Written by Michael Stegner.

For those of you who have already broken the piggy bank to keep up with your summer adventures, we have something you’re going to love! The Essential Productions team, based out of the Covington/Cincinnati area, have been working hard to bring you this year’s Paradise Music and Beer Festival– for FREE. The festival, which is gearing up for its third year, started as a free 2-day event along the banks of the Ohio River at an urban park in downtown Cincinnati. This year, they’re back with a slight twist— The event has been moved to the other side of the Ohio River to The Wooden Cask Brewery in Newport, Kentucky.

Peridoni. Photo by enBed Productions.

The event promoters expect to draw a large crowd with some funky local acts like Strange Mechanics, Peridoni, SolEcho, Jerry’s Little Band, and Ernie Johnson from Detroit (don’t let this last band’s name fool you— they’re from Cincinnati), as well as pulling some out-of-town guests with national acts like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who headline Saturday night, Tropidelic, or LITZ, who is performing both nights of the festival.

“We wanted to highlight this awesome new brewery,” explained Zack Szabo, co-founder of Essential Productions. “They recently opened the new brewery up and although it’s slightly removed from some of the more popular areas of the city, but is truly a unique spot. So, we wanted to team up with them to bring some local recognition their way while also bringing a locally tailored lineup of incredible musicians.”

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Photo by enBed Productions.

While the production team had to make a few changes to accommodate to the new location, the spirit and heart of the festival will remain the same. In previous years it has first and foremost been an event rooted in art and music, bringing people together to enjoy their local community while enjoying some of Cincinnati’s finest craft brews and funky tunes, all for FREE!

One of the biggest aspects of this event in the past is the selection of local beer sponsors. If you ask anybody who lives here, Cincinnati is in the middle of a craft beer renaissance. With nearly fifty different breweries and microbreweries in the tri-state area, it would be a shame to highlight the area’s music culture without paying homage to some of the Cincy brews that complement the local tunes.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Photo by enBed Productions.

Across the street from The Wooden Cask is a very large parking lot which will be the home to the main stage and several local artisan shops and beer booths. Vendors from all around the local community will be participating and some of Cincinnati’s most delicious food trucks will be feeding all the hungry music fans!

Over the past few years, the Essential Productions team has developed their own style of events, which consist of carefully tailored lineups that are always sure to impress funk, jam, and electronic music fans alike. Aside from the tunes, there will be live painters and artists creating unique art pieces throughout the weekend, another recurring part of any EP party, as well as games and activities for kids and even a stand-up comedy stage.

Strange Mechanics. Photo by enBed Productions.

“We’ve been teaming up with Bombs Away Comedy, a group of comedians around Cincinnati, for a few weeks now,” explained Szabo. “We will have an area inside the brewery for stand-up comedy during the day and evenings. Once music ends on the main stage around midnight, there will be more bands playing indoors until 2 in the morning.”

Although the event will have a different feel throughout the weekend because of its new home in Northern Kentucky, Paradise Beer and Music Festival will surely be one of the highlights of the summer when it comes to live music in Cincinnati. The inclusivity of the event allows for music fans of all ages to enjoy the festivities, and the local talent will be evident from the second you arrive at the venue. The beer will be flowing, the art will be beautiful, the tunes will be funky, and the loving atmosphere will make you understand why the event is called “Paradise.”

Learn more about Paradise Music & Beer Festival on their website.