CINCINNATI (WKRC) — Summer in Cincinnati is complete again with Cincinnati Music Festival back in the picture for the first time in two years.
Thousands of people will flock to the Tri-State over the weekend for one of the biggest summer music events in the country.
“Vibe Cincinnati, for probably over the last couple of years, has always cultivated a synergy on Fountain Square to welcome our tourists, but also to bring entertainment and excitement to our region and downtown,” said Toilynn O’neal Turner with Vibe Cincinnati.
“Oh my gosh, we love it so much. Before, you know, COVID, this was the highlight of our year, to be out here and see people, hear the music, like something that brings everybody together. It’s awesome,” said Monique Dunson, artist and owner of Mo’ Designs.
It’s the largest tourism weekend of the year in the city, and a significant cultural moment.
The buzz means big business, and small business owners are ready to bank on it.
“We’re highlighting all of our Cincinnati Black food trucks and Black food vendors. We take over 5th Street, and we have several concerts coming on because we want to add to the economic growth of the Black community,” said Shawnise Lewis with Cincy Soul & J Rodg Productions.
Vibe Market is highlighting Black and minority-owned businesses, like Kitabu Children’s Books and Mo’ Designs.
“Minority-owned businesses in the Cincinnati area are plentiful," said Karen Stanley, owner of Kitabu Children’s Books. "The marketing of those businesses is not always as robust. So, we just need an opportunity and places where we can expose the community to ourselves in a greater way.”
“I like to think outside the box and see if I can put something together that nobody else has,” said Dunson.
It’s Theodore Hopson’s first time in Cincinnati.
He and his business partner are here from Chicago, and they’re excited to be part of the action, confident they’ll sell out of their 300 dozen T-shirts.
“He do it every year they have it. Since the pandemic, it ain’t been nothing going on, so he brought me down here to come down here with him," said Hopson.
Vendors will be on Fountain Square through 11:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
R&B legends including Janet Jackson, Charlie Wilson, the O’Jays, and more will be headlining over the course of the weekend.
It all starts Thursday night at the Andrew J. Brady Music Center.
Aside from the main performances at Andrew J. Brady and Paul Brown Stadium over the weekend, there will be some big names showing up to perform at Fountain Square, including Keri Hilson and the Wu Tang Clan.
You can find the full festival schedule HERE.