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'Accessible arts to everyone': What you need to know for the King Street Jam in York City

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

Local artists are gearing up to strum their guitars, belt out ballads and jam out in a 12-hour music festival coming to York City.

The second King Street Jam will rock York County from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Four national acts and 20 local/regional acts will share three stages at Duke, King and Queen streets, according to Delia Pabon, executive director of event organizer The Parliament Arts.

“In the last year it’s been difficult to hold large-scale events where people feel comfortable,” Pabon said. “It’ll be nice to see all ages and all demographics coming out to enjoy the day and feeling comfortable and safe in that space.”

A full schedule of performances will be available at www.kingstreetjam.com/. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can also be purchased from the website. A VIP package including free alcohol, food and a lounge space will be priced at $100.

Though the 12-hour festival will invite well-known acts like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Pabon said one of the larger draws to King Street Jam is the “professional” experience it provides to musicians just starting out.

Port Ellis performs on the regional stage during the first ever King Street Jam event in York City, Saturday, June 22, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“It’s the experience of being on a stage where you’re seeing the crew change things out and working with the stage manager to have the best possible event,” Pabon said. “This gives them the opportunity to operate in the same way a national artist would.”

Last year, King Street Jam was canceled due to COVID-19. This year, Pabon said that while masks will not be required since the event is outdoors, temperature checks will be conducted at the entrance to the festival.

Additionally, all performing artists and crew must either have a vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test. A small supply of rapid tests will be on hand too, Pabon said.

Food trucks and local vendors will be dotted along downtown York City near the venue. Family-friendly activities will also be offered during the festival.

Local acts performing this year include CoCo Shantelle, a new artist who most recently sang the national anthem at a York Revolution’s game, and The Shine Foundation — a children’s choir taught by local pianist and Parliament Arts board member Peter Bottros.

“For the event itself, I’m looking forward to just seeing the community come out for this,” Pabon said. “I want to make sure the community increases local tourism, but also provides accessible arts to everyone, and I think this is a great example of what The Parliament can do.”

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.