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Lumenocity to Return for Final Time - With 8 Indoor Shows, Outdoor Festival

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will bring back its wildly popular concern and community festival LUMENOCITY- for one final run of 8 shows.

It was announced Friday that LUMENOCITY will return for its fourth and final year, August 5-7, with a theme of "Re-imagine", a fully immersive experience, CSO officials said.

In previous years the event packed Washington Park in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and the light show was projected on Music Hall as the Symphony played below. This year's show will be played indoors at the Taft Theater downtown as Music Hall undergoes a major renovation.

With the change, the Taft audience will be surrounded by spectacular visual effects with the sounds of a live orchestra, CSO announced. With the light and music show moving indoors, the number of performances can be increased, offering matinee times that are more family-friendly. There are eight presentations over a three-day period, serving an estimated 16,000 people inside the Taft Theatre, and more through the festive LUMENOCITY Block Party, free and open to the public, taking place outside in front of the Taft. 

“The Taft is also the CSO and Pops’ ‘home away from home’ during our one-season displacement during the Music Hall renovation, so we wanted to invite the community in to experience this incredible downtown gem,” said CSO President Trey Devey, in an announcement. “We’re excited to be downtown, and LUMENOCITY will serve to kick off our 2016-17 Taft Theatre concert season.”

The all-new 45-minute LUMENOCITY program, the entirety of which will include image-mapping choreographed to music creating an immersive experience unique to every seat in the theatre, will feature the Orchestra performing as both the CSO and the Cincinnati Pops.

CSO Music Director Louis Langrée and Pops Conductor John Morris Russell will share the podium in a stylistically diverse musical program that showcases Cincinnati’s extraordinary orchestra and includes familiar and powerful music by John Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Johannes Brahms, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

The visual effects for LUMENOCITY: Re-imagine will be created by Lightborne, an acclaimed concept factory design studio and production company based in Over-
the-Rhine that has produced mind-blowing visual effects for the Katy Perry Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2015 and many touring musicians including Andrea Bocelli, Kanye West, Fleetwood Mac, and Taylor Swift. The Orchestra has had a long and successful working relationship with Lightborne on a number of projects.

“It’s an honor for us to work with our hometown Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on LUMENOCITY,” said Lightborne President Scott Durban in the announcement. “Our team is putting together a visual experience that will tell a story, highlight the Orchestra and make the beautiful architecture inside the Taft Theatre come alive.”

The event will also include a new LUMENOCITY Block Party outside of the Taft Theatre. This festive event site will be free and open to the public throughout the weekend and feature live music, dazzling art installations, activities for kids, food and beverage services and a giant LED screen to show what’s happening inside the Taft in the city’s largest LUMENOCITY Viewing Party. Exact hours and schedule of events will be announced at a later date. Admission to the Block Party is free and open to the public and no tickets are required. Both LUMENOCITY and the LUMENOCITY Block Party are possible because of lead sponsors Jackie and Roy Sweeney, theJacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts at Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, and P&G, among others.

For the free, outdoor LUMENOCITY Block Party, Lightborne has engaged the College of DAAP at the University of Cincinnati and the College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University as partners in creating an outdoor interactive experience.

Once again, live television and radio broadcasts and webcasts of performances inside the Taft Theatre will make the LUMENOCITY experience available to all thanks to partnerships with CET (Channel 48), WCPO (Channel 9) and 90.9 Classical WGUC (details below). 

Tickets will be on sale to the general public Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 10 a.m. at (online only; up to four tickets per household). Subscribers to the CSO and Pops 2016-17 Taft Theatre season, or Orchestra donors of $250 or more will qualify for the LUMENOCITY guaranteed access pre-sale, June 13-17. Subscribe by June 1 to qualify for the pre-sale. Gifts to the Orchestra’s Annual Fund made between September 1, 2015-June 1, 2016 will qualify. Pre-sale qualifiers can purchase up to four tickets per household in advance of the public on-sale of July 5. Subscriptions start at $60. Visit for more information or to purchase subscriptions.

-Staff report

Photo: Taft Theater (provided)