The Cincinnati Music Festival Goes Virtual

This week’s ”Feels Like CMF” shows hope to replace some of the energy music fans find each summer at Paul Brown Stadium.

Tracing its roots back to 1962, the Cincinnati Music Festival is hosting a free virtual event Thursday through Saturday to replace what’s usually one of downtown’s most exciting weekends. Presented again by Procter & Gamble, the festival’s #FEELSLIKECMF lineup includes streaming performances from national and local musical acts, an outdoor art show at Washington Park, and a special appearance by Rev. Al Sharpton.


The festival website will host July 23 performances from locals Triiibe and Aprina Johnson recorded live at local clubs, plus DJ Vader and DJ Ellery. On July 24, locals Lauren Eylise, Kathy Wade and DJ Baby Rome will perform before national recording artist Regina Belle (pictured above). And on July 25, DJ D-Nice will host a special version of his Club Quarantine, which has generated 100,000 views a week on Instagram Live.

The festival is partnering with ArtsWave to launch the CMF Outdoor Art Museum on July 25 featuring 15 Black artists creating canvases throughout Washington Park around the theme of community, unity, music, and celebration. The exhibition will remain open to the public through September 7.

The Cincinnati Music Festival drew more than 83,000 attendees in 2018—80 percent from out of town—and generated an economic impact of $107.5 million, according to a study published last year by the UC Economics Center. It is generally Cincinnati’s largest event each year in terms of local spending.

Founded in 1962 as the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival, the event had a run as the Kool Jazz Festival and The Macy’s Music Festival before taking on its current configuration in 2015 when P&G became the presenting sponsor. Live music is scheduled to return to Paul Brown Stadium on July 22-24, 2021, featuring Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, The O’Jays, Biz Markie, and more acts to be announced. Tickets are on sale now.

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