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Bunbury Festival Guide & Pro Tips


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Karry Beatty



Welcome to the Bunbury Festival Guide & Pro Tips! If you’re a music lover looking for an unforgettable experience, you’ve come to the right place. Bunbury Festival is an annual celebration of music, art, and culture held in the scenic city of Cincinnati, Ohio. This three-day extravaganza features a diverse lineup of musicians from various genres, along with immersive art installations, mouthwatering food vendors, and a vibrant atmosphere that will leave you buzzing with excitement.


Since its inception in 2012, Bunbury Festival has grown into one of the Midwest’s premier music festivals, attracting both local and international artists. Whether you’re a fan of rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic, or alternative music, there’s something for everyone at Bunbury.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your Bunbury Festival experience. From getting to the festival and finding the perfect accommodation to navigating the grounds and staying hydrated, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your festival gear and get ready for an electrifying weekend filled with incredible music and unforgettable memories.


Getting to Bunbury Festival

Arriving at Bunbury Festival is a breeze, no matter where you’re coming from. The festival takes place at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove, located along the scenic Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. Here are a few options for getting to the festival:

  • By Car: If you’re driving to the festival, there are ample parking options available nearby. Be sure to check the festival website for details on parking locations and fees.
  • Public Transportation: Cincinnati has a reliable public transportation system, making it convenient to get to the festival without a car. The city’s bus service, the Metro, has routes that pass near the festival grounds. You can also take advantage of rideshare services or taxis to reach the festival.
  • Biking: Cincinnati is a bike-friendly city, and biking to the festival is not only a sustainable option but also a great way to enjoy the scenery. The festival offers bike racks where you can securely park your bike during the event.
  • Walking: If you’re staying in a hotel or accommodation near the festival grounds, walking to the festival is a convenient and eco-friendly option. Take a leisurely stroll along the river and soak in the atmosphere before you even reach the entrance.

Regardless of how you choose to reach Bunbury Festival, be sure to plan your route in advance and allow yourself enough time to arrive and pass through security. Heavy traffic and long lines are common during peak festival hours, so it’s always a good idea to arrive early to maximize your experience.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to finding accommodation for Bunbury Festival, you have a variety of options to suit your preferences and budget. Here are a few choices to consider:

  • Hotels: Cincinnati offers a range of hotels in and around the downtown area, providing convenient access to the festival grounds. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, you can easily find a hotel that suits your needs. Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, as hotels tend to fill up quickly during the festival weekend.
  • Airbnb: If you’re looking for a more unique and local experience, consider booking an Airbnb. There are plenty of rental options available near the festival grounds, allowing you to stay in a cozy apartment or house that feels like home.
  • Camping: For those who enjoy the great outdoors, camping is an excellent option. Bunbury Festival offers camping facilities within walking distance of the festival grounds. You can bring your own tent or rent one on-site. Camping not only provides a convenient place to stay but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the festival atmosphere.
  • Hostels: If you’re traveling on a budget or prefer a more social experience, consider staying in a hostel. Cincinnati has a few hostels that offer dormitory-style accommodations at affordable prices. It’s a great way to meet fellow festival-goers and make new friends.

Whichever accommodation option you choose, be sure to check the amenities, proximity to the festival, and reviews before making a reservation. It’s important to have a comfortable and safe place to rest after a long day of enjoying the festival.


Festival Lineup

The Bunbury Festival boasts an impressive lineup of artists from various genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s musical taste. The organizers strive to curate a diverse and eclectic mix of performers, ranging from up-and-coming acts to well-established artists. Here are some highlights from previous Bunbury Festival lineups:

  • Headliners: Bunbury Festival has attracted renowned headliners such as The Killers, Jack White, Florence + The Machine, Post Malone, and Twenty One Pilots. These artists bring their electrifying performances to the main stage, creating memorable moments for festival-goers.
  • Indie and Alternative Acts: The festival is known for its strong indie and alternative music presence, showcasing emerging and critically acclaimed artists. Past lineups have included acts like Tame Impala, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Walk the Moon, and Arctic Monkeys.
  • Local Talent: Bunbury Festival also takes pride in highlighting local artists from Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. This gives festival-goers the opportunity to discover and support talented musicians from the region.
  • Diverse Genres: The lineup transcends genres, incorporating elements of rock, pop, hip-hop, electronic, folk, and more. This diversity creates a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere, attracting music enthusiasts with varied musical preferences.

Keep in mind that the lineup may vary from year to year, and announcements regarding the performers are typically made closer to the festival dates. It’s always exciting to anticipate and discover the artists who will be gracing the stages of Bunbury.


Whether you’re a fan of high-energy rock shows, mesmerizing electronic beats, or soulful singer-songwriter performances, the Bunbury Festival lineup promises to deliver an unforgettable musical experience.


