In its 11th year, Brite Winter Art & Music Festival will once again feature more than 40 bands, as well as immersive arts experiences, food, drinks and more. 

This year, the annual festival takes place from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Feb. 22, returning to the West Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland. The headliner, indie rock band Ra Ra Riot, will perform on the main stage at 10 p.m.

Brite Winter spokesperson Morgan Passek told Canvas about this year’s programming, as well as what she’s looking forward to at the festival.

She noted Brite Winter 2020 is free, as always, but this year is requesting attendees reserve tickets ahead online. Tickets can be reserved and donations can be made at

What’s new this year for Brite Winter?

My favorite part about Brite is that the music and talent we bring in is always changing. Seventy percent of the musical acts have never performed at Brite Winter before and that’s exciting.

Tell me a little about the outdoor art displays.

This year’s theme is Ka-Blizzard, which is loosely based on a story/comic book theme of “Fluri and Friends” fighting off the winter doldrums, getting into mayhem and mischief along the way. You can expect the story to come to life in The Campfire Tent and the Cleveland Clothing Company Stage at The Living Room, and find roaming art throughout the festival grounds. We work in conjunction with Ingenuity Cleveland and can’t wait to show everyone our creations on Saturday.

How do you determine which bands and artists are featured each year?

For the past three years we’ve been very transparent about our music selection process. This year, we received over 400 musical submissions. Each act gets reviewed by our large music committee, which is composed of 35-plus members of the Cleveland community. Those results then get passed down to the small committee, and then the organizers start their planning. We make sure that every act is carefully considered.

Brite Winter highlights, primarily, the local music scene. How do you think that scene and experience has changed since Brite Winter started in 2010?

The Cleveland music scene has grown tremendously in the past 11 years and it’s thriving. With the growth of social media, open mic nights and new venues in the community, we’re able to discover upcoming artists. 

I love the accessibility to live music. I’m able to go out any night of the week and enjoy their artistry. Cleveland truly rocks. 

Any musical artists you are particularly excited about seeing?

I have the schedule printed off and circled on my desk. Of course I want to see everyone, but that would be nearly impossible. My top acts to see are The Cordial Sins, Mooke Da God and Jen & Anthony.

Last year’s Brite Winter festival. | Photo / Ken Blaze

Canvas is a media partner of Brite Winter. For more information, visit