If we told you that Cleveland hosts one of the hottest up-and-coming art and music festivals in the country, you probably wouldn't be too surprised. After all, this is the home of rock ‘n’ roll. But, what if we told you that this unique festival is held outside ... in February ... in Cleveland?
What do Clevelanders do in the throes of another frigid winter on the lakefront? They throw a helluva party. A helluva outdoor music, arts, food and beer festival, to be exact. Every February, Brite Winter turns the West Bank of the Flats — a popular summer hotspot — into a post-holiday, dead-of-winter-wonderland that is more August than February, even with your face covered by a scarf.
What To Do There
- At its heart, Brite Winter is a music festival, so there will be … music. And, lots of it. Like any good music festival, the performances span several stages, both indoor and outdoor. Local and national bands and performers cover a range of genres — hip-hop, punk, soul, indie pop, DJs — with the indoor stages continuing to rock well past midnight.
- Be prepared to eat. Food trucks feature local restaurant favorites, and there are plenty of opportunities to keep warm with fire-pit-prepared S’mores and hot chocolate.
What Else To Do
- No one’s trying to tell you you’re not allowed to warm up. Brite Winter stations warming tents throughout the festival grounds. The tents serve the dual purpose of returning feeling to your extremities and showcasing the work of some of the region’s best local artists.
- “Fire and Ice” is a regular theme at Brite Winter, so always be on the lookout for both — bonfires abound, as do beer stands and cocktail “igloos.”
Tips for Attending
- It’s easy to get to and from the festival with shuttles running along West 25th Street.
- Hot chocolate, bonfires and heated tents aside, it’s still February in Cleveland. Dress like it.