Upcoming music festival to ramp up business for many local owners

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - Tens of thousands of music lovers are gearing up for the Macy's Music Festival next weekend. It's a great time for fans, and a big, much-needed boost for many businesses.

The phones ring constantly inside the Santangelo Group's headquarters in Oakley. The group puts on the music festival every year. It features some of the biggest names in R&B.

"Between Charlie Wilson and Tina Marie and Jaheim and Cameo and Melanie Fiona and that's just all Friday night," said organizer Joe Santangelo.

Santangelo expects 45,000 people to attend this year.

"We're looking for a really big crowd," said Santangelo. "Much bigger crowd than we've ever had before in the stadium. We've gotten a tremendous amount of feedback from out of towners, from people saying you know, people are so friendly to us when we come to Cincinnati. You know? And that wasn't there for a while."

Just ask Jackie Brown. She picked up her tickets today.

"It's been a long time since I've been to the festival," said Brown.

The festival is music to the ears of many local business owners. It's reported to pump $20 million into the local economy. That includes transportation, hotels, and restaurants, and of course, festival clothing.

Ugo Perrotta runs the House of Adam in downtown Cincinnati. He said every year, festival-goers boost his sales by about 20-percent.

"It always helps," said Perrotta. "In the 70s', we used to say 'Christmas in July.'"

"It's a big boon to the economy," said Santangelo. "About 75-percent of this audience comes from out-of-town so it's a multi-mutli million dollar impact on the city."

Organizers believe a near-record number of people are buying tickets this year, even in this tough economy, because more people are looking to have fun while staying closer to home.

The festival runs next Friday, July 30, through Saturday, July 31, at Paul Brown Stadium.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Prices start at $48. Starting on Monday, you can purchase tickets at the Stadium. You can also purchase tickets at the Santangelo Group headquarters at 4027 Alston in Oakley.

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