Pepsi’s Cincinnati Fest Cancelled

The Cincinnati Arts Festival (CAF), producer of Pepsi’s Jammin’ On Main music and arts fair, on Wednesday suspended the May 11-12 event.

The city’s downtown nightlife has ground to a halt following last month’s riots, triggered when a police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Timothy Thomas. The annual non-profit event, started in 1994 and sponsored by Pepsi, draws 40,000 people to the streets of Cincinnati.

“The realities here are this event has to survive, and in order to do that, we’ve got to ensure the success of the festival. The environment currently would not allow the event to be successful financially,” said Mike Smith, who oversees the event. He called ticket sales “miserable” and estimated production costs this year at around $400,000.

Still, plans are in place to reprise the event next year, he said, adding, “We feel that this is going to be a permanent event.”