Friday Night Bandstand Returns to Downtown Bigger, Better Than Ever
LANCASTER – A downtown Lancaster tradition returns this year, stronger than ever, with performances from more than 20 bands.
The first Friday Night Bandstand event of the year will take place on May 27, with Bad Influence kicking off the age-old music tradition downtown.
Lancaster Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mike Tharp said this year’s performances mark a return to pre-coronavirus pandemic practices, with events running through September.
Performances will take place every Friday evening, with occasional events on Saturdays as well. Tharp said this year’s lineup was excellent and he was delighted that people had a reason to stay in downtown Lancaster throughout the summer.
“The current downtown Lancaster bandstand was built in 1976, and Fairfield Federal has sponsored the bandstand for about 36 or 37 years, so that’s been around as long as the bandstand has been around,” Tharp said. . “And since I’ve been the Superintendent of the Parks Department, I’ve seen Bandstand performance go up every year, but I wanted this season to be higher quality as well.”
He explained that each season about $20,000 is spent booking bands. This year, there will be approximately $45,000. And while the Parks Department will contribute about $13,000, the balance comes from the community and local business partners.
“It’s not really about the money spent, but what that money brings us in terms of quality. music and quality family entertainment, all in the downtown core of the city, I think it’s worth every penny,” Tharp said. “I love Bandstand, so I’m a little biased, but I want it to be a destination for citizens, and we give them a quality show, not just throwing any old band.”
This year’s lineup includes local artists, and there are even evenings with multiple events. Tharp pointed out that most nights start at 7 p.m. and last about two hours. The second event of the year will last until 11 p.m., to host Floyd Live, a Pink Floyd cover band, and their light show.
“We’ll even have performances on Saturdays. I started looking for bands and artists last year in August, and what really made this possible was the big closure of North Broad Street, between streets Main and Wheeling for much of the summer,” Tharp said. . “Destination Downtown Lancaster is planning to close it, just for an extended period, which means we would have spaces and time to fill, so with the help of our community partners, we are able to expand our range with new good quality music.”
He added that being able to leave the stage standing all summer will save the employees a lot of effort from having to set up the stage every week.
Amanda Everitt, executive director of DDL, said the closure was planned with the safety of visitors, residents and city employees in mind. Similar to the DDL “socially distanced” tents set up at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be tents and tables throughout the summer.
Tharp said the list of groups will soon be posted on the Parks Department website, partly due to community interest.
“Once the New Year rolls around, people really start coming up to me and asking me who they can expect to see. And this year, every time I thought I had the list ready, we added more. more,” he said. “We are excited to see this become a destination for the citizens of Lancaster and bring them downtown.”
May 27 — Bad Influence
June 3 — Floyd Live with special guests Chris Nash and Kalysta Minton
June 10 — Fleetwood Mac Experience with special guest Nacho Street Band
June 17 — Hillbilly Deluxe with special guest Mitch Kirkpatrick
June 18 — Gypsy Joe’s birthday party. Abby Miller and Ron McDole
June 24 — Aftermath
June 25 — Barracuda
July 1 – Lancaster Community Group
July 2 — Hotel California
July 8 — Super Acoustic Friends
July 15 — British Invasion
July 16 — Brickhouse
August 5 – The Jack
August 12 — Debbie Wright and Friends
August 13 — Lancaster Male Choir
August 20 — Brew Fest, Willie Nelson Mandela, Reelin’ in the Years
September 3 and 4 – Fairfield County Food Truck Festival (a variety of entertainment on two stages)
Barrett Lawlis is a reporter for the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, part of the USA Today Network. You can share story ideas or comments with him at 740-681-4342 or email [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BarrettLawlis