Arts & Culture Editor
Lancaster City breathes good food, amazing venues, and great entertainment. This weekend, people won’t have to look far to find all three in one place. The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival is coming to Lancaster City February 24th-26th. During this 3-day annual music festival, the city will be treated with Roots music from all over, including talented local, regional, national, and international musicians. The festival will be held in multiple locations around the city with only a short walk between venues. Featured on the venues list are places like The Village Nightclub, Tellus360, Federal Taphouse, and the Chameleon Club.
The man behind it all is Richard Rouff, the founder and previous owner of the Chameleon Club, a local venue every Lancaster resident knows well. After selling the Chameleon Club, Richard saw the music and culture scene boom in Downtown Lancaster. He took advantage of this opportunity by bringing the town the Roots and Blues Festival. “I’m a crazed music fan and I live [in Lancaster]”, says Rouff, “The art, music and restaurant scene in [the city] is blowing up in all the right ways.”
Featured in the lineup for the festival are bands like Alanna Royale, David Wax Museum and King Street Big Band. Some of Rouff’s favorites coming to the festival are Lurrie Bell, Annie Mack, and Johnnie Showcase. All of those appearing at the Roots and Blues Festival range from new to established artists. Now what exactly is the “roots” genre? It’s a broad category that includes funk, soul, blues, R&B, motown and jazz style influences. Audience members can expect rich, melodic sounds from these great musicians.
This is the festival’s fourth year in Downtown Lancaster and so far, it’s only getting bigger. According to Rouff, attendance at the festival has grown around 50% every year. This might be due to Rouff’s way of putting fresh faces in the festival each year, with only a couple of repeated bands, allowing festival goers to experience all different types of roots entertainment each year.
The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival offers even more than quality entertainment at beloved venues all across Lancaster City. Saturday, February 25th at the Ware Center, artists Duke Robilliard, Richie and Rosie, and Tommy Emmanuel will host Master Classes. During these Master Classes, audiences will see how the artists write, play and record their music. These classes usually end with a question and answer session, where audiences can learn more about their music or life on the road.
Tickets for the festival can be purchased on www.lancasterrootsandblues.com. Day passes, 2-day passes, and 3-day passes are all available for purchase. Make sure to check out the VIP ticket options that allow concert goers to get extra perks and preferred seating. After 10:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday admission to some single venues is only $20. The festival is mostly a 21 and over event; however, 17 concerts will be provided for the under 21 audiences. Tickets for these concerts will be sold for a discounted price.
The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival is an amazing experience people all across Lancaster shouldn’t miss. “You don’t have to know who is playing to enjoy yourself,” says Rouff, “With so many great bands on at anyone time, [you can] just move over to the next venue if a particular artist is not your cup of tea.” Come to Lancaster City February 24th – February 26th for The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival, a musical experience of a lifetime!