NEPA Scene Staff

Briggs Farm Blues Festival plans to move forward with summer 2021 event in Nescopeck

Briggs Farm Blues Festival plans to move forward with summer 2021 event in Nescopeck
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From a press release:

After 22 consecutive years of bringing the blues to a family farm in Nescopeck, the Briggs Farm Blues Festival was forced to postpone its 2020 event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival confirmed this week that it is planning to move forward with its weekend of live music and social gatherings on Thursday, July 8 through Saturday, July 10, 2021 with 2020’s lineup of acclaimed musicians, including established blues acts who routinely grace international stages, national homegrown artists, and local talent from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

For the past two decades, the peaceful setting at Briggs Farm has provided the backdrop for three days of foot-stomping tunes and musicians who know how to get an audience on their feet. With two stages and over 20 acts from various genres, including eclectic blues, delta-style blues, Americana roots music, soul, and a bit of funk, Briggs Farm Blues Festival is a music lovers’ paradise.

Festival president Richard Briggs stated, “Live music creates a special thread of connection. There’s no limit to what music can do to bring us all together, and we need that more than ever.”

The music will begin on Thursday, July 8 with songs from the summer of 1970 performed by Pittston vocalist and guitarist Bret Alexander (of The Badlees fame) and friends, offering reminders of fun times, great friends, and artists like Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Scranton folk rock singer/songwriter MiZ will also be playing songs from the Grateful Dead’s 1970 album “American Beauty.”

Friday, July 9 will usher in the blues with a powerful lineup, including headliner Ana Popovic, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, the harmonizing Campbell Brothers, and the incomparable Celisse Henderson. The intimate Back Porch Stage will feature vocalist and banjo player Pappy Biondo of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre jamgrass group Cabinet with Shavertown guitarist Justin Mazer of the Ryan Montbleau Band.

The music will carry into Saturday, July 10 with headliner Shemekia Copeland, the unforgettable Victor Wainwright, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, and the eccentric Scott Pemberton. While the main stage is rockin’, the smaller Back Porch Stage will burst with unforgettable artists like The National Reserve, Gracie Curran, King Solomon Hicks, Swampcandy, Williamsport blues musician Gabe Stillman, Bloomsburg jam band The Mighty Susquehannas, and more.

The family-oriented festival, just a few miles off Interstate 80, also offers on-site camping, a vendor village full of high-quality handcrafted items, and a variety of delicious food. Patrons can bring in their own beverages, coolers, and snacks. Tickets for the event will go on sale next Friday, Jan. 15. More information and ticket purchasing options can be found on their website at

Recognized with the Keeping the Blues Alive Award by the Blues Foundation in 2017, Briggs Farm Blues Festival is a family-run celebration of blues music, good food, and great company. Since 1998, the Briggs family has been hosting some of the world’s best blues acts on their 250-year-old farm.

Whether coming for a day or camping for the weekend, families and friends return year after year to gather around campfires, dance to bluesy beats, and join other passionate music lovers for what many call the “best weekend of the year.”

See NEPA Scene’s photos from the 2019 festival here, the 2018 festival here, and the 2017 festival here.

Photo by Robb Malloy and Tammy Heid-Malloy/Moon’s Eye Media/NEPA Scene