Music of all types featured at New Kensington ‘Band Blast’ |
Valley News Dispatch

Music of all types featured at New Kensington ‘Band Blast’

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Tribune-Review file photo
We’re Almost Home drummer Mikey works his set during the 2016 Band Blast at Memorial Park in New Kensington. We’re Almost Home is the first of 11 bands scheduled to play the main stage at the 2019 Band Blast beginning at noon on Sunday, Aug. 18.

Nearly two dozen bands are scheduled to perform Sunday at the sixth annual “Band Blast” at Memorial Park in New Kensington.

The lineup features 11 groups playing between noon and 8 p.m. on the main stage, and another 11 scheduled to appear on the second stage.

Admission is $5. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m., and the event will go on rain-or-shine.

Band Blast is put on by the New Ken/Arnold Social, which uses the money it raises to help pay for repairs and renovations to the park. Among its projects is a new sign that was recently placed at the park’s entrance on Stevenson Boulevard.

The group also helps maintain Roosevelt Park in Arnold.

The group hopes to use proceeds from this year’s Band Blast toward paying for a new playground surface at the park, said Lou Downard, of Lower Burrell, a member of the social group since its inception in 2011 who grew up in Arnold and lived in New Kensington.

The event will feature a variety of types of music.

“We like to mix it up. I like to put doo-wop against heavy metal, if I can,” Downard said. “We try to mix it up so there’s something for everybody.”

Between 500 and 600 people are expected.

While those attending will get a hand stamp and can come-and-go as they please, to listen to just the music they’re interested in, Downard said those who stay find themselves discovering and enjoying new groups and music.

“All the bands are top-notch,” he said. “It’s amazing the talent that’s in the Alle-Kiski Valley.”

Food, kids activities, community groups, too

All the performers play for free.

“We get more musicians volunteering for the show than we have space,” Downard said. “We greatly appreciate the musicians and what they do for us.”

In addition to music, Band Blast features food vendors, attractions, community groups, kids activities and a 50-50 raffle.

Those attending should bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

“It’s a great time. You’ll enjoy yourself. You’re also going to be helping maintain Memorial Park,” Downard said. “Memorial Park is the jewel of New Kensington. A lot of people new to the area don’t realize it’s there. It’s a beautiful park.”

Acts on the main stage play for a half-hour, with 15 minutes between performances.

This year’s main stage lineup:

• Noon: We’re Almost Home

• 12:45: Up the River Band

• 1:30 p.m.: The Epics

• 2:15 p.m.: Risen to Save

• 3 p.m.: Five Foot Nothing

• 3:45 p.m.: The Nicole Belli Band

• 4:30 p.m.: The Rust Project

• 5:15 p.m.: Heidi & the Hellcats

• 6 p.m.: Big House Pete

• 6:45 p.m. Lenny Collini 4Pak

• 7:30 p.m.: Dimwit

Second stage acts

Groups scheduled to appear on the second stage are Jeff Pogas, Montana Bob Sweitzer & Barb Sherman, The Rust Project Duo, Mike Huston, Joey Buckethead, John Melnick, Jessa Kenzi, Paul Mac Duo, Jeff Hartz, Jess Sides and Derrick Joseph.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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