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Music lovers of all kinds can get their fix every Sunday afternoon at the Roxbury Bandshell on Franklin Street in Roxbury Park. The 2021 summer concert season begins Memorial Day weekend on Sunday, May 30 and will continue through Sunday September 12.
This is the 16th season for the free concerts. They are held 5-7 pm every Sunday, weather permitting. (Note: On opening and closing days of the concerts the performance times are 3 – 7 pm.)
All you need is a lawn chair or a blanket and you are good to go. If you’d like to bring snacks or a picnic, feel free. But if you enjoy delicious food prepared by church ladies, just bring a little cash and “treat yo self.” Holy Cross Church has food and drinks available for purchase during the concerts.
A wide variety of music is performed by the best of the best local musicians. I asked Jake Lamm, guitar player and singer in The Wednesdays, what he likes most about playing at the Bandshell. “It’s a fun way to connect with the history of Johnstown at such a classic and unique venue. We all love outdoor shows, so that is a plus.” The Wednesdays recently were named Johnstown Magazine’s Best Local Entertainer in 2020.
Tim Frick, guitar player and singer for Inside Out, agrees with the love of playing at an outdoor venue. “The sound is always phenomenal at the Bandshell. We also like playing there because we can reach an all ages audience and a new audience who may not go to clubs. Since the Bandshell is a historic landmark, we like to do our part to raise awareness and help raise funds for its continued upkeep. We want to be playing at the Bandshell for years to come.” Inside Out had been playing locally and nationally since the 90s and just released a five song EP available on all digital platforms.
If you’d like to read more about the history of the Bandshell, check out their website at www.roxburybandshell.com. The schedule of performers is also listed on the site. In addition, make sure to follow their Facebook page for the most current information.
In 2008 the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance was formed spearheaded by Mary Borkow with the intent to “save the Bandshell” from the wrecking ball. Mary had been working on this project since 2006. Not only did her group succeed but this venue has become a true gem in our region for live outdoor music.
The present-day goal of the Preservation Alliance is to promote Johnstown’s rich, diverse cultural and historic heritage through a celebration of music, education, and artistry.
Since its inception, the Alliance has raised more than $600,000 in funds to restore the Bandshell. The group is 100% volunteer as are the performers and sound crew each season.