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Bunbury Music Festival Adjusts For Mother Nature

The CVG stage lies disassembled, in preparation for rising river levels.
Bill Rinehart
The CVG stage lies disassembled, in preparation for rising river levels.

One of the stages at Bunbury is moving. The CVG stage is normally set up at the bottom of the Serpentine Wall, but with the Ohio River expected to rise four feet by Sunday, it's being relocated to higher ground.

"It's not fun. This is the third time we've had to do it," says Bunbury Marketing Manager Marissa McClellan. "We prepare for it every year. We know it might be a thing we have to deal with. We are lucky we work with pros, and they get it moving as quick as they can. We want to have the best experience possible. We never want to have to shut down a stage. Moving it insures we can have all the bands perform."

The stage will be moved up the steps to the grass, near the Purple People Bridge archways, facing the river. She says the last time the stage was moved was in 2017.

As of midday Thursday, the National Weather Service reported the Ohio River was 28.8-feet deep in Cincinnati. The forecast calls for the river to slowly rise, and crest at 32.6 feet, late Saturday night.

The overall forecast for the weekend calls for some rain on Friday and a chance of thunderstorms Saturday. McClellan says the show will go on, if possible. "As long as the bands are willing to play and there's no lightning we try to keep everything on schedule as much as we can. We've performed in the rain before, so we're ready for it," she says.

This is the eighth year for the Bunbury music festival at Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove. McClellan says they expect 40,000 music fans over the three-day event. The gates open at noon Friday.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.