When you think Blues or Jazz music you think of somewhere like Memphis or Louisiana, right? Did you know that Lancaster has its own Roots & Blues Festival? And it is kickin’…
Held in March, this annual festival is back for the 5th year in a row to grace the city with its musical presence. Roots and Blues features over 50 artists from around the world at eight different venues throughout downtown Lancaster. Whether you are an avid Blues fan, or just a casual listener all are welcome to attend!
You can purchase tickets for the whole weekend, one- or two-days, or even one-venue. (If you would like to see any performances on the mainstage you must have a general admission ticket). Tickets are available in advance and it is recommended to purchase them ahead of time… this event is pretty popular among locals and visitors alike.
The festival showcases all different types of musical genres from Blues, Jazz, and Rock ‘n Roll, to Reggae, Bluegrass, Ska, and even Celtic! Needless to say, there is just about something for everyone to enjoy.
Be sure to take a look at the artists performing a head of time so you can plan a schedule of what to see where. Downtown Lancaster is very walkable, so you should have no trouble getting from one venue to the next to see a performance.
We do recommend you dress in layers; it can be cold here in Lancaster in early March, but the venues can get crowded so you will want to be able to shed your jacket. Also, don’t be afraid to don your fringy boots, embroidered peasant top, or your favorite leather jacket- this is a music festival after all and the City of Lancaster is brimming with creative energy. Feel free to flaunt your personal style.
Master musician and multi-talented blues performer, Vanessa Collier, was recently nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award (BMA). With searing saxophone solos 🎷, soulful vocals 🎤, and witty lyrics, Vanessa’s songwriting takes you through an engaging blend of blues, funk, rock, and soul in an exceptionally entertaining, high-energy performance. #lrb2018
If listening to all that music makes you hungry, there are plenty of places to grab a bite Downtown. Lancaster has loads of ethnic eats, pub fare, and good ol’ American favorites. Some of the venues, like Tellus360 also serve food so you can dine while you listen. We recommend you try the pizza at the Federal Taphouse, and grab a beer while you are there – the Taphouse features 100 beers on tap. If you are in the mood for something cultural try Sa la Thai Restaurant on North Queen Street. For more upscale dining visit Carr’s or The Pressroom– both are delicious. (All are within walking distance of the festival venues).
The Roots and Blues Festival is a great way to experience live music and break out of the winter doldrums. Come for a day, or for the weekend and celebrate the roots of American music and explore all that Lancaster City has to offer.
Locations to purchase tickets in person:
Stan’s Record Bar – 48 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-397-5200 | *Cash Only
CI Records – 226 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-391-7865
The Record Connection – 555 N. Reading Rd., Ephrata, PA 17522 | 717-733-1641
Iko’s Music Trade – 2300 E. Market St., York, PA 17402 | 717-755-2752