music with the fantastic Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,” says Lisa Kaplan of Eighth Blackbird. “Music for 18is one of Reich’s most influential and an utter joy to perform. We are so looking forward to sharing it.”

MusicNOW and Homecoming present special late-night events:

Friday, May 8, 11pm EST @ Woodward Theatre, Cincinnati
Ben Lanz & Kid Millions debut Million Lands
37d03d presents FLUKES, an improv experiment led by Alexi Murdoch
Tickets: $20 + fee, on sale Fri, Feb 7 at 10am EST
Tickets available from Woodward Theatre

Saturday, May 9, 11pm EST @ Woodward Theatre, Cincinnati
Sylvan Esso DJ set
Tickets: $20 + fee, on sale Fri Feb 7 at 10am EST
Tickets available from Woodward Theatre

Sunday, May 10, 11pm EST @ Woodward Theatre, Cincinnati
Ghost Baby
Ashley Fure & Lilleth Glimcher present Hive Rise
Aaron Dessner’s Big 37d03d Machine
Tickets: $20 + fee, on sale Fri Feb 7 at 10am EST
Tickets available from Music Hall

MusicNOW presents:

Sunday, May 10 @ venues in and around Washington Park
All events listed below are included in the day ticket package

12:00pm @ Washington Park Bandstand – FREE TO THE PUBLIC
Eve Owen
Mina Tindle
Leif Vollebekk

2:00pm @ Transept
Included in day ticket only
La Force
Alexi Murdoch

4:00pm @ First Lutheran Church
Included in day ticket only
I Will Call You Master by William Brittelle with Shahzad Ismaily & Gyda Valtysdottir
Gyda Valtysdottir with Taylor Carrasco

5:00pm @ Transept
Included in day ticket only
Helado Negro

6:30pm @ Music Hall Ballroom
included in day ticket – also available as a single ticket purchase from Music Hall ($28)
Moses Sumney

8pm @ Memorial Hall
Included in day ticket – also available as a single ticket purchase from Memorial Hall ($25+ fee)
Odyssey by Leslie Feist, Todd Dahlhoff, Shahzad Ismaily, Andrew Barr and the MusicNOW Chorus

10pm @ Music Hall Ballroom
Included in day ticket – also available as a single ticket purchase from Music Hall ($33)
Members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Eighth Blackbird present Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians

MusicNOW day tickets $80 + fee
On sale Friday, February 7 at 10am EST at

For more information on MusicNOW, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Homecoming 2020

Friday, May 8
The National performing High Violetin Full
Sylvan Esso
Local Natives
Sudan Archives

Saturday, May 9
The National
Patti Smith and Her Band
Of Monsters and Men
Japanese Breakfast
Hamilton Leithauser
Jay Som
Velvet Negroni

Homecoming GA and VIP 1-day tickets
on sale Friday, February 7th at 10am EST at