Food and Drink

At Bunbury Festival, you’ll find a wide array of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. The festival takes pride in offering a diverse selection of food vendors, catering to different dietary preferences and palates. Here’s what you can expect in terms of food and drink options:

  • Food Trucks: One of the highlights of Bunbury Festival is the presence of numerous food trucks offering a variety of cuisines. From tacos and burgers to pizza and vegetarian fare, there’s something to suit every craving. Be sure to explore different food trucks to sample a wide range of flavors.
  • Local Eateries: In addition to food trucks, the festival often partners with local restaurants and eateries, giving you the chance to experience the flavors of Cincinnati. You might find signature dishes and specialties from renowned local establishments.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Options: Bunbury Festival recognizes the importance of catering to different dietary needs. Many food vendors offer vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring that everyone can find delicious meals to enjoy.
  • Craft Beer and Cocktails: In addition to the food options, the festival also offers a selection of craft beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst. Local breweries and mixologists often participate, giving you the chance to taste unique and refreshing drinks.

While exploring the food and drink options at Bunbury Festival, consider trying something new and supporting local businesses. It’s a great opportunity to discover hidden culinary gems and indulge in tasty treats while enjoying the festival atmosphere.


Pro Tip: Remember to stay hydrated throughout the festival, especially if you’re enjoying alcoholic beverages. Drink plenty of water and take advantage of refill stations located throughout the grounds.


Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential when attending a festival, especially during the summer months. With the energetic atmosphere and hours of dancing and walking, it’s important to keep your body hydrated and prevent heat-related issues. Here are some tips to stay hydrated at Bunbury Festival:

  • Water Stations: The festival provides water stations throughout the grounds where you can refill your water bottles for free. Take advantage of these stations and keep a reusable water bottle handy.
  • Drink Electrolytes: While water is crucial, replenishing electrolytes is equally important. Consider bringing electrolyte drinks or sports drinks to help replenish essential minerals and maintain electrolyte balance.
  • Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can dehydrate your body, so it’s important to moderate your intake. Alternate alcoholic beverages with water or non-alcoholic drinks to stay properly hydrated.
  • Schedule Breaks: Take breaks throughout the day to find shaded areas or indoor spaces where you can rest and hydrate. Give yourself time to cool down and recover from the heat.
  • Consume Hydrating Foods: Some fruits and vegetables have high water content and can contribute to your hydration. Snack on watermelon, grapes, cucumbers, and other hydrating foods to supplement your fluid intake.

Remember, prevention is key to avoiding dehydration and heat exhaustion. Keep an eye out for any signs of dehydration, such as dizziness, fatigue, or excessive thirst. If you or someone you’re with starts experiencing these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.


Pro Tip: Consider bringing a small handheld fan or a personal misting spray to help cool yourself down during the festival. These simple tools can provide instant relief from the heat.


Navigating the Festival Grounds

With a festival as sprawling as Bunbury, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the layout and make navigating the grounds a breeze. Here are some tips to help you navigate the festival grounds with ease:

  • Study the Map: Before heading to Bunbury, take some time to study the festival map. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the stages, food vendors, restrooms, and other key areas. This will help you plan your day and save time when moving between different attractions.
  • Set Meeting Points: Arranging meeting points with your group will ensure that you can easily find and regroup with each other if you get separated. Choose easily identifiable landmarks or stages as meeting points.
  • Use Landmarks for Orientation: Pay attention to prominent landmarks within the festival grounds to aid in navigation. Large art installations or distinct stages can serve as reference points when finding your way around.
  • Check the Schedule: Stay up-to-date with the festival schedule and plan your itinerary accordingly. Note the performance times of the artists you don’t want to miss, allowing you to strategically move between stages without missing any of your favorite acts.
  • Stay Connected: Make sure your mobile device is charged and have a reliable way to stay connected to the internet. This will enable you to use navigation apps, keep track of updates, and communicate with friends during the festival.
  • Be Mindful of Crowds: As with any festival, certain areas can get crowded, especially during popular performances. Be patient and anticipate heavy foot traffic. If you want to avoid large crowds, consider exploring other stages or attractions that may offer a more relaxed atmosphere.

By familiarizing yourself with the festival grounds and planning ahead, you can optimize your time at Bunbury Festival and ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.


Pro Tip: As you move between stages, take the opportunity to explore the various art installations and interactive exhibits throughout the festival grounds. Immerse yourself in the vibrant artistic atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way.


