Last year, when Hawthorne Heights announced it was expanding on the concept of its Dayton Is For Lovers Festival, the band members didn’t realize they were launching a national franchise. That’s exactly what happened after partnering with Live Nation for Ohio Is For Lovers, returning for a second year to Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 9. Tickets are on sale now for the event with headliners like Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio and Underoath and more than a dozen other acts.
“This little monster we created about Ohio is growing at a rapid rate and we’re really excited about it,” Hawthorne Heights’ JT Woodruff said. “Who would’ve thought a song we wrote 20 years ago about our hometown would take the shape for everybody else’s hometown. It’s a wonderful bit of good fortune.”
Check out Hawthorne Heights’ latest video for the single, “Dandelions”:
Before the first event took place last September, Hawthorne Heights had already co-headlined two other quickly organized Is For Lovers events in Kansas and Colorado in late August. Last month, the group hosted its fourth such event, Hawaii Is For Lovers, one of 10 themed festivals this year. Other locations include Salt Lake City on July 21, Orange County, California on August 26 and Mansfield, Massachusetts on September 17.
“We’ve always been super into making sure everybody has a place to belong,” Woodruff said. “That’s what these lyrics have always been about. These songs are about trying to find a ray of sunshine in dark times. That’s what inclusion is. Sometimes life isn’t easy, and music can be therapeutic for all of us. That’s why we listen to it and why we create it. It’s why we try to build festivals with lineups that fit that same motto and in areas that fit that same motto.”
Woodruff also shared his appreciation for various partnerships.
“We have a lot of different types of partners,” he said. “That’s what drives this ship. We have everybody from Live Nation to AEG, which are two of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, to independent DIY promoters. They all see the vision. We all want to give the fans a wonderful show in a wonderful setting. That’s the whole mission statement, really.”
Hawthorne Heights is currently in the United Kingdom with appearances at the Slam Dunk Festival.
“This summer is flyout central,” Woodruff said. “We’re doing all festivals, whether we’re running them or somebody else is. It’s a non-traditional summer from the way we normally do things. It’s time to put the festival hat on for that half-hour power set and really spend this summer outdoors with people, enjoying the sunlight instead of being in dark clubs.”
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HOW TO GO
What: Ohio is For Lovers 2 with Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio, Underoath, Hawthorne Heights and others
Where: Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati
When: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m. Doors open at noon
Cost: General admission tickets start at $113
More info: www.isforloversfestival.com