• The PNC Summer Music Series on Fountain Square may be over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of music to come in the city’s center. This weekend (Friday-Sunday), the Square hosts the 2011 Cincinnati Beer Fest, which, besides lots of different types of beer for tasting, will also present a sampler of local music each day. Friday’s lineup (starting at 5 p.m.) includes rockers The Koala Fires, Buckra, Tickled Pink and more, while Saturday (noon start) you can drink and listen to locals like The Yugos, Bri Love and The Mighty. Sunday, the fest comes to an end and presents a rootsier lineup, with Straw Boss, Shoot Out the Lights, Josh Eagle and the Harvest City, The Heartlanders, Sleepin’ Dogs and more. (Sunday’s fest begins at noon also.)
Admission is free (though it’ll cost you to drink). For full details, visit myfountainsquare.com.
• The six-year-old Sunflower Street Festival in Milford is adding local music to its lineup of arts, games, vendors and more, thanks to a new partnership with Far-I-Rome Productions, the folks who organize the annual Clifton Heights Music Festival (among other events). The community fest takes place along Main Street in downtown Milford and runs Saturday from noon-11 p.m.
Music — split between two stages — starts at 3 p.m. Local acts performing this year include Buffalo Killers, The Chocolate Horse, Back Beat, Zella Whelms, Jamwave, Young Heirlooms, The Hiders, Michael McIntire and the Marmalade Brigade, Michela Miller, Avondale, Indigo Wild, Hook City Brigadiers, The Comforts, Shoot Out The Lights and The Happy Maladies. Parking and admission is free. For more information, visit www.sunflowerstreetfestival.com.
• If you’re closer to Covington this weekend, you can still enjoy a plethora of local music in an “outdoor streetfest” atmosphere, as this year’s Mainstrasse Village Oktoberfest presents an array of local acts (though more on the “cover band” side of things). Oktoberfest runs Friday-Sunday and features four outdoor stages for music (at Goebel Park, the Railroad Trestle, the Goose Girl Fountain and on Main Street). Among those slated to appear include Ricky Nye Inc. (Saturday at 2 p.m.; Goebel stage), The Cincy Brass (Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.; Goose Girl Fountain), The Turkeys (Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Main Street stage) and Pete Dressman & the Soul Unified Nation (Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on the Railroad Trestle stage). For the full lineup of music and other attractions, visit www.mainstrasse.org.
• Downtown’s historic Arnold’s Bar & Grill will get sweet and horn-y this weekend for a special weekend promotion in conjunction with Jack Daniels, which is pushing a new brand of whiskey infused with honey (so apparently we’re putting bees to work to make our booze now — about time!). Friday’s “Swing and Sting Weekend” presents the funky all-horn ensemble The Cincy Brass, which does originals and covers of Pop hits and other songs (they’ve covered everyone from Lady Gaga to Deerhoof!) in a marching band/New Orleans’ style. Saturday’s music will be provided by Pittsburgh’s Neon Swing X-perience, which presents a modern take on classic Swing and Rockabilly. Neon Swing’s Mike Urick, the group’s leader, songwriter, frontman, singer, trumpet player and “nosefloutist,” has lived in Cincinnati since 2009, pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Cincinnati (bet he’s still a Steelers fan, though). The parties kick off at 9 p.m. each night and there is no cover charge. For more info, visit www.arnoldsbarandgrill.com.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: email@example.com