Organizers of the Erie’s Blues and Jazz Festival speak out about the status of the festival with COVID cases rising


Organizers of the Erie’s Blues and Jazz Festival have locked in the sounds for this Fall event.

With cases of COVID-19 rising again across the nation however, would organizers have a plan?

We spoke with several of these organizers on Friday.

The director of the festival said they are going to take it day by day, but they’re looking forward to seeing thousands of people vibing to the festivities at Frontier Park.

“It’s the sound of Erie’s Blues and Jazz Fest. This will be the festival’s 29th year.

With COVID-19 cases beginning to climb, the director of the festival said that a plan B is in place just in case things take a turn.

“We’ve lined up the stage in the sound and the tents and all of the kinds of things we can do in advance that we can also cancel if we had to,” said John Vanco, Director of Blues and Jazz Festival.

Vanco said that the festival is sponsored by AHN Saint Vincent and Highmark Health. They will host a vaccination clinic at the two day festival.

He said that this should be a convenient way for unvaccinated concert goers to get vaccinated.

“How come we all are not concerned? So I am hoping that everybody gets their vaccination,” said Vanco.

Other people said that they are looking forward to having Frontier Park filled with the culture that the festival typically brings.

“This is a good time for our community to celebrate itself, to celebrate black music and culture collectively,” said Abdullah Washington, MC, Blues and Jazz Festival.

Washington is the MC of the festival. He sees COVID is still lingering around, but he has hopes that the community will come together.

“I believe it’s going to be a great thing. I don’t really have fear. I like being around people and I think about what it’s going to do for us, is going to solidify how important we all are together,” said Washington.

Both organizers said they are keeping their fingers crossed.

The organizers said that typically this park will be filled with thousands of people and dozens of vendors.

They are still determining the festival lineup of artists which they have coming from around the world.

The festival will take place at Frontier Park in September.

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