27 bands scheduled to play Band Blast each year at New Kensington’s Memorial Park


More than two dozen bands are scheduled to perform this year for the annual Band Blast at Memorial Park in New Kensington.

The lineup consists of 11 bands performing on the main stage and 16 acoustic acts on the second stage.

“This is the biggest lineup we’ve ever had for any of our shows,” said New Ken/Arnold Social in the Park member Lou Downard, who sponsored the event as a fundraiser. for the preservation and revitalization of the park. since 2011.

Band Blast will take place on Sunday, September 11. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Bands will perform from noon to 8 p.m.

Admission is, as always, $5 per person. Downard said they decided not to increase it.

“Money is scarce for people,” he said. “I wish there were more people.”

There will be food vendors and raffles. Participants can bring garden chairs and blankets.

The 11 bands that perform on the main stage volunteer their time to play half-hour sets. Musical genres include contemporary Christian, classic rock, alternative, country rock, hard rock, and blues.

“We get a lot more requests for people to come and play than we have slots,” Downard said. “It’s a good problem for us.”

Among this year’s new performers is “Jimmy Mac and The Attack”, this year’s closing act. The four-member band plays rock and blues, said Bellevue’s Jim McCullough, who founded it in 2018 and plays guitar and sings.

“They reached out to me and asked if I was interested,” McCullough said. “I like to do charity events here and there whenever I can. We were open that day and decided to do it.

McCullough said they would play original songs and covers. The group released a record of original songs, “One for the Blues”, a year ago.

McCullough, whose day job is working as a customer relations manager for a Cadillac dealership, said he was looking forward to playing Band Blast.

“We all like to play music. We do it for fun,” he said. “I have very rarely had the chance to do a concert without enjoying it. It’s part of what I do.

Last year, Band Blast raised nearly $4,000, Downard said. The band still has that money, as no decision has been made on what to do with it.

Downard said they hope to combine last year’s receipts with this year’s and work with a foundation to make a major improvement to the park. He said they would meet with city officials to discuss what could be done.

Mayor Tom Guzzo said he looked forward to meeting Downard and the board after this year’s event.

Proceeds from the band’s past explosions helped pay for the remodeling of the park’s shell and band pavilions, the construction of a new floor in front of the shell and the purchase of benches, Guzzo said.

“It’s been a big help for the city and we appreciate it,” he said.

Guzzo gave opening remarks at each Band Blast.

“This event is truly significant. It was started by a group of people I was in high school with who always loved Memorial Park and looked for ways to maintain and improve it,” he said. “The Blast is such a popular event, and the council books more bands each year. People come from all over to enjoy the day.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Brian by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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