Musikfest will celebrate its 30th anniversary by throwing a massive 10-day festival featuring more than 500 performances. Best of all, the majority of the shows are free.
Per usual, the festival will feature some big name artists, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Peter Frampton, B.B. King, Darius Rucker, Ke$ha, One Republic and many, many more. The event will run from August 2-11 in Bethlehem, Pa. More than 300 artists will perform across 14 stages that are spread out around the city.
All of the above named artists will appear on the Sands Steel platform stage, which is the only stage that requires tickets. Each show there is ticketed separately.
So really, those shows are more like a long run of good shows at one venue than a festival (you can’t buy a pass to all of them), but there is plenty of free shows to go around, and all provide access to a great summer festival atmosphere. Free shows will be given by Southern Culture on the Skids, Buckwheat Zydeco, Holly Williams, Trout Fishing in America and many more.
A press release proclaims the event as “the nation’s largest free music festival” and says that the event attracts up to 1 million festivalgoers when it is held every August.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival, organizers will bring back John Gorka, the folk singer who was the very first performer at the festival back in 1984. He will perform at the opening ceremonies on August 2 at 6 p.m. to kick off this year’s incarnation of the event.
This year will mark the first year of the Musikfest Volunteer Photography Exhibitions. The juried show will feature photographs of volunteer photographers that have made pictures of the festival through out the years. The show will be on display at the city’s ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks from June 1-August 11.
Peter Frampton will gather B.B. King along with other great guitarists for his Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus touring event next summer.
King is the first artist to sign on to the tour, and will travel with Frampton during three weeks in August. Frampton says he intends to bring in special guests for various periods of time throughout the summer, and that he will adjust his style to that of his guests. No other dates or artists have yet been announced, but Frampton recently spoke to Billboard after performing his classic “Baby I Love Your Way” on “The Voice” with Terry McDermott.
“I’m so honored,” he said of touring with King. “I can’t wait to speak to him and thank him.”
The news comes just after King revealed that he would be on the road for his own tour throughout the majority of the first half of next year. At 87-years-old, King still typically plays around 100 shows every year.
Frampton currently is promoting the 35th anniversary of his classic Frampton Comes Alive album. The record has been re-released as FCA! 35, and Frampton also spoke about the guitar that he played on that album that was thought to have been destroyed in a plane crash 30 years ago. It was recovered and returned to Frampton a year ago.
Frampton said that not only is the guitar in working order, “but I was recording with it this afternoon between dress rehearsals and the show. It’s a surreal thing to have it back. It was the only electric guitar I had for 10 years – I couldn’t afford to have multiples. It was all I played; it’s a very important guitar to me.”
Frampton Comes Alive is one of the best-selling live albums of all time, and strangely became the first album that gained Frampton any notoriety after four other, relatively unknown albums.