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Singers Jill Scott and Charlie Wilson to headline 2018 Cincinnati Music Festival

Festival will take place July 26-28
Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 12, 2018

CINCINNATI – R&B stars Jill Scott and Charlie Wilson will headline the 2018 Cincinnati Music Festival, organizers announced Monday.

"This year as we put together our lineup, we wanted even our opening acts to be impressive, and I think we achieved just that," said Joe Santangelo, owner of festival organizer the Santangelo Group.

The festival is scheduled July 26-28 at Paul Brown Stadium.

"From the second the fans come through the stadium doors, they're going to be on their feet dancing to so many great legends of R&B and hip-hop," he said.

Organizers also announced that Common, Xscape, the O'Jays and Cincinnati's Bootsy Collins and DJ Vader will perform at the festival. They will join previously revealed festival performers the Roots, Keith Sweat, Boyz II Men, After 7, DJ Jazzy Jeff and MC Lyte. Singer Fantasia announced on Thursday that illness forced her to cancel her Friday appearance at this year's festival.

Scott has a decades-old relationship with the Roots. She and the group co-wrote the hit single "You Got Me," which featured vocals by Erykah Badu.

Last year's Cincinnati Music Festival was one of the event's most successful editions, Santangelo said previously. The 2017 festival, headlined by R&B stars Mary J. Blige and Usher, attracted 83,200 people, 79.8 percent of whom came from out of town. For comparison, the 2016 Cincinnati Music Festival drew about 55,000. 

The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau also commissioned a University of Cincinnati Economics Center study that showed the festival had a $107.5 million economic impact on the region last year. 

"The Cincinnati Music Festival is the biggest hotel weekend of the year in the Cincinnati region and is vital to the success of our visitor economy," said Jason Dunn, vice president of multicultural sales and community development for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It’s more than just a music festival. The Cincinnati Music Festival drives our regional and national reputation around diversity and inclusion, as well as cultural vibrancy and entertainment power."

The Cincinnati Music Festival began as the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival in 1962.The festival's name has changed many times over the years to reflect new sponsorships. When Procter & Gamble became its primary sponsor in 2016, organizers rebranded the previously named Macy's Music Festival as the Cincinnati Music Festival.

Tickets for this year's festival are on sale at www.cincymusicfestival.com. Below is the festival's daily lineup.

July 26

  • MC Lyte
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • Shingo Fashion Show
  • DJ Vader

July 27

  • Charlie Wilson
  • Xscape
  • Boyz II Men
  • After 7

July 28

  • Jill Scott
  • The Roots
  • Common
  • Keith Sweat
  • The O’Jays
  • Bootsy Collins