2018 downtown gospel festival canceled

Staff report


There will be no gospel music festival this summer in downtown Youngstown.

Terrill Vidale, owner of 2Deep Entertainment, which produced the music festival the past three years, is dropping the event to avoid any conflict of interest with his other job as coordinator of downtown events and citywide special projects.

The city’s board of control approved a professional-services contract with 2Deep, on Wednesday. The pact is retroactive to May 14, when Mayor Jamael Tito Brown hired Vidale.

The gospel fest had been staged during Summer Festival of the Arts weekend, and took place in Central Square on Sundays. Past headliners included Tye Tribbett and Fred Hammond.

“I understand that there have been some concerns regarding a potential conflict of interest as the producer of the 2DE Gospel Festival and my new city role,” said Vidale in a news release Friday. “To this end, I will not be producing the [fourth annual festival] out of a desire to avoid any appearance of impropriety. My goal is to ensure a successful Summer Festival of the Arts weekend.”

Vidale said it was a sacrifice to cancel the gospel festival. “I loved the 2DE Gospel Festival, and poured my heart into the event,” he said. “I made this decision because the city of Youngstown and its residents will always come first in my role as your director of events and citywide projects.”

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