More than 70 soulful singers and musicians are heading to Lancaster this weekend, which can only mean one thing: Lancaster Roots and Blues is back.
But this year, the annual festival, which brings both local and national touring acts downtown, will be stretched over three days Feb. 26-28.
That means an extra day of music, dancing, food and fun.
Here are five things to know if you go.
The three-day festival features close to 75 bands and 90 concerts.
Expect to hear a wide variety of blues and roots – including jazz, folk, bluegrass, soul, zydeco, R&B, country, rockabilly and rock and roll – when close to 75 local and national acts perform 90 shows in Lancaster this weekend.
A few, such as Scranton blues guitarist Clarence Spady, are returning, however, event director Rich Ruoff said most of the artists are new to the festival.
The event takes place on 11 stages at 10 Lancaster venues.
Whether you love hitting the dance floor at the Chameleon Club or keeping it classy at The Trust Performing Arts Center, Lancaster Roots and Blues has a music venue for you.
Concerts will be spread out among 11 stages at 10 diverse Lancaster venues throughout the weekend, all within short walking distance of each other. Shuttle buses will also travel from venue to venue all weekend.
Be sure to check out this year's newest participants, 26 East, 26 E. King St., and The Village Nightclub, 205 N. Christian St. The Village is the longest-running nightclub in the U.S., according to lancasterrootsandblues.com, and has hosted national acts, including as Bruce Springsteen, Cheap Trick and Cyndi Lauper.
Other festival venues include:
- Chameleon Club, 223 N. Water St.
- Federal Taphouse, 201 N. Queen St.
- Lancaster County Convention Center, 25 S. Queen St.
- Tellus360, 24 E. King St.**
- The Trust Performing Arts Center, 37 N. Market St.
- The Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St.
- Lancaster Dispensing Co., 33 N. Market St.
- The Elks Lodge, 219 N. Duke St.
**Performances will be held at both the Main Stage (largest stage at Tellus360) and the Front Stage (Irish bar with a balcony-view of the band).
If you attended Lancaster Roots and Blues last year, you might not have noticed the Food Truck Court. That's why this year, Ruoff said he's moved the location to Market Street, right in the heart of the festival.
Food trucks will be parked outside Lancaster Dispensing Co. and The Trust Performing Arts Center from 2-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, allowing opportunities for guests to eat on-the-go so they don't miss their favorite shows.
Participating food trucks include:
- Mad Dash Concessions, a Central Pa.-based truck serving handcrafted grilled cheese and sandwiches
- Sugar Whipped Bakery, a Lititz-based bakery serving cupcakes, whoopie pies, cake pops and gourmet marshmallows
- Lancaster Burger Co., a Lancaster truck serving gourmet burgers, fries and shakes
- Dutch Country Concessions, serving soft pretzels, pretzel dogs and cheese dip
Under 21? No problem.
While most Lancaster Roots and Blues venues are for guests 21 and older, several Saturday shows at The Ware Center, The Trust Performing Arts Center and the Chameleon Club will be open to all ages.
Here's the Saturday lineup, where teens are welcome:
- Center Road (3:30 p.m., Chameleon Club)
- Dietrich Strauss (5 p.m., Trust Performing Arts Center)
- Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials (5 p.m., Chameleon Club)
- Kaleigh Baker (6 p.m., Ware Center)
- Vanessa Collier (6:45 p.m., Trust Performing Arts Center)
- Ruthie Collins (8 p.m., Ware Center)
- Nick Andrew Staver (8:30 p.m., Trust Performing Arts Center)
- Morgan James (10 p.m., Ware Center)
- Derek Brown BEATBox SAX (10:15 p.m., Trust Performing Arts Center).
Tickets are available both online and at the door.
The following admission prices will get you into all concert venues:
- $125 for three-day general admission
- $90 for two-day general admission
- $55 for Friday general admission
- $60 for Saturday general admission
- $55 for Sunday general admission
- $20 for under-21 Saturday admission
- $250 for three-day VIP Experience
- $100 for one-day VIP Experience
For more information, visit lancasterrootsandblues.com.