Lilac Festival to host music-related run

Never in its nearly 125-year history has the storied Rochester Lilac Festival had a year like this. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down pretty much everything, festival producers have found a way to bring its 5K/10K runs to us, in a musically unique way.

Rochester Events will produce its first-ever virtual run, which also will benefit MusiCares, a nonprofit organization formed by the Recording Academy, best known for producing the Grammy Awards. MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for musicians in times of need.

ROC’n RUN will take place over three days from June 26 through 28 and will consist of a Summer Madness 5K, Lovin’ Summer 10K and Cruel, Cruel Summer Half-Marathon, as well as a Schools Out for Summer two-mile race for kids under 14.

“This pandemic has affected everyone from every background,” said Rochester Events Owner Jeff Springut. “We’ve seen people connect, stay positive and heal through the power of music. Although we’ve probably lost the festival season, we’re giving not only our local community but anyone in the world a chance to tie up the laces and turn up the tunes. The virtual run and walk has a distance for everyone — and can be run anywhere — whