PHOTOS: Briggs Farm Blues Festival with Lonnie Shields, Clarence Spady, Heather Gillis, and more, 07/11-14/19
The Blues Foundation’s 2019 Blues Music Award winners Cedric Burnside, Vanessa Collier, and Annika Chambers were among the many highlights of the 22nd annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival on Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14.
Featuring “internationally renowned artists and national and regional bands of various genres, including electric blues, delta-style blues, Americana roots music, soul, and a bit of funk sprinkled into the mix,” the acclaimed festival featured James Armstrong, Southern Avenue, Annika Chambers, Donna the Buffalo, Cedric Burnside, Slam Allen, Vanessa Collier, and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on the main stage while Bobby Kyle & The Administers, MiZ, Robert Kimbrough Sr., the Clarence Spady Band, Lonnie Shields, Scott Pemberton, Nate Myers, Mikey Junior, King Solomon Hicks, and Heather Gillis occupied the intimate “Back Porch” stage.
The weekend was bookended by “Briggstock,” a Thursday-night Woodstock tribute celebration with Bret Alexander and friends, and a Sunday Gospel Blues Show with Slam Allen and Alexis P. Suter and the Ministers of Sound.
The 250-year-old family farm in Nescopeck manages to feel like a small backyard party and a huge destination festival at the same time, drawing over 10,000 concertgoers every year from all over the country and even other parts of the world while serving fresh food next to craft vendors, hayrides, and old truck photo-ops. Music fans of all generations came to experience this truly authentic event nearly 50 years after Woodstock and were met with similar vibes of peace, love, and real music.
Winning the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation in 2017, it’s no wonder so many call the Briggs Farm Blues Festival the “best weekend of the year.”
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.