Essential Items to Bring

When preparing for Bunbury Festival, it’s important to pack wisely to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential items to bring with you:

  • Valid ID: Make sure to bring a valid form of identification, as you may be required to show it for age verification when purchasing alcoholic beverages or entering certain areas.
  • Ticket and Wristband: Don’t forget to bring your festival ticket and wristband, as you won’t be able to access the grounds without them. Keep them in a safe place to avoid any issues.
  • Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun by bringing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. The festival grounds may be exposed to direct sunlight, so it’s important to take precautions to prevent sunburn and stay comfortable.
  • Comfortable Shoes: With lots of walking and dancing, it’s crucial to wear comfortable shoes that can withstand long hours on your feet. Opt for closed-toe shoes with good support to avoid discomfort and potential injuries.
  • A Backpack or Bag: Bring a small backpack or bag to carry your essentials, including water, sunscreen, a portable phone charger, and any other personal items. Make sure the bag adheres to the festival’s size restrictions.
  • Cash and Cards: Carry some cash and your debit or credit card for purchases at food vendors and merchandise stands. Some vendors may not accept cards, so having cash on hand will ensure you don’t miss out on any treats.
  • Portable Charger: Keep your phone charged throughout the day by bringing a portable charger. This way, you can stay connected, capture memories, and access essential festival information without worrying about your battery running out.
  • Rain Gear: Check the weather forecast and be prepared for unexpected rain showers. Pack a lightweight rain jacket or poncho to keep you dry during any wet weather.

While these are some essential items to bring, it’s important to pack according to your specific needs and preferences. Consider any personal medication, special dietary items, or additional comfort items that will enhance your festival experience.


Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in case you get caught in a sudden downpour or simply want a fresh outfit to change into during the day.


Dressing for the Festival

Choosing the right attire for Bunbury Festival is not just about style, but also about comfort and practicality. Here are some tips for dressing appropriately and stylishly for the festival:

  • Comfortable Clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow for ease of movement. Consider wearing loose-fitting clothes that will keep you cool throughout the day.
  • Layering: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by layering your clothing. Mornings and evenings can be cooler, so bring a light jacket or sweater that can easily be tied around your waist or carried in your bag during the warmer parts of the day.
  • Footwear: Choose comfortable, closed-toe shoes that are suitable for walking and dancing. Avoid wearing new or uncomfortable shoes that may cause blisters or foot pain. Opt for sneakers, sandals, or boots that you can easily move in.
  • Hats and Accessories: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat or cap. Not only will it provide shade, but it can also be a stylish addition to your festival outfit. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses and consider accessorizing with fun and colorful items like bandanas or funky jewelry.
  • Utility Belt or Fanny Pack: Keep your essentials within reach by wearing a utility belt or a fanny pack. This way, you can securely store your phone, wallet, and other small items without worrying about them getting lost or stolen.
  • Express Your Style: Bunbury Festival is a place to express yourself creatively and showcase your personal style. Embrace vibrant colors, unique patterns, and statement pieces to stand out in the crowd.
  • Check the Dress Code: Before finalizing your festival outfit, check the festival’s dress code policy on their website. They may have specific guidelines or restrictions in place, especially regarding safety or offensive clothing.

Remember, the most important aspect of your festival outfit is feeling comfortable and confident so you can fully enjoy the music and festivities. Be expressive, have fun, and embrace your unique style!


Pro Tip: Consider bringing a light scarf or bandana. Not only can it enhance your outfit, but it can also be used to shield your face from dust or serve as a makeshift headband or cooling towel if needed.


Safety Tips

While Bunbury Festival is all about having a great time, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a positive and worry-free experience. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay Hydrated: As mentioned earlier, staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hot summer days. Drink water regularly to prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
  • Protect Yourself from the Sun: Apply sunscreen generously and regularly throughout the day to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight clothing to further protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: Be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal belongings. Avoid leaving valuables unattended and be cautious of strangers. If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation.
  • Designate a Meeting Spot: Choose a designated meeting spot with your group in case you get separated. This way, you can easily regroup and ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Stay in Well-Lit Areas: Stick to well-lit areas, especially during nighttime performances or when moving around the festival grounds. Avoid isolated or poorly lit areas to minimize the risk of accidents or unwanted encounters.
  • Know Emergency Exits and Safety Protocols: Familiarize yourself with the festival’s emergency exits and safety protocols. Take note of the nearest medical tents, security stations, and information booths in case you need assistance.
  • Stay Sober and Drink Responsibly: If you choose to consume alcohol, do so responsibly and in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair your judgment and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Stay Connected: Ensure that your phone is fully charged and have a way to stay connected with your group or emergency contacts. It’s always a good idea to have important phone numbers saved and accessible.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizers to minimize the spread of germs and prevent illness. Festival grounds can get crowded, so maintaining good hygiene is important for your health and the well-being of others.

By following these safety tips and being mindful of your surroundings, you can have a safe and enjoyable time at Bunbury Festival. Remember, your safety and well-being should always be a top priority.


Pro Tip: Consider packing a small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and antiseptic wipes. This way, you’ll be prepared for any minor medical issues that may arise during the festival.


