Folks, mark your calendar for this one because BLINK Cincinnati is THE “not to be missed” Cincinnati event for 2022.
BLINK is a four-day Cincinnati event featuring locations with large-scale projection mapping, murals, urban artscape, media light, street art, interactive art and live performers. The largest light, art, projection mapping events in the nation, BLINK is happening October 13-16, 2022 and will stretch across 30 city blocks throughout downtown Cincinnati, surrounding areas, and into Covington, KY.
What is BLINK Cincinnati?
At the simplest level, it’s a fabulous, giant light show! Our city’s buildings will come alive for BLINK Cincinnati as art meets light meets brick. A number of our existing ArtWorks murals will light up as various creatives project light shows specifically designed for each mural. And we will have the pleasure of enjoying additional/new murals created just for BLINK 2022.
Want to see what a previous BLINK event was like? Take a look at our montage of the first event….
As part of the 30 city blocks of project mappings, we will see more than 100 interactive installations across multiple locations throughout downtown Cincinnati and surrounding areas.
How Do I Know Where to Go at BLINK Cincinnati?
The BLINK Event Map can be found here. Be sure to bookmark the map on your phone so it’s ready and waiting for you when you go out at night. In previous years they’ve handed out printed maps at some of the stops but I haven’t seen any mentions of that yet for 2022.
BLINK Cincinnati has been broken up into five zones (all shown on the map):
- The Findlay Market Zone
- Over the Rhine Zone
- Downtown Zone
- The Banks Zone
- Covington Zone
Use the online map to find all the zones you might want to visit. In addition to the 5 zones, the map shows the transit centers and its stops, the parade path, restrooms, hospitality areas, and much more.
What’s New for BLINK in 2022?
New for 2022: the first BLINK Drone Show! 300 drones will put on a show over the Ohio River, twice each evening. The show will be visible from both the Ohio and the Kentucky sides of the river. Make some plans to be on the riverfront to see this glowing event that’s happening Thursday through Sunday. The first drone shows will be at 9pm and 10pm on Thursday followed by drone shows Friday through Sunday at 8pm and 10pm.
New for 2022: ArtsWave is offering a self-guided tour that will lead you through a 10-stop guided tour on your smart phone. Each stop on the tour starts off with a video intro from the artist, in progress videos of the artwork, installation videos, artist bios, and more. Get it here for just $10!
New for 2022: There will be 90 music artists performing on stages across all the zones, making BLINK the largest music festival in Ohio! Performances are happening all across the city (from Covington to OTR) with over 100 artists playing on 7 stages from 7pm to 11pm (Thursday to Saturday) and from 7pm to 10pm on Sunday.
When is BLINK Cincinnati 2022:
When: October 13-16, 2022
All shows and exhibits begin at sundown – approximately 7pm.
Do I Need Tickets for BLINK?
BLINK is free and open to the public. You can go all evening without spending a dime if you wish (other than parking).
There are a few “ticketed” opportunities but those are not the norm.
The BLINK Parade
The BLINK parade will light up the streets and kick off the BLINK experience around 7:30pm on Thursday, October 13, 2022. The parade will be on 5th Street this year, going through the Central Business District of downtown. It starts at Broadway and heads west, ending at the parade stage on Elm Street .
What’s New for the Parade in 2022?
- Be on the watch for more details on an upcoming neighborhood “torch passing” activity between Cincinnati & NKY neighborhoods!
- The parade has a theme for 2022: ‘Together: a constellation of shared cultures and unique identities; we illuminate joy through creative expression’.
- The parade will culminate near 5th and Elm for a finale performance and lighting ritual to formally kick off the BLINK weekend.
Our Tips for BLINK Cincinnati (from having been there EVERY night last time!):
Come Prepared to Walk:
Wear your most comfortable shoes because you’re going to walk A LOT. In our first year we were fully prepared to take the streetcar from the Findlay Market area (where we parked) down to The Banks and work our way back up. But that was impossible. The streetcar was packed like sardines. Literally. And there were so many people that the streetcar moved at the pace of a snail. We walked as fast as the streetcar moved. Not kidding. I hope there’s a solution to that problem this year but I’m not planning on it and I’ll be fully prepared to walk wherever I need to go.
The streetcar is free and they will have extra cars running during BLINK this year, escorted by Cincinnati Police. They’re reporting that all 18 stations will be open.
Other available modes of transportation include the Bird Scooters and Red Bikes as well. Personally, I would not plan on those as you will need space to ride them. And there’s no space to ride them.
What it boils down to, however = there are lots of people on the sidewalks and the streets … ALL the people! Navigating the streets in anything motorized is going to be tough. Prepare to walk it.
Make Your Plans For What You Want to See Before You Leave the House:
We went for multiple days and broke up the event by area. Thursday we concentrated on The Banks up to about The Aronoff Center. The next night we stayed in the Washington Park area and ventured down to the Garfield section of town. The next day we did the Findlay Market displays. And on our last day we hit a few various spots that we missed and still wanted to see.
The BLINK Event Map can be found here. Use it to find all the zones you might want to visit. In addition to the 5 zones, the map shows the transit centers and its stops, the parade path, as well as the hospitality areas.
You might also like:
Daytime Events Happening During BLINK
Get your phone ready:
If they continue to offer it for the 2022 event (haven’t seen it yet), you should download the BLINK Cincinnati app (App Store / Google Play). The app matches your location with nearby installations and experiences. It will show you the hot spots around town.
Be sure you’re fully charged before you head out. You’re not going to want to miss a single shot!
What’s the Best Time to Go to BLINK?
Any time! All projection mapping shows are between 3-10 mins in length and are on a continuous loop so you can arrive at any time. Each night will feature the same projection shows and art installations. The only exception is the parade which will take place on Thursday (see parade info above).
Where Should I Park?
There will be many city streets that are closed to vehicular traffic during BLINK. The City of Cincinnati put together a map to show all the street closures – find the road closure map here.
We made our plans, split up the areas we wanted to see, and parked accordingly (see paragraph above). My advice would be to park in the outskirts and walk in to the areas you want to see. That being said, we walked all the way from 14th down the The Banks and back on the first night and we lived to tell the tale. 🙂
If you park at a meter be sure to check the hours and days that you have to pay to park. Most (all?) of the downtown metered parking areas require payment every day, including Sunday. And I believe they all require payment until 9pm.
Don’t Leave Home Without It:
Take a water bottle and a snack. There are lots of spots with food trucks and drinks and beer but we walked A LOT and a water bottle was a welcomed addition. Snacks would be a fine idea too. Restaurants were slammed last time and while they do have lots of food options, it’s nice to have something ready in case the lines are too long.