The 29th outdoor festival will be held Sept. 24-26 rather than the first weekend in August, according to the event's website at eriebluesandjazz.com. The site calls 2021 "the comeback year" for the festival, which did take place in 2020 via television and radio. This year's in-person return will be in conjunction with the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park's L.E.A.F. Festival, the site says.
The festival lineup and artists were still being determined, according to the website. Organizers anticipate announcing the lineup toward the end of August.
The website did say the festivities would open the first night with a screening from the Erie Dance Film Festival and would feature performances and workshops the next two days by Squonk Opera, an internationally touring, multi-disciplinary performing arts group. Visual arts, poetry, dance and other programming is planned, along with the blues and jazz performances.
"Historically, musicians and performers come from across the world to Erie, PA, in the first weekend in August for an unforgettable experience," the festival's website states. "This year, we are excited to bring the music back to Frontier Park a little later to plan the comeback of the year."
The site also says that the 2022 version of the festival will return to the traditional first weekend in August.
Erie's 28th Blues & Jazz Festival wasn't held before an in-person audience at Frontier Park in 2020 due to COVID-19. Instead, performances were aired live on local PBS affiliate WQLN-TV and radio and on Edinboro University's radio station, WFSE-FM.
The free multi-day celebration of art and music has long been a highlight on the Erie summer entertainment schedule. In 2019, the last festival before the pandemic, artistic director John Vanco was expecting 20,000 people to turn out over the three days of the celebration.
It highlights regional, national and international talent on stage, along with a variety of arts and environmental programming throughout the park.