Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Musical Notes: Fests & Folkies

Summer’s in full swing, and we’re slinging some sizzling shows. It’s the time of year for outdoor events of all kinds, and Harrisburg’s got a ton to choose from this month.

Check out the Lower Paxton Summer Movie & Concert Series going on all summer, featuring two shows this month by The Jellybricks Beatles Tribute and Razing Kane and Howard & the Islanders.

For some festive fun on July 4, don’t miss Harrisburg’s Independence Day celebration, featuring fireworks by Tripwire Pyrotechnics launching from City Island beach. Dauphin County’s 8th Annual Brewfest kicks off at Fort Hunter on July 20 for a day of socializing and sampling over 50 craft beers. Back in the city, SoMa hosts its block party on July 25 featuring local beer, food, and live music in one of Harrisburg’s hottest downtown destinations. Near the end of the month, on July 27, get ready to proudly wave your rainbow flags and don your most colorful outfits for Pride Fest of Central PA at the Soldier’s Grove Park in the Capitol Complex.

With concerts going on at Reservoir Park and Italian Lake, there’s music everywhere you turn in Harrisburg. Always here with your entertainment hookup, here are some more shows I think y’all might enjoy.


Harrisburg’s building a reputation for memorable and prolific shows, and the music scene continues to grow every month. This month, XL Live keeps rolling out the big name artists, and Citizen Cope is no exception. With the help of WXPN, Clarence Greenwood brings his unique American songwriting sensibilities for an evening of bluesy folksy rock. Starting off his musical career as the DJ for the DC Hip Hop group Basehead, he was signed with DreamWorks under the name Citizen Cope in 2002. This past March, he released his first album in six years, titled “Heroin and Helicopters” on his own label, RainWater. Billboard magazine even got a chance to listen to the album, and called it “personal and poignant.” This is shaping up to be yet another hot show you don’t want to miss at XL.


Note is known around here for their relaxing atmosphere and amazing food, but did you know they also feature some sweet music? Their concert series now welcomes one of the biggest names in troubadour folk to their neighborhood stage: Steve Forbert. Bringing his pop-rock style to audiences since 1978, Forbert has built a strong career for himself that continues to this day. He’s had several singles like “Romeo’s Tune,” his album “Jack Rabbit Slim” hit certified gold status, and his 2003 album, “Any Old Time,” was Grammy-nominated for Best Traditional Folk. If that’s not enough to get you into his audience, he recently released his memoir, “Big City Cat: My Life In Folk Rock,” to accompany his 19th studio album release, “The Magic Tree.” Experience some of his 40-year career and see for yourself what the folk fuss is all about.


I’ve saved the best for last, as the second annual Susquehanna Folk Festival makes it way through our area to captivate audiences once more. Hosted at Roundtop Mountain Resort, it’s only a short drive from HBG to Lewisberry for some of the best folk you’ll experience all year. Heavy hitters are gracing the stages this year, with Grammy-award winning Cajun band BeauSoleil, Irish American group Cherish the Ladies, and award-winning fiddler Jeremy Kittel and his band, Kittel and Co., to name just a taste of the offerings. If you want more of a festival experience, check out their dance hall to try some swing and other steps, plenty of workshops for instrumentalists, an artisan marketplace, family friendly activities, and so much more. This event is sponsored by the Susquehanna Folk Music Society and will be emceed by WXPN’s own Ian Zolitor. Check out their website for full information and ticket pricing for an unforgettable weekend of folk.


Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow, July 2, H*MAC;

Brandon Reece, July 7, Spring Gate Vineyard;

Switch Fu, July 7, Italian Lake;

The Jellybricks Beatles Tribute, July 12, Heroes Grove Ampitheatre;

Ron Holloway Band, July 12, The Abbey Bar;

IATT, July 13, J.B. Lovedraft’s;

Jantsen, July 13, H*MAC;

Razing Kane and Howard & the Islanders, July 19, Heroes Grove Amphitheatre;

Halloween in July, July 27, River City;

Robert Randolph & the Family Band, July 28, Whitaker Center

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