“We wanted to bring a music festival to Greater Cincinnati because Greater Cincinnati didn’t have a music festival. That was number one. And, what I’m most excited about is the overwhelming support of the township, the county, and a lot of great businesses in Greater Cincinnati from Fifth Third Bank, Kemba Credit Union, Gold Star and LaRosa’s. It’s great to have such great partners on board the event in year one,” said Tyler Wogenstahl, chief executive officer at Further Concepts and Investors, the festival’s organizer.
“We know the market has a ton of country music fans, so we wanted to do an event in Greater Cincinnati,” he said.
Event organizer Tyler Wogenstahl said they estimate 80,000 event-goers will flood the township over the course of the 4-day event. In July, West Chester Twp. trustees approved a service agreement with Further Festivals LLC for up to $310,078 to pay for increased police and fire coverage to handle an event of this magnitude.
Further Festivals won’t ultimately bear the full cost, because West Chester Sen. George Lang was able to secure $200,000 out of the state budget to offset the cost. Lang told the Journal-News the event is going to be a huge economic boon to the region and the funding is a “one-time shot to help them prove the concept.”
Police Chief Joel Herzog said the biggest concern is traffic — particularly pedestrians milling the streets where they normally aren’t in the Tylersville Road area — and parking. There are 3,000 parking spaces at VOA and there will be shuttles to overflow lots.
A portion of the proceeds the festival will bring in will benefit the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting and other local charities.
“The other thing that we’re really excited about is we’re able to bring on some really good charities this year from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Humane Society and Autism Rocks. So, it’s really nice to be able to have an event where people can come out and have a good time, but also support some really good causes,” Wogenstahl said.
The country music acts
The inaugural Voices of America Country Music Festival headliners include Chris Young, Alabama, Dan +Shay and Old Dominion.
“We have an amazing line up. It’s going to be a great chance for everybody to get out of the house, and celebrate the end of summer,” Wogenstahl said.
Jo Dee Messina is another iconic name on the line-up. Lainey Wilson, one of the most popular female country artists right now, will also take the stage.
More than 30 artists are slated to perform during the four-day event on three stages. In addition, some of the area’s local talent will be performing.
“It’s four days of great entertainment from Thursday with our kick-off night to Friday night with a legacy band like Alabama. They are definitely a legendary artist, and I think everybody should get to see them once. And then, on Saturday, it’s an all-day event with great artists from Jo Dee Messina, Chris Young, Gabby Barrett and Old Dominion,” Wogenstahl said.
“Also, just to point out, there’s going to be a lot of different activities on site from unique merch vendors to over 30 different food options. So, there’s a lot of people to do on-site. Organizations like the Cincinnati Reds will also participate,” he said. “This year has been so successful that we’re already in talks for doing Year 2.”
How to go
What: Voices of America Country Music Festival
When: Thurs., Aug. 10-Sun., Aug. 13
Where: Across the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting and Voice of America MetroPark grounds in West Chester.
Cost: Single day passes start at $99.99 (Plus applicable ticketing fees)
Tips for VOA Country Fest concertgoers
- Buy advanced tickets
- Reserve a parking spot early. Paid parking is available and ride-share will be allowed
- Show up to the event early to beat traffic
- Wear sunscreen, drink lots of water
- Secure phones, cards and cash