Celebrate Art, Music & Tech

September 13, 2015

IngenuityFest Celebrates Art, Music and Technology in Cleveland

More than 40,000 people are headed to a three-day festival located at Voinovich Park on Cleveland's downtown lakefront Oct. 2-4. But this isn't a funnel-cake-and-carnival-rides kind of event.

Some have compared this festival to something along the lines of South by Southwest with a little Burning Man sprinkled in, but with the sophistication that comes with new technology and an entrepreneurial spirit.

It's called IngenuityFest. And, to be honest, describing the event in a few words can be a little difficult. Besides telling you that it's a three-day festival celebrating art, music and technology, we can also say that it's a festival that's thought provoking, artful, musical, eccentric and, sometimes, a little weird (but in a good way).

"We think of the festival as a showcase of all that Cleveland has to offer from not only the creative and artistic side of things, but through Cleveland's thriving business, industrial and wonderful educational and healthcare industries," Emily Applebaum, Program Director of Ingenuity, says. "We're unlike any other music and art festival. We try to showcase Cleveland's resources in interesting ways."

Huge interactive art installations? Check. Cool technology demonstrations? Affirmative. Make-you-think sound installations? Yep. Sculptures? You betcha. Dance performances? Sí. Video and film? Yes!

Here are five more cool things to check out at this year's festival:

5. Makers Faire

During the Makers Faire, small-scale innovators and tech entrepreneurs from all around will showcase the many projects they're working on - whether that's in their backyards and garages or studios and laboratories. Think: solar powered lanterns, robotics and high-tech soldering.

"It'll give us a chance to see what these folks are working on and give people a chance to see how they actually do it," Applebaum says.

4. Performances

Highlights of the festival include the various live performances - musical, artistic and otherwise - that happen on one of Ingenuity's many stages.

"The types of programming will range from great world beats, funk and dance music to some really experimental work with digital media and costume characters," Applebaum says.

And, don't be surprised when they take the dance party well into the wee hours of the night.

3. Long-Term Installation

While the festival will have a number of large-scale installations coming from places like Chicago to Toronto and just about everywhere in between, there's one installation that's taking the cake.

"What's new this year is a tradition we hope to continue, which is to leave a legacy of permanent work in our wake," Applebaum says. "So, we are absolutely thrilled to be finalizing the details of a long-term installation at the Great Lakes Science Center."

The installation, which seeks to close the loop between makers and manufacturers, will challenge teams to create site-specific work in 24 hours using materials from HGR Industrial Surplus, a company that buys and sells used manufacturing machinery, industrial equipment and the like.

2. Container Village

Ingenuity's location of Voinovich Park is a first for the 11th annual festival and one that brings great opportunity.

"In the past, we've always found these underutilized spaces that the festival has brought to life. Now we're enjoying a space that is experiencing a huge rebirth," Applebaum says.

Using the themes of construction and rebirth, the festival is teaming up with several partners, including the architecture behind the lakefront's improvements Dick Pace of Cumberland Real Estate Development, on a huge large-scale, hands-on art activity, which includes a dynamic village made entirely of shipping containers.

1. What's Your Transition?

This year is monumental for Ingenuity's team, as the organization has taken on a new leadership team, along with a new year-round mission. This big transition has sparked the idea behind another important aspect of the festival entitled "What's Your Transition?"

"People will be able to move through the site to see what's new and what's happening at places like University Circle Incorporated and the Port of Cleveland," Applebaum says.

"Right now, festival culture is erupting," she says. "People are traveling more than ever to go to festivals. They want to go to places where they can self-curate and self-direct through the environment."

And, that's exactly what you'll do during a visit to the 11th Annual IngenuityFest.

"Visitors will get a snapshot of Cleveland and learn what makes our city globally competitive," Applebaum adds. "It's a fully immersive experience."

Articles Search

Download the Destination Cleveland App

The Destination Cleveland app is your guide to art, culture and rock ‘n’ roll in a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Grit meets sophistication in a town with world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.

Destination Cleveland
334 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
800. 321. 1001
Check out what other travelers say
about Cleveland on TripAdvisor.