By: Clare Collins
Jam out to all the finest blues music the area has to offer at Briggs Farm Blues Festival.
Guests can enjoy the 21st annual music festival at the Nescopeck family farm from Thursday, July 5, to Sunday, July 8.
For four days and three nights, guests can experience first-class blues music from a number of different bands and soloists. Musical performances will be held in the farm’s natural outdoor amphitheater on the rolling hills of the more than 250-year-old farm. Organizers expect to receive over 7,000 guests from all over the world.
The Mighty Susquehannas & Friends, performing the music of Eric Clapton, will be the main event for Thursday night, when campers and multiple-day ticket holders can catch the act on this added extra night of music.
The weekend’s events also feature international, national and regional acts spread across three stages, including Samantha Fish and Vanessa Collier.
“There are a lot of strong female blues artists this year,” organizer Richard Briggs said. “Samantha Fish is a fantastic guitar player and contemporary blues musician, and Vanessa Collier is a very skilled saxophone player and an impressive, sophisticated vocalist.”
The National Reserve will perform Friday night on the main stage and Saturday night on the back porch stage.
“They have a very soulful, gritty sound to them,” Briggs said.
Sunday’s Gospel Blues show ends the weekend with performances by Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Review and Ed Randazzo & Friends.
“It makes sense to end with gospel with the history of the blues,” Briggs said. “It’s very inspirational to end the weekend that way.”
In addition to the musical festivities, guests can enjoy authentic Mississippi Delta-style barbecue, including slow-smoked pulled pork; Southern fried catfish; jambalaya; fresh-picked, fire-roasted sweet corn; and mac-n-cheese with stewed tomatoes. Campers can enjoy breakfast from Saturday 7 to 11 a.m., and it includes biscuits and gravy, eggs and a choice of ham, bacon or sausage. There also will be lunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which includes a chicken bacon ranch wrap.
“This isn’t your typical festival food,” Briggs said. “We tried to focus on adding Southern-style soul food for guests to enjoy.”
The Briggs family is extremely invested in this year-long project, with all members of the family preparing for the event. The festival has occupied most of the family’s time, with Briggs’ sons and grandsons helping year-round.
“This festival became a big part of our life and legacy,” he said.
If you go
What: Briggs Farm Blues Festival
When: Thursday, July 5, camping gate open 3 to 9 p.m., music 7 to 11 p.m.; Friday, July 6, camping gate open 10 a.m., main gate open at noon, music 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, July 7, main gate open at noon, music noon to midnight; Sunday, July 8, music 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., concert/campgrounds close 4 p.m.
Where: 88 Old Berwick Highway, Nescopeck
Tickets: Four-day pass with camping, $130 advance/$140 at gate; four-day general admission, $85 advance/$100 at gate; three-day pass with camping, $105 advance/$115 at gate; three-day general (Thursday to Saturday) $70 advance/$80 at gate; three-day general (Friday to Sunday), $70 advance/$80 at gate; two-day general, $50 advance/$60 at gate; one-day general $30 advance/$35 at gate; Sunday general $25 advance/$30 at gate. Tickets are available at several locations, including Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, Wilkes-Barre and Dickson City; Briggs Farm and Amish Pantry, Nescopeck; A Perfect Blend, Berwick; and Endless Records, Bloomsburg.
Details: Visit briggsfarm.com.