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Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival 2018 announces lineup for July 21-22 event

Shirley McMarlin
| Thursday, March 15, 2018, 12:21 p.m.
The Gathering Field, shown practicing at the Burgh Farm in Harmony in 2014, will be among headliners at the Pittsburgh Blues and Festival on July 21 and 22 in Harmar.
Heidi Murrin | Trib Total Media
The Gathering Field, shown practicing at the Burgh Farm in Harmony in 2014, will be among headliners at the Pittsburgh Blues and Festival on July 21 and 22 in Harmar.

The lineup has been announced for the Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival 2018, set for July 21 and 22 at the Syria Shrine Center in Harmar.

Headliners for the second annual event include The Gathering Field, Walter Trout, John Nemeth, Tas Cru and Bernard Allison.

Also on the bill of national touring acts and popular regional musicians are Jimbo and the Soupbones, the Neid's Hotel Band, Tina Daniels Band, The Rhythm Aces and others.

Blues and Roots is a successor to the Pittsburgh Blues Festival, which ended its 21-year run in 2015, after sponsor the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank took a new direction in its annual musical fundraising.

Festival proceeds will support the work of the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Band Together Pittsburgh, whose founders, Ron “Moondog” Esser of Frazer and West Deer musician John Vento, have been instrumental in the festival's rebirth.

The community-based nonprofit Band Together Pittsburgh uses music to enrich the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. The festival will provide an inclusive environment for differently abled individuals and their families.

Festival planners have given special emphasis to booking bands and artists who have been personally touched by autism.

Esser says that, though the 2018 festival will be smaller than the Pittsburgh Blues Festival was at Hartwood Acres, he believes the new event has the potential to be better, according to the website.

“We're going back to ground zero,” he says. “We're staying away from the high-price acts, but they will be great acts.”

The venue offers covered picnic pavilion seating for 1,000 and ample free parking.

Details: pghbluesrootsfest.com

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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