While I was visiting Cincinnati during the weekend of its famous CMF – Cincinnati Music Festival, Presented by P&G – I asked a woman around my age that I met why she wasn’t going to the festival. “Oh that’s for older folks,” she said. I could see why the festival might be perceived that way. The event began in the 60s as a jazz festival, although it has since evolved to be a showcase for R&B, a musical genre that is less popular in our times than in past decades. Plus the festival usually ends with an all-white concert as part of the tradition started by Frankie Beverly & Maze, and nothing attracts older black people than an all white shindig! Nonetheless, here are a few reasons why the Cincinnati Music Festival is actually a great event for millennials to attend.
You’ll Know All the Songs
The worst part of going to a concert is having an artist get on stage and you only know two of their songs. Even worse when their 30 or 45 minute set is then filled with covers of other people’s music, that isn’t even executed well! With recent headliners like Maxwell, Mary J Blige, New Edition, Common, Jill Scott, and Earth Wind & Fire, the Cincinnati Music Festival is a great opportunity to listen to seasoned artists that have a large ensemble of music that you grew up hearing and can sing along to. The only hiccup is that these artists have hundreds of songs to choose from when they perform, so there’s a small chance that you won’t hear your favorite! Maxwell didn’t sing This Woman’s Work and I’m still not over it.
It’s Less Rowdy Than Other Music Festivals
Because the crowd does tend to be slightly older, there’s less rowdiness and recklessness at Cincinnati Music Festival than other music events I’ve been to. I prefer stadium style festivals rather than open air festivals where your shoes get muddy, your feet hurt, and you have to use port-a-potties to go pee, and the Paul Brown stadium is a great venue. The lines getting into the event both nights were incredibly calm and well organized, and both stages were side by side so there was no need to rush over to another area to see a different performer.
Coachella tickets are over $400, Made in America tickets are around $250, and average tickets for Essence Music Festival are also between $150-200. The Cincy Music Festival’s floor seat and club seat tickets are closer to $150, so it’s a much more affordable concert than similar ones. Plus, Cincinnati is a cheaper city for accommodation and food than New Orleans or Philly, so if you decide to come in from out of town, you’ll spend much less on a weekend in Cincy than other cities.