It’s not much, but it’s something.
Music fans notice that the website for Homecoming — the Cincinnati festival hosted by locally formed band The National — was recently updated. Instead of displaying a cancellation notice for the 2020 festival, the website now says “Homecoming 2023”, followed by a suggestion to join a mailing list for further updates (CityBeat is on various email and text lists related to the festival and The National and has not received any alerts regarding the website change or other news).
Launched in 2018, Homecoming takes place at Smale Riverfront Park along the Ohio River and typically features two nights of music, with The National taking several performance slots itself. The latest iteration of Homecoming was supposed to take place in May 2020, but was canceled due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have made every effort to reschedule Homecoming for 2020, but due to circumstances beyond our control, the festival will not take place this year as planned,” the National’s statement read at the time. “We look forward to bringing the event back in 2021.”
Unfortunately, Homecoming didn’t happen in 2021 either, as the pandemic continued to rage thanks to the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus, causing a months-long spike in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. throughout summer, fall and early winter.
Fans speculated on when Homecoming would return or when The National might play locally. In March, The National announced their 23-date summer tour, with Queen City noticeably absent from the itinerary. To see the group, Cincinnati residents would have to drive nearly two hours west to Indianapolis.
In October, The National celebrated the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album by releasing their entire catalog to BandCamp.
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