The Ameriserv Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown has become known as an event with enough clout to attract both regional and big-name national artists to the local area for three days of entertainment.
But with another stellar lineup and changes to the amenities and offerings, festival organizers would go so far as to say past attendees ain't seen nothin' yet.
"I think that anybody who has come into Johnstown for the festival, but
The Del McCoury Band (from left, Jason Carter, Rob McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Del McCoury and Alan Bartram) will be one of this year’s Flood City Music Festival headliners.
doesn't regularly visit, will be amazed by the transformation of the space," said Shelley Johansson, director of communications and marketing for the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, about the festival's new home in Peoples Natural Gas Park. The park overlooks the renovated and lighted Stone Bridge.
"It's just a tremendous combination and a really beautiful site. ... We have some really tremendous headliners and a really diverse three days of music," she said.
The new park boasts a 600-seat pavilion and stage, landscaping space that allows room for the festivals three additional stages and the Oilhouse, a 560-seat venue that will be made available to Bronze, Silver and Gold VIP ticket holders.
If you go
What: Ameriserv Flood City Music Festival
When: Aug. 3-5
Where: People's Natural Gas Park, 90 Johns St., Johnstown
Details: Tickets can be purchased at www.showclix.com/events/8690 or by phone by calling 888-718-4253. Single day tickets are $10 for Friday, $25 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. Three-day weekend passes are $45. Bronze VIP passes are $60 and include a three-day pass and credentials for entry into the Sponsor Lounge. Silver VIP passes are $100 and include two three-day passes and two credentials for entry into the Sponsor Lounge. Gold VIP passes are $130 and include two three-day passes, two credentials for entry into the Sponsor Lounge and exclusive access to bleachers at the headliner stage. Camping at Greenhouse Park is $50 for tents and $100 for RVs.
Altoona-based rock and roll jam band Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street Band will kick off the day Saturday playing a set at 2:30 p.m. in the Oilhouse. Vipond said they plan to "keep it funky" at the festival.
"We're going to bring our A game for sure," he said. "Every show opens new doors for us. We're hoping that this show opens up a whole building full of doors."
The band will be playing the same bill as this year's headliners Dr. John and the Lower 911, Del McCoury Band and The Smithereens.
"We're honored to be a part of not just the amazing lineup, but the festival itself," Vipond said. "It just keeps getting better and better, it seems. The fact we got on, we're thrilled."
Vipond said New Orleans legend Dr. John is one of the larger acts the band is looking forward to seeing. Johansson said she is excited the festival will host this blues/jazz/funk musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, especially so soon after the release of his newest album, "Locked Down."
"Dr. John is a New Orleans music legend, and at the same time he has what critics are saying is his best new CD in many years," she said. "He's .somebody that people know, but he also has a whole new generation of fans. His appeal is enormous."
Despite her excitement to see Dr. John, Johansson said there will be performances every day of the festival that music lovers won't want to miss. To make it easier for anyone to stay the entire weekend, this will be the first year that tent and RV camping will be offered at Greenhouse Park, which is just 15 minutes from the festival venue.
"Camping and festivals are some things that people feel go together," Johansson said. "We're excited to offer this option because it's a very affordable way to come."
Bluegrass stalwart Del McCoury is no stranger to the festival atmosphere - he's played hundreds throughout his 50-year career and throws his own every Memorial Day weekend in Cumberland, Md. McCoury, who was born and raised on a farm in York County said he is excited to play a festival in his home state, and plans to play a set mainly comprised of requests from the audience.
"They pay to get in, so they should be able to dictate what you do," he said during a phone interview from his home outside of Nashville. "They're the ones who want to hear a certain song. ... I'm fortunate that they request my songs. If they start requesting other people's songs I'm in big trouble."
McCoury said this improvisational approach to their live set makes things more interesting not only for the audience, but for him and his band. The Del McCoury Band, which also includes McCoury's sons Ronnie and Robbie and other long time members, has been together since the 1980s. Before that, McCoury made a name for himself as a guitarist for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in the 1960s.
But starting a family band was definitely a positive contributor to the success of his career, McCoury said.
"My boys, we think a lot alike," he said. "We have the same interests in music. It's made it a lot easier for me to get to this point in my life."
Even at 73, McCoury has no plans to slow down. Aside from touring extensively, the Del McCoury Band is already hard at work on a new album. McCoury said eight new songs have already been cut, so it might be ready for a spring release.
Until then, McCoury said he's excited to enjoy the festival atmosphere in Johnstown and bring his music to old and new fans.
"I enjoy playing and singing and entertaining folk," he said. "And I'll tell you this, the fans entertain me more than I entertain them. I have fun talking to them from stage. I just like it. I like all aspects of it."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.