Festival organizers on Friday announced the event’s first four artists, covering the genres of blues, gospel, rockabilly and zydeco:
• Sista Monica Parker, dubbed “lioness of the blues,” a 2012 Blues Music Award nominee for Best Soul Blues Female Artist. Sista Monica and her band have performed around the world with blues greats, including BB King.
• American zydeco performer Rosie Ledet, an accordionist and singer who writes her own material in Creole French.
• The Legendary Singing Stars, a gospel group founded more than 50 years ago by the late Tommy Ellison.
• Rockabilly artist Sonny Burgess also will grace a Bangor stage. He began his career in 1954, as part of Sun Records’ lineup. Today he is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and tours with his band The Legendary Pacers.
Another 13 or 14 act announcements are still to come, according to the festival’s executive director, Heather McCarthy. This year’s festival will be held Aug. 23, 24 and 25 along the Bangor Waterfront.
“We’re about 154 days to go until the festival and it’s really starting to ramp up as far as getting our acts lined up, our volunteers on board, our vendors, our contractors and all the equipment that we need to make sure the site’s ready for about 120,000 visits,” McCarthy said Friday.
Each year, festival organizers have to raise about $950,000, mostly through businesses, municipalities and grants, to put on the three-day event. At this point in the year, the Folk Festival is on pace to reach that goal, according to McCarthy. Top sponsors this year include the festival’s home city, Bangor Savings Bank, the Bangor Daily News, Chevrolet, the Sea Dog and Hannaford Bros., she said.