MEMI Makes Case For Banks Venue To Commissioners

May 7, 2018

Hamilton County commissioners are considering the recommendation for a concert venue at The Banks. The Joint Banks Steering Committee last week selected the bid by Music and Event Management Incorporated (MEMI) to build a facility. Commissioner Denise Driehaus says while MEMI has a good history running Riverbend and the Taft Theater, she worries the new venue will just attract more of the same acts.

"How do we know for sure that this venue will do what we must have it do, which is draw young people down to this concert venue and to The Banks along with everybody else and get that critical mass, but make sure we're engaging young people in this city?" Driehaus asked. She says she heard from several young people, including some on her staff, that "cutting edge" acts will not get booked.

MEMI President Mike Smith is assuring county commissioners its bid is the best. Cincinnati Symphony subsidiary MEMI was selected over two competitors last week by The Banks steering committee.

"We are in business,” Smith told commisioners. “There's no motivation for us to book just older artists. We're going to book artists that are going to sell tickets, that are going to generate a profit, that are going to give us a return on our investment.”

He says the MEMI outdoor design also has the advantage of maintaining park space when not used for concerts.

Commissioners may hold a joint session with Cincinnati council, because both the city and county will have to sign off on the master developer plan.