I gave myself three weeks before writing about Lancaster Roots and Blues. Just as I work behind the curtain for the festival, I heal and reflect in private. Someday I’ll tell my stories. For now I’m enjoying hearing your experiences and seeing your pictures and videos. In particular, I’d like to thank Dan Gillespie of DGital for sharing hundreds of brilliant action shots that really bring the festival to life again. You have a peerless eye and a generous heart brother!
I need to thank my stage managers for keeping the artists happy and organized. You did a remarkable job this year under some challenging circumstances. I need to thank my lead volunteers and their staffs. You helped our attendees feel welcome, find their way and enjoy their experience. You are great hosts and help create the vibe that keeps people smiling all over town.
I saw less music this year than either of the previous years. It made me really sad. But I brought more bands to the festival than before and by all accounts they played their asses off! Thank you: Kaleigh Baker, Sweet Leda, Deb Guy, Sam Baker, Stolen Rhodes, Tractor Jerry and The Mudbucket, Gabe Stillman and the Billtown Giants, Frog Holler, Swampcandy, The O’My’s, Sympathy & the Lion and Shawan and The Wonton. You are stars to me and I appreciate how hard you worked to make our fans get off!
One of my priorities during the festival is getting all the bands and volunteers fed. I couldn’t do that without the support of Lancaster’s great restaurant community and their staffs. Particular thanks must be extended to Carr’s, Commonwealth on Queen, Bistro Barberet & Bakery and Characters Pub who created and served the remarkable food for our VIP receptions. You made people feel special even as their numbers swelled beyond projections. The following restaurants helped me feed 300 musicians and 230 volunteers while serving capacity crowds of their own: Fat Pigs, The Pressroom, La Piazza, 551 West, Penn Square Grille, Dispensing Company, Annie Bailey’s, Federal Taphouse, Tellus 360 and Isaac’s Pickle Bar and Deli. Lancaster is blessed to have you all!
She won’t like it, but I must single out Carrie Binkley our Production Manager. If Rich is the brain and I’m the hands and feet of this festival, she is nothing less than the skeleton. She provides the framework and connectivity that enable us to move with purpose and stability.
I hope everyone enjoyed the festival and will continue to support its growth! I’m not sure how many small cities could host, sustain and grow a festival this big this quickly but Lancaster, you make it look easy. You are a city authentic with charm, character and vivacity few towns your size could even imagine. Obviously we are blessed with a lot of great music venues, restaurants and shops but they are just buildings without the remarkable people who run them. Thank you people of Lancaster!