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Black and African American festivals, concerts, and cultural events in the Midwest for a weekend getaway!

Step into the vibrant world of African American culture in the Midwest, where museum exhibits, plays, fine arts, and public art sculptures by Black artists come to life. Immerse yourself in the rhythm of live music performances, from soulful R&B and hip-hop to jazz, symphony, and gospel singers. Experience the heartbeat of concerts and festivals in iconic cities like Columbus, Dayton, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.

These extraordinary events, carefully tailored to the Black community, extend beyond entertainment. Delight in regional flavors and beverages, explore captivating art galleries, and embrace the rich atmosphere of cultural centers. Be part of the excitement at opening receptions, meet-the-artist sessions, after-parties, and VIP events. Let the celebrations unfold, creating unforgettable moments in the heart of the Midwest!

The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Please confirm the information and check the venue guidelines before arriving. You may need to buy tickets in advance.

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Upcoming Black Festivals, Concerts, and Cultural Midwest Events in 2024

Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire

R&B Concert
June 13, 7:30 p.m.
Starting at $28
Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Lionel Richie boasts a discography of albums and singles that is second to none. With over 125 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, Golden Globe®, and four Grammy Awards, Earth, Wind & Fire has scored eight number-one hits and sold over 100 million albums worldwide. They’ve released 23 albums; eight went Double Platinum and hit the Top 10, making them one of the best-selling artists ever.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Concert
June 18, 7:30 p.m.
Starting at $40
Rose Music Center, Huber Heights, Ohio
New Orleans’ Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will take center stage on a headlining tour supported by the legendary Big Boi from Outkast.

Related Article: Staying in Cincinnati? Check out these hidden Black-owned gems for locals and visitors alike.

The Love Hard Tour featuring Keyshia Cole with Trey Songz, Jaheim & K. Michelle

R&B Concert
June 21, 8 p.m.
Starting at $60
Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Enjoy The Love Hard Tour featuring four R&B acts: Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, Jaheim, and K. Michelle.

Kettering Health’s Juneteenth “A Freedom Celebration”

Juneteenth Celebration
June 23, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free Admission
Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio
Celebrate the day of freedom for African Americans with a family-friendly event featuring live music, spoken word poetry, African dance, and food.

Jacquees

R&B Concert
June 29, 7 p.m.
Starting at $40
House of Blues, Cleveland, Ohio
Jacquees is an American R&B singer from Decatur, Georgia. In 2015, he signed a recording and management contract with Cash Money Records.

IBE Summer Celebration All-White Affair Starring Ginuwine, Next, and DJ Kid Capri

R&B Concert
June 29, 10 p.m.
Starting at $50
Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Celebrating over five decades of Indiana Black Expo’s contributions to the African American community, this affair is more than just a party. It’s a showcase of culture, unity, and empowerment.

Ludacris

Rap Concert
July 18, 8 p.m.
Starting at $45
Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, Ohio
Ludacris has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide, thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker,” and “My Chick Bad.”

85 South

Comedy Show
July 21, 7 p.m.
Starting at $28
Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
The 85 South Comedy Show features three of the boldest, wildest, and most hilarious comedians ever to travel the interstate that shares its name.

Straight No Chaser

A Capella Concert
July 30, 7:30 p.m.
Starting at $34
Rose Music Center, Huber Heights, Ohio
RIAA-certified Gold a cappella group Straight No Chaser will time travel three decades this summer, bringing their newest tour, “Straight No Chaser Summer: The 90s.”

Dont Call Me Cis

Stage Play
August 10, 8 p.m.
Starting at $35
Lincoln Theatre, Columbus, Ohio
“Don’t Call Me Cis” is a groundbreaking stage play by a Cincinnati-bred female production team that fearlessly explores the clash between women and transgender individuals over the term “cis” through a chance restroom encounter.

Future & Metro Boomin

Rap Concert
August 10, 8 p.m.
Starting at $54
Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Rap would never sound, look, or feel the same after Future landed. If you want to know where the culture’s going next, watch and listen to the iconic Atlanta rapper, singer, and producer.

Missy Elliott with Ciara, Busta Rhymes & Timbaland

Rap Concert
August 14, 7 p.m.
Starting at $60
Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Missy Elliott is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Ciara Princess Wilson is a singer, songwriter, businesswoman, dancer, model, and actress. Busta Rhymes is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Timbaland is a record producer, rapper, and singer.

black men taking a picture | African American Midwest Events
Enjoy concerts, events, and festivals in Columbus, Dayton, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cleveland tailored to the African American Community.

Childish Gambino

Rap Concert
August 15, 8 p.m.
Starting at $49
Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Alongside the announcement of the New World Tour, Gambino surprised fans with the release of Atavista via RCA Records, including two new tracks, “Atavista” and “Human Sacrifice.”

Lil Yachty with NLE Choppa & Chow Lee

Rap Concert
September 5, 8 p.m.
Starting at $39
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Lil Yachty, aka Miles Parks McCollum, is a Grammy-nominated rapper and singer who performs in front of millions. He has topped the Billboard music charts and much more.

Martin Lawrence

Comedy Show
September 20, 8 p.m.
Starting at $40
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Comedy legend Martin Lawrence will headline his first national arena tour since 2016.

Tori Kelly

Contemporary Concert
October 1, 7 p.m.
Starting at $50
House of Blues, Cleveland, Ohio
Tori Kelly is an American singer-songwriter. She first gained recognition after posting videos on YouTube as a teenager and made it through to Hollywood Week on the ninth season of American Idol in 2010.

Maxwell with Jazmine Sullivan & October London

R&B Concert
October 1, 7 p.m.
Starting at $70
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Maxwell is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He rose to prominence following the release of his debut studio album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996), which received widespread acclaim and spawned the hit singles “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” and “Sumthin’ Sumthin'”

Hamilton

Broadway Musical
October 1 – October 13
Price Varies
Schuster Performing Arts Center, Dayton, Ohio
Based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography and set to a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton has profoundly impacted culture, politics, and education.

Gold Over America Tour Starring Simone Biles

Sports Performance
October 30, 7:30 p.m.
Starting at $35
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
This pop concert-style spectacle will showcase the athletic brilliance and championship journeys of Biles and squad members Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Katelyn Ohashi, Peng-Peng Lee, Shilese Jones, Fred Richard, Mélanie Johanna De Jesus Dos Santos, Kayla Dicello, Evita Griskenas, Casimir Schmidt and more.

Related Article: While traveling, catch one of these movies in theaters with Black actors


Upcoming Black Festivals, Concerts, and Cultural Midwest Events in 2025

MJ: The Musical

Broadway Musical
June 24 – June 29
Price Varies
Schuster Performing Arts Center, Dayton, Ohio
Michael Jackson’s unique and unparalleled artistry comes to Dayton as MJ, the multi-Tony Award®-winning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Related Article: While you travel, enjoy African American museums across the region and the country

Black men and women can celebrate Black culture while enjoying talented performers across the region. Did we miss a few Black and African American festivals and concerts? Contact us at The Voice of Black Cincinnati for any Midwest events we may have missed in the African American community.  

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

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Written by Sophie Barsan

Sophie Barsan is a writer at The Voice of Black Cincinnati, where she covers events and client -focused content. Sophie's work is central to keeping the community informed about Cincinnati vibrant array of activities and opportunities. Her dedication to exploring and highlighting the city's cultural richness makes her stories a must-read for anyone looking to engage with the local scene. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn for a deeper look into her articles and contributions.