Questions & Answers

Q. Can I provide my own transportation to Cincinnati, without going on the bus?
A. Yes you can, from any city in the U.S. Hotel and tickets are included. Simply go to the Festival Packages page and under the package of your choice, you will see Prices, No Bus.

Q. What time and location is bus departure?
A. Scheduled departures aboard the ‘champagne party bus’ are from key locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. Chicago bus departure is planned from 115th & Halsted St, July 28, 2017 @ 6:00 am, returning July 30th @ 7:00 pm. Milwaukee bus departure is at 4:00 am, from Park & Ride, located near Bay Shore Mall, returning on Sunday, July 30th, at 10:00 pm. Kankakee bus departure is scheduled at 5:00 am from Northfield Square Parking lot. A complete and thorough travel itinerary will be provided 10-days prior to the trip.

Q. Who will be performing on this year’s line-up?

A. The headliner for Friday, July 28th, will be Mary J. Blige; also starring Kem; Bell Biv Devoe; En Vogue, and SWV. Headlining the show on Saturday night, July 29th, for the first time ever on the big stage in Cincinnati, will be Usher; also starring, [and back by popular demand] Fantasia; along with Anthony Hamilton; and the old skool funk of Confunkshun.

Q. What are quad accommodations?

A. That means there are 4 people sharing a room.

Q. How many beds in a room?

A. There is either 1- king, or 2-double beds. However, the room layout for the Residence Inn by Marriott is an all-suites hotel. There are 2-queen bedrooms; 2-bathrooms; 1-full size sleeper sofa; as well as a full kitchen. This package is limited to groups of 5-6 guest – full breakfast included.

Q. What if there are three of us in a room?

A. That means two of you will have to share a bed.

Q. What time is hotel check-in?

A. It’s 4 p.m.

Q. How far is the hotel from the stadium?

A. The Millennium is walking distance to the stadium – 4 blocks. The Westin is even closer – 2 blocks. The Drury Inn & Suites is 25 minutes away and round-trip shuttle bus transportation is provided. Both the Residence Inn and the Holiday Inn are 15-minutes to the Stadium.

Q. Is this event outdoors?

A. Paul Brown Stadium is an open air outdoors venue and is the home of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Q. What if it rains?

A. Since the Cincinnati Music Fest is a Summertime outdoors event; you always want to prepare for the possibility of inclement weather. The show goes on rain or shine.

Q. Can I bring my camcorder into the stadium?

A. No camcorders, beverages, coolers, food, weapons or long handle pointed umbrellas permitted. The small collapsing Tote’s are okay.

Q. How do I get my tickets?

A.  We will send you an itinerary notifying you when to pick up your tickets in our office. If you live beyond a 35-mile radius from our office, we will mail them to you. We record the bar-code number on all tickets we send through the mail in the event they are lost in the mail or stolen. We have the tools to “invalidate” lost tickets. Please make sure we always have current, up-to-date address information for you and sent through the Contact Us portal of our website. It’s your responsibility to contact us, at least 7-days prior to the event if you have not received your tickets. We accept no responsibility for tickets not received if, [1] you fail to notify us in writing of a change of address; [2] you fail to notify us in writing of tickets not received through the mail, within 7-days prior to the event. All other unclaimed tickets will be left for you in your name at the will call window of Paul Brown Stadium. Photo ID will be required.

Q. When do we get our Cincinnati fest tee shirts?

A. When you come into our office to pay your account balance in full, we present you with a free souvenir Cincinnati Fest tee shirt. When you send your final payment through the mail, or make a final payment over the phone, or online, we mail your Cincinnati Music Festival T-shirt to you. This is another reason why correct contact and address information is imperative.

Q. I understand there is a Thursday night event this year in Cincinnati; could you tell me about it.

A. There is what the promoter calls “Throwback Thursday”. This will consist of a fashion show by Shingo as well as DJ music by popular DJ’s/rappers, Kid Capri, Doug E. Fresh and Rob Base. It’s a house party taking place in The Club level at Paul Brown Stadium. No live entertainment is scheduled. General admission tickets are: $60.00. We will secure hotel accommodations and tickets for interested parties. Contact us with the number of people in your party and your hotel preference. We will provide you with the hotel cost for the additional day. Alonzo & Friends and South Shore Travel will not be providing bus transportation to Cincinnati for the Thursday event; this event is for those who will be providing their own transportation.

Q. When do we get more travel information?
A. We send you a detailed travel itinerary at least 10-days prior to trip departure date.

Q. Will the bus take us to the stadium?

A. Yes – only if you are staying at the Drury Inn, The Residence Inn, or the Holiday Inn, will round-trip shuttle bus transportation be provided.

Q. Do you have a payment plan?

A. We expect you to “pay down” on your trip twice each month in any amount. We find that those who practice this type of diligence are less likely to cancel due to financial stresses. Payments should be made by personal check or money order to avoid paying transaction fees.

Q. What is the rate if I want to drive on my own?

A. See Prices, No Bus on the Festival Packages page for pricing.

Q. How much is hotel parking?

A. Millennium Hotel valet parking is currently $27.00 per day. There is also the 609 Elm Street Parking Garage. This is an automated self-parking garage located at 236 W. 6th Street [located at the rear of the Millennium Hotel on 6th & Elm]. Currently, the parking rate is $10.00 per 24-hour period. Westin Hotel valet parking is currently $30.00 per day. There is no charge for parking at the Drury Inn Suites. There is no charge for parking at either the Residence Inn by Marriott, or the Holiday Inn.

Q. How long is the drive to Cincinnati?

A. Approximately 5-hours by personal vehicle, it takes a little longer by passenger bus.

Q. What are the best seats?

A. That’s a matter of personal preference; please see the Seating Chart.

Q. What is the sound like at the stadium?

A. State-of-the-art. No dead zones in this 13-year-old stadium.

Q. Can I see the performer on the stage?

A. Depending on your seating perspective. There is a giant JumboTron screen, whereby you can see a visual of the on-stage performer.

Q. What is the deposit amount for the trip?

A. It’s $100.00 per person.

Q. When is it required?

A. Immediately. We accept reservations on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Q. How do I book my trip?

A. Navigate to Festival Packages. At the lower right column, there is a link which reads: Download Reservation Form. After completing the form with all [accurate] roommate contact information, as well as T-shirt size preference, mail it to us with your check or money order. You also have the option of scanning and e-mailing it to us at: You can also fax it to us at: (773) 796-8519.

Q. When is the balance due?

A. May 30, 2017 for guests booked at the Westin; June 17, 2017 for all other hotels.

Q. What form of payment do you accept?

A. Personal checks and money orders.

Q. What if I need to cancel my trip?

A. First, you will need to provide us with a short statement that you wish to cancel.

Q. Can I e-mail it to you?

A. Yes, include a daytime telephone number. E-mail it to us at: We will call you to confirm receipt. .

Q. Is there a cancellation fee?

A. We have a ‘no refund’ policy. However, a substitute participant may be provided by you for the exact package.

Q. Do I get my deposit back?

A. No, we apply those funds to your substitute.

Q. Do you offer cancellation insurance?

A. Yes.

Q. What is the cost?

A. It ranges from $29.00 – $89.00 and depends on the age of the insured, and amount of the package.

Q. Can we get adjoining rooms at the hotel?

A. Yes, attach a note to your reservation form requesting adjoining rooms. Please provide all names. We will note it on the rooming list; however, the final room assignment location/fullfillment rest solely with the hotel.

Q. Is there a revision fee?

A. Yes, there is a $25.00 revision fee for making changes [with the exception of address changes] to the reservation after it is submitted.

Q. We are bringing a very large group, can we all get on the same bus?

A. Yes, just provide all of the names of the participants in your group.

Q. How long has your business been doing these concert packages?

A. We started promoting it in 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia when it was called the Kool Jazz Festival, under the sponsorship of the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company [the makers of Kool Cigarettes]. We also sponsored tour packages to New Orleans Kool Jazz Festival at The Superdome, as well as the Milwaukee Kool Jazz Festival at the former Milwaukee County Stadium, now Miller Park. There are social clubs and organizations in Chicago who use a lot of hyperbole, and claims that they were the first, the innovators, the trailblazers – of the Cincinnati Music Festival travel packages. Well, we still have dated flyers in our archives from 1979 to present day, to back up our assertion, it began with the people who were once Gentlemen Plus, who are now, South Shore Travel. We can back up our claims with visual, hardcopy facts – not hyperbole. That puts us in a position to talk-the-talk, as well as walk-the-walk.

Q. What are your business hours?

A. Our winter operating hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays,  10:00 am – 2:00 pm. We are closed on Sundays. If you are planning on conducting business in person, it’s always a good idea to phone first.

Q. What tickets are included in the package price?

A. The 100 level – Field Level Stadium seats are included.

Q. Can I upgrade my seats?

A. Yes you can. The 200 level VIP Club seats are $40.00 additional, the VIP Field seats are also $40.00 additional, the VIP Gold Circle seats are $150.00 additional.

Q. What are club seats and what is the cost?

A. The VIP Club level—200 level, allows you to view the concert outdoors in your club level reserved seat, and mingle indoors in air-conditioned comfort. The Club is similar to a large oblong-shaped ballroom. It features: public facilities, food concession vendors, beverage counters, dining room tables and chairs, video monitors displaying live images of the on-stage performers. The Club offers the aura of a meet and greet, a place to see, and be seen; all in air-conditioned comfort. The additional cost is $40.00, which includes tickets for both the Friday and Saturday night shows.

Q. OK, now tell me about the VIP Field seats?

A. These are portable chairs which are situated on the playing field (a flat surface). Sometimes people refer to them as ‘floor seating’. This seating perspective allows the closest physical vantage point to the on-stage performers. The additional cost for VIP Field seats is $40.00, and includes tickets for both Friday and Saturday night concerts.

Q. Can I get front row seats?

A. Sounds like you may be a candidate for the VIP Gold Circle seats. These are seats ranging from section 3 – 6, and situated in front of the 2-main stages. These seats are extremely limited and are provided on a first come, first serve basis. Please refer to the color-coded stadium seating chart on this site so that you can get a visual perspective of the stadium seating layout.