Lilac Festival 2022 free concerts include Blues Traveler, UpRooted

Blues Traveler, the Zac Brown Tribute Band and UpRooted with Rusted Root’s Michael Glabicki are among the musical groups that will headline the 2022 Rochester Lilac Festival, organizers and local officials announced Wednesday.

This is the first time since 2019 that the event will offer free concerts.

“We look forward to the safe return of our series of free live music concerts since the start of the pandemic,” said Jeff Springut, whose group Springut produces the festival, which is in its 124th year, at Highland Park.

The 2020 festival was canceled due to the public health crisis and was scaled back in 2021, when paid shows were staged in tents.

Like last year, the festival will take place over three consecutive weekends instead of 10 consecutive days: from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, from May 6 to 8; Thursday to Sunday, May 12 to 15; and Thursday to Sunday from May 19 to 22.

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Performances will take place on the Center Stage, which is in the park near 1440 South Ave.

The headliners are:

  • Blues Traveler at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 6
  • Zac Brown Tribute Band (double set) at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7
  • Driftwood at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 8
  • Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12
  • UpRooted with Rusted Root’s Michael Glabicki at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12
  • Blue Sky Brothers at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13
  • Low Cut Connie at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14
  • Seven Wonders at 7 p.m. on Saturday May 14
  • Workingman’s Dead at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 15
  • Into the Now at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 15
  • Anders Osborne at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19
  • Jackie Greene at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 19
  • Ripe at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 20
  • Aqueous at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20
  • Bumpin Uglies at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21
  • Big Eyed Phish at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21
  • Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 22

The festival is bringing back its VIP High Spot Party Deck this year. Perks for ticketed guests include access to the front stage, tent and outdoor lounges, a full cash bar, air-conditioned private restrooms, and complimentary chair massages and snacks. Tickets (starting at $35) are available at eventbrite.com.

In addition to the headliners, five to six daily support bands will play free shows during festival hours. Confirmed artists include Steve Grills, Junk Yard Field Trip, Teagan & The Tweeds, Texas King and The Collection, among others. There will also be performances by musicians from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and young artists from the Rochester City School District, led by RPO trumpeter Herb Smith and the Eastman School of Music Lilac Quintet. Additionally, the festival will feature young musicians (ages 11-21) who make up Elvio Fernandes’ ROC Star Academy.

For all the details of the festival, go to rocksterevents.com.

Journalist Marcia Greenwood covers general assignments. Send story tips to [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MarciaGreenwood.

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