HUGHESVILLE – Following last year’s cancellation due to the pandemic, the 31st Billtown Blues Festival will take place next week with “World class” blues music, musicians, food and the overall experience according to Bonnie Tallman, event producer.
“It’s really, really good to be back in the planning phase of the festival”, Tallman said. “We are delighted, the musicians are delighted to have the chance to get back on the road and play; we are delighted to provide them with a great performance experience on our stage.
The stage will be set for the performers to perform their music from Friday June 11 through Sunday June 13 at Lycoming County Fairgrounds. However, the music won’t start until Friday at 3 p.m. Those who come with campers and recreational vehicles can come and settle in from Thursday, June 10 at 3 p.m. on the exhibition grounds.
The latest festival, which took place in 2019, has undergone many changes, including the move from a one-day event to a three-day event which allowed festival-goers to stay overnight in campervans, tents, recreational vehicles and other camping equipment.
After the success of this festival, the Billtown Blues Association decided to keep the festival to three days and to include campers.
This festival however, there are other changes including: having Thursday available for campers to set up a day earlier, but also allowing them to stay on Sunday evening and leave on Monday morning rather than leaving on Sunday night.
Additionally, tickets are only available for purchase on the Billtown Blues Association website. There are options for day tickets as well as a
package that allows you to obtain tickets for the three days of the Festival in a single purchase.
While masking is not mandatory, Tallman also said they encourage social distancing, masking and hand hygiene, and suggested groups install awnings over the fairgrounds.
“We really wanted to stay focused on the music and do our best, camping and safety” Tallman said.
Tallman said many artists, who hail from Pennsylvania, Texas, San Francisco, Florida, Indiana and more, have been unable to perform live for several months to a year due to closures at nationwide.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will perform during the Saturday night concerts, a first for them in over 14 months and a Festival first for them.
The group, made up of singer and guitarist Reverend Peyton, Peyton’s wife and washboard player Breezy, and drummer Max Senteney, have performed their country blues music in 48 of the 50 states, on four continents and in 38 countries.
“(The music) is best enjoyed live and we’re really excited to come out and play live again. “ Peyton said. “I feel like a dog on a leash preparing to be let go.”
He added that the band will be playing their blues originals from their new album, “Dance songs for hard times”.
“We want you to come and enjoy the music, have fun and have a wonderful time” Tallman said
For more information, a parking map and tickets, please visit https://www.billtownblues.org/billtown-blues-festival.