Roots concert coming to Main Street

Courtesy photos Ron Artis II & The Truth are scheduled to take the stage during the Sept. 29 New England Roots Festival in downtown Nashua.

NASHUA – A vibrant experience will unfold on Main Street next weekend with the return of the third annual New England Roots Festival.

Local musicians and bands from as far away as Hawaii will converge downtown for an entire day full of unique sounds from noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 29.

The schedule will be finalized in the coming days, but roughly 20 bands are slated to participate during the course of the event.

“These events are always a great deal of fun and we’ve been working to continually improve them so folks have a great time and return each year,” Great American Downtown Executive Director Paul Shea said. “So, we’re certainly excited to be back on Main Street with some great music.”

Also, in realizing this is an all day affair, Shea said this year, they will be allowing people to bring lawn chairs with them. Shea said no tickets are required for the event this year, so guests can just set up their lawn chairs, grab a bite to eat, and come back to enjoy some music.

“We think allowing for chairs is going to allow for folks to hang out with us for the day and relax and enjoy all the festival has to offer,” Shea said.

He said this year’s headlining artist is Ron Artis II & The Truth, a soul and old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll band based in Hawaii.

“We’ve been very fortunate to catch them on an East Coast swing,” Shea said. “Of course, all of the main stage acts are exceptional, but we are really excited for Ron and his band.”

Other main stage performers will include Twisted Pine, Dwight & Nicole, Ward Hayden & The Outliers, Chestnut Grove, Honeysuckle, Strangers by Accident and The New Englanders.

Additional venues hosting acts will be located along Main Street at Bicentennial Park, Riverside Barbeque Co., Riverwalk Cafe and the Railroad Square gazebo. The schedule for artists performing at those locations will be available online at http://downtownnashua.org/nerootsfest-test/ in the coming days.

The festival will also feature an arts market with more that a dozen artists showing and selling their work. Furthermore, for those working up an appetite after dancing in the streets, there will be a few food trucks on Main Street as part of the festival.

Shea also said Martha’s Exchange will have a sidewalk biergarten alongside the music festival for folks looking to grab a local pint.

This will be the last music festival Great American Downtown will host in 2018, but plans are already brewing for next year’s concerts. Earlier in the year, the Nu Muse Festival and The Merrimack Valley Battle of the Bands drew many attendees. The battle of the bands was a new addition for 2018.

“We are very proud to bring a diverse set of acts to Nashua over the course of the year and we have been doing that in response to our surveys to the community that indicate folks are looking for more opportunities to take in music and various arts,” Shea said. “We have been working to build those series up as far as music festivals on Main Street. I think we will work to fine-tune this series of events, but I won’t be surprised if we look to host at least one concert at Holman Stadium in 2019 or 2020.”

He said that might be an area in which they would look to grow in the future.

Some of the artists performing at the New England Roots Festival have songs and music videos available online at http://downtownnashua.org/nerootsfest-test/.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.