BLINK Set to Return in 2019

April 06, 2018

Blink logo image

BLINK is coming back to Cincinnati, but you’ll have to wait until fall 2019 for the next edition of this one-of-a-kind art and light showcase.

The details are just starting to come together, but it has been revealed that the event will again be free to the public and artists are already being contacted about creating installments. The search for funding is also underway with the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation President and CEO Tim Maloney, again leading the effort to put it all together.  

The inaugural BLINK in October of 2017 spanned 20 city blocks, mostly along the Streetcar route and stretching down to the riverfront, with 21 light projections, most of them animated, shown on buildings throughout Downtown. There were also 27 interactive light sculptures as well as live entertainment. Vendors packed the area around Garfield place, selling all manner of artwork and crafts. The sidewalks were jammed each night as a total of one million visitors took it all in. Consider the entire population of the Tristate is 2.1 million, which means almost half of area residents attended BLINK.

Organizers expect to be ready for the massive crowds next time around but covering the multi-million dollar price tag should be easier, given the success of the first event.

“We learned a lot of little things that will make BLINK bigger, better, and brighter in 2019,” says Rich Walburg of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “The critical takeaway is that BLINK must always be free and open to the public. The magic of 2017’s BLINK was its diverse audience sharing in a moment of art and light, together. It brought a palpable energy to BLINK and it’s one of the key reasons the event was experienced by one million visitors while having zero police incidents.”

“BLINK was a mega-beast that no one in the city saw coming,” says Cincy Shirts co-owner Darin Overholser. “We printed more shirts than we would normally print for a weekend event and ended up selling through by the end of the night Friday. Also, walking around and seeing downtown in total gridlock with everyone stuffing the sidewalks looking for the next light display was something that I've never experienced before.”

It’s truly an event like no other in the U.S., and fall 2019 can’t come soon enough. “We often feel pride about certain events and happenings in the city,” Overholser adds, “but never have we been more amazed by the beauty of the City of Cincinnati than on BLINK weekend.”

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