Tickets for Pennsylvania Blues Festival set for September at Split Rock Resort go on sale Monday
LAKE HARMONY — Pennsylvania Blues Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, but 2016 is only the festival’s second year at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony. The gypsy festival called Big Boulder Ski Resort, also in Lake Harmony, home between 1992 and 2010 before transitioning to Palmerton’s Blue Mountain Ski Area from 2011-13.
“It was another good few years, but the event wasn’t going up or down in attendance,” festival founder and producer Michael Cloren said. “At that point, I asked their blessing to see if another venue was interested in hosting; they said yes and we brought it to Split Rock Resort during the last week in July 2015.”
This year’s Pennsylvania Blues Festival doesn’t start until Sept. 16, but tickets for the event go on sale Monday. There’s a myriad of options available to potential festival-goers, including general admission tickets, tickets to indoor showcase events and registration for a Sunday blues brunch. VIP tickets at $199 include admission to the festival, private shuttle between stages, admission to an after party, access to a main stage photo pit, indoor showcase buffets and commemorative shirt and laminated pass. VIP tickets jump to $235 after Aug. 1.
January may seem a little early to make plans for September, but the majority of the festival’s 17 national acts have already been announced. New York State Blues Hall of Fame inductee Slam Allen, Mississippi blues artist Zac Harmon and saxophonist/singer/songwriter Vanessa Collier are just three of the 14 acts announced so far; one act in particular already has Cloren excited for September.
Harrison Kennedy is 73 years old and used to be in a band called The Chairmen of the Board in the ’70s,” Cloren said. “He’s one of the reasons I do the blues festival — for artists who have been doing it for a lifetime and have been getting better with age. There’s definitely a need for it in this type of music.”
The festival will also include a vendors’ marketplace that, according to Split Rock representative Kyle Kuczma, will be indicative of the festival.
“We’re having different food and craft vendors, not just people doing flea market kind of stuff,” Kuczma said. “We actually go through and pick vendors who make sense for the festival and are a good fit.”
According to Cloren, the festival is happy to have a new home at Split Rock because the resort offers the event and its attendees everything they need within close proximity. Kuczma said Split Rock is happy to host a festival with such a strong niche audience.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts