Downtown Revival critics should chill

It’s been a while time since I’ve seen so much backseat driving in Dayton.

But, for some reason, the Dayton Downtown Revival — the two-day, outdoor music festival held last weekend — nearly drove some off the cliff.

The criticism started online and off almost from the word go.

The price was too high. “It must be a scam.”

Organizers picked a bad weekend. “You’ve got the same weekend as the Greek, Italian and Popcorn festival, the Boonshoft Gala, Miamisburg Starving Artists…”

It is happening where? “No one goes to downtown Dayton.”

Some of the acts are super lame. “Who would pay good money to see Train?”

Why so much negativity?

While it is human nature to question things, I don’t get why so much was said against and about a festival that, despite predictions, actually did bring thousands of music fans to downtown Dayton.

Yeah, there were pricing issues. Yeah it was on a busy weekend. And yes, no one can say that Train is universally loved, but can someone explain why this music festival deserved such criticism?

It was a first time event and surely the event will improve as organizers iron out some kinks.

When it comes down to it, why throw daggers at someone who by all appearances aimed to bring a cool event to a rebounding city?

And cool it was. If Train wasn’t your cup of tea, there were more than 30 other acts to hear.

The Ohio Players’ “Skin Tight” is still playing in my head.

And I discovered some new-to-me bands, including Robert Randolph and the Family Band and the Dayton region band Heartless Bastards.

And, no matter what you think of Train, judging by record sales, a lot of people like them.

(Of course, I should add that concerts often are expensive and summer is a busy season in Dayton.)

It isn’t the first time a positive has been turned into a negative. People most recently moaned and fretted about the NCAA First Four Festival. That worked too.

Perhaps this is just a symptom the, “Everything sucks here,” mentality rampant throughout the region or maybe as my Facebook friend Brandon put it, “If Dayton improves itself, how else can these people reaffirm their own cynicism?”

The Miami Valley has great potential because a lot of people — including Downtown Revival president Matt Luongo and a number of the event’s most vocal critics — think outside of the box and truly care.

The community will be revived.

On that great day, frowns will be turned upside down and those so inclined will skip down the street humming Train’s “Meet Virginia.”

Or maybe they will hum “Skin Tight.”

What do you think? Are things getting better in Dayton?

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