Americana Fest in Berks County, Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, is an umbrella festival for the community and visitors, presenting a celebration of music, art, dance, culture, history, craftsmanship and gastronomical excellence.
Since kicking off on Memorial Day, the virtual festivities have attracted thousands of viewers and participants and the excitement keeps going (and growing!) through June 30.
You can see all updates, watch scheduled performances, and enjoy other entertainment online at https://www.facebook.com/americanafest/
The project, lead by local musician and entertainer Dave Kline, includes fundraising element for local arts, music, ag and outdoor recreation groups, with a goal to bring in $10,000 that will be donated directly back to the orgs named as recipients. The fundraising effort is called Pennsylvania’s Americana Region Festival Healing Arts Fund and can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1271093436428045/?fundraiser_source=external_url
“COVID 19 has greatly damaged the ability of our regional musicians, artists and presenters to earn a living and to share their talent with public groups as in the past. We’ve created a common chord to showcase our region and its talent and we’re asking donors to join in by giving so that we can give back to groups that participate and they in turn will give back to individual artists, musicians and presenters. On a personal note, back on December 14, 2020, my family’s home and our family puppy and cat were destroyed by a house fire. The outpouring of love, compassion and support from our community to help us get through our first few weeks of literally being homeless was lifechanging and the most uplifting thing any of us could imagine. We want to give back, so we’ve organized this event for our community,” stated Kline when describing inspiration for the fest and fund.
Like any great community event, there is of course ‘merch’ available, the income from the merchandising souvenirs will be split between WeSupportPA and the organizations named in the fest’s fund. https://www.wesupportpa.com/collections/americana-festival
The schedule for this weekend (Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31) includes an assortment of acts, demonstrations, and performances for all audiences – and remember, this is just a sample! The schedule continues to take shape as momentum gathers.
7:30pm – Pennsylvania’s Americana Region Country Crooner Pat Garrett and his wife Suzy Dalton perform an exclusive sundown debut of their new release “Watching the Sun Go Down” recorded live from their tour bus.
7:35pm to 8:05pm – Van Wagner’s earthy style of living and working the woods by lumbering gives his music a unique style and feel. We’ll be joining him in his barn and his home for a half-hour of good entertainment by a man and his guitar.
8:05 to 8:35pm – From Mount Penn’s Gangsta Beagle Studios, we’re going to enjoy Amy & Dave Lewis, MO7S, as they present a great concert of their original music.
8:35pm – Dolores Kirschner from Clay on Main in our historic Oley Valley presents a how-to class on how to make homemade hand sanitizer and herbal infusions.
9pm – Photographer Bill Coughlin has been the official purveyor of paparazzi throughout all of the six years and iterations of our fest. Berks County Fest, Berks Country Fest, Americana Music Jamboree, Berks Country & Americana Fest, and now “Pennsylvania’s Americana Region Festival”, Bill has seen it all and working with fest producer Dave Kline for the music, here are lots of fest memories through the lens of Bill Coughlin.
5 to 6pm – The Quarantined String Quartet, the Hochman family from New York City and the New York Guitar Academy will be back to perform another of their popular livestream concerts for us.
6:05 – Alizabeth Wenrich, teacher at Clay on Main in Oley, PA, presents a how-to demonstration on creating freeform clay sculptures.
7 to 8pm – Lancaster County’s Mary-Kate S. Lee will perform a livestream concert of her ethereal Celtic music on harp and more.
8pm to 9pm – Lars Potteiger presents a concert event to benefit The United Way of Berks County. Entitled “A Virtual Vacation” Van’s presentation is designed to carry us away to better times and better places.
5 to 6pm – Partnering with the great state of Missouri and the Missouri Arts Council, Pennsylvania’s Americana Region Festival proudly presents the group Ozark Blues.
6pm – Dolores Kirschner, from the Oley Valley’s Clay on Main and Classic Flowers, presents a how-to class on making homemade herbal oils and vinegars.
6:20 – Pennsylvania State Senator Judy Schwank and our festival presenter Dave Kline go back in time to just before the COVID-19 school closures to share a concert presentation that they created and performed for the students of Robeson Elementary School, Birdsboro, PA. The topic is the anniversary of the Womens Suffrage Movement.
7 to 8pm: Sam Schmidthuber has been a member of our cast or performers fest family for years, since he was 15 years old. Now he’s making recordings in Nashville and we’re very proud of the path he’s traveling. You’ll enjoy his livestream concert with us tonight.
8 to 9pm: Little Leroys, from neighboring Lancaster County, have performed at our fest numerous time. You’ll love what they call their “Lounge-A-Billy” style of music.
Be sure to follow the Americana Fest on Facebook for the most up-to-date lineups and to view all performances and demonstrations!