BY BRIGID LYNETT
Delight in the blues at the 22nd annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival in Nescopeck.
The Luzerne County concert event takes place Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, and will feature some performers not only from Northeast Pennsylvania, such as Clarence Spady and Bret Alexander, but also acts from around the country, including Vanessa Collier, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Heather Gillis, Slam Allen and more.
Musical acts will perform on the Main and Back Porch stages surrounded by the picturesque scenery of Briggs farm, said festival president Richard Briggs, a member of the family that has hosted the festival since 1998. The event is held on the 250-year-old family property, where rolling hills and fields serve as a backdrop to the music.
“It looks like the kind of porch you would see in Mississippi,” Briggs said of the authentic feel of the Back Porch Stage.
This year’s lineup includes Memphis-based band Southern Avenue. The group will play on Friday night, which guitarist Ori Naftaly said he and his bandmates are very excited about.
“We give it all on stage. We tell our story the way it is,” Naftaly said. “Our songs have a lot of meaning to us, and we want to connect with people.”
Festival ticket prices vary based on whether guests attend for music only or want to add on campground access to their admission, but children under 12 are admitted for free.
The welcoming nature of the gathering makes it suitable for people of all ages, including families, and as word has spread, the annual event has grown.
“Camping is getting more popular,” Briggs said, adding that the festival saw about 7,000 guests last year, about 1,500 of whom camped out. “More and more people are choosing to stay (the whole weekend).”
In 2017, organizers accepted the coveted “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award in Memphis — an honor given to a single festival each year.
The Briggs family feels passionately about the festival and its tradition of bringing blues to the area, Briggs shared.
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If you go
- What: Briggs Farm Blues Festival
- When: Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14
- Where: 88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck
- Tickets: Four-day pass, $105 general/$140 with camping; three-day pass, $115 with camping; two-day pass (Friday and Saturday), $65; one-day pass, $25 (Thursday or Sunday)/$40 (Friday or Saturday); children under 12 enter for free. Single-day tickets go up in price by $5 after Wednesday, July 12, and camping and concert ticket prices increase by $10 on the day of the show. For more information or to buy tickets, visit briggsfarm.com.
Thursday, July 11
- 7 to 11 p.m. — “Briggstock” Celebration featuring Bret Alexander & Friends
Friday, July 12
- 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. — Annika Chambers
- 6:05 to 7:35 p.m. — James Armstrong
- 7:55 to 9:25 p.m. — Southern Avenue
- 9:45 to 11:15 p.m. — Donna the Buffalo
Back Porch Stage
- 1:40 to 3:10 p.m. — Bobby Kyle & the Administers
- 3:30 to 5 p.m. — MiZ
- 5:20 to 6:50 p.m. — Robert Kimbrough Sr.
- 7:10 to 8:40 p.m. — Clarence Spady Band
- 9 to 10:30 p.m. — Lonnie Shields
Saturday, July 13
- 4 to 5:30 p.m. — Cedric Burnside
- 5:50 to 7:20 p.m. — Vanessa Collier
- 7:40 to 9:10 p.m. — Slam Allen
- 9:30 to 11 p.m. — Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Back Porch Stage
- 1:10 to 2:40 p.m. — Scott Pemberton
- 3 to 4:30 p.m. — Nate Myers
- 4:50 to 6:20 p.m. — Mikey Junior
- 6:40 to 8:10 p.m. — King Solomon Hicks
- 8:30 to 10 p.m. — Heather Gillis
Sunday, July 14
- Gospel Blues Show
- 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Slam Allen
- 1 to 2:30 p.m. — Alexis P. Suter Ministers of Sound