Rest and Recovery

While the energy and excitement of Bunbury Festival can be exhilarating, it’s important to prioritize rest and recovery to ensure you have the stamina to fully enjoy the festivities. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself during the festival:

  • Get Adequate Sleep: Plan for enough sleep each night to recharge your body and mind. Find a comfortable and quiet place to rest, away from the main festival area, to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Take Breaks: Pace yourself throughout the day by taking short breaks to rest and recharge. Find a shaded area, sit down, and relax for a while. Use these breaks to hydrate, have a snack, and cool down.
  • Stretch and Move: Engage in gentle stretching or light exercises to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness. Taking short walks or doing yoga poses can help keep your body limber and alleviate any tension.
  • Find Quiet Spaces: Seek out peaceful and quiet spaces within the festival grounds where you can escape the noise and recharge mentally. This can help you find moments of calm amidst the excitement.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and rest when needed. If you start feeling fatigued or unwell, take a break and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Eat Nutritious Meals: Fuel your body with nutritious food to provide the necessary energy for the festival. Try to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods into your meals to support your overall well-being.
  • Stay Cool: Beat the heat by finding shaded areas or air-conditioned spots during the hottest parts of the day. This will help prevent overheating and ensure your comfort.
  • Stay Connected with Friends: Foster a sense of community and support by checking on your friends and making sure everyone is feeling good. Look out for one another and offer assistance if needed.

Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial in making the most out of your Bunbury Festival experience. Listen to your body’s needs and prioritize your well-being throughout the weekend.


Pro Tip: Consider bringing a small portable fan or a cooling towel to help you stay refreshed during the festival. These simple items can provide a much-needed burst of cool air on hot days.


Making the Most of Your Experience

Bunbury Festival offers a vibrant and memorable experience that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. To ensure you make the most of your time at the festival, here are some tips:

  • Plan Your Schedule: Take the time to review the festival lineup and plan which artists you definitely want to see. Create a schedule that allows you to explore different stages, discover new acts, and catch your favorite performances.
  • Discover New Artists: Use Bunbury as an opportunity to explore new sounds and genres. Take a chance on unfamiliar artists and discover hidden gems. You might just find your new favorite band.
  • Immerse Yourself in the Atmosphere: Bunbury Festival offers more than just music. Take the time to appreciate the art installations, interactive exhibits, and the unique atmosphere created by fellow festival-goers and performers.
  • Connect with Others: Festivals are a great opportunity to meet new people who share your passion for music and art. Strike up conversations, make new friends, and embrace the sense of community that the festival brings.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Take advantage of the diverse food vendors and try local specialties – it’s all part of the festival experience. Indulge in the culinary delights on offer and savor the flavors of the city.
  • Capture Memories: Don’t forget to document your festival experience. Take photos, record videos, and share your favorite moments on social media. But also remember to put your phone away at times and fully immerse yourself in the present moment.
  • Break Away from the Crowd: While it’s exhilarating to be in the midst of the crowd during popular performances, don’t be afraid to take a break and explore quieter areas of the festival. Discover hidden stages, find secret performances, or simply relax and enjoy some downtime.
  • Embrace Spontaneity: Let yourself be open to the unexpected. Say ‘yes’ to new experiences, follow your intuition, and allow yourself to be swept away in the magic of the festival. Some of the best memories are made when you let go of plans and go with the flow.

By following these tips, you can create a truly memorable and enriching experience at Bunbury Festival. Embrace the music, art, and the spirit of the festival, and make it an unforgettable weekend full of laughter, discovery, and connection.


Pro Tip: Consider keeping a festival journal to jot down your thoughts, highlights, and interesting moments throughout the weekend. This allows you to revisit those special memories long after the festival is over.



Congratulations! You are now equipped with a comprehensive guide to navigate and make the most of your experience at Bunbury Festival. From getting to the festival grounds and finding accommodation to enjoying the lineup, food, and art installations, you have all the information you need to ensure a memorable and enjoyable time.


Remember, while it’s important to plan and follow the tips provided, don’t forget to embrace the spontaneity and magic of the festival. Connect with fellow music lovers, discover new artists, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


As you prepare for the festival, pack your essentials, dress comfortably, and stay hydrated. Pay attention to your safety and well-being, and take breaks when needed. And most importantly, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, let the music wash over you, and fully embrace the unique experience that Bunbury Festival offers.


Whether you’re dancing in the crowd, exploring the art installations, or indulging in the local cuisine, let the festival be a celebration of music, culture, and connection. Cherish the moments, take it all in, and create memories to carry with you long after the festival ends.


Now, get ready to embark on an incredible adventure filled with electrifying performances, artistic inspiration, and unforgettable moments at Bunbury Festival. The countdown has begun, so go forth and make the most of this extraordinary experience!