National News

Classic Cincinnati: Cincinnati Music Festival still going strong after more than 50 years

Posted July 25

— For more than 50 years, thousands of people have come to the Queen City each summer to attend one of the biggest -- and now oldest -- music festivals in the country.

This year will be no different when the Cincinnati Music Festival takes place Thursday through Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium, said Joe Santangelo, president of the Santangelo Group. The group has organized the festival since 2005.

"We expect this to be the most well-attended festival yet," Santangelo said. "Our attendance is through the roof."

R&B stars Mary J. Blige and Usher will headline the Friday and Saturday night shows. Throwback Thursday, an event designed to draw a younger, more local audience, will return for its second year.

"We've had a lot of great performances at the festival in the past, but this year is going to be truly big," said Fran Santangelo DiBattista, Joe Santangelo's daughter and the Santangelo Group's marketing director.

Great performances -- and organizers' attempts to outdo previous years -- are staples of the music festival, which launched in 1962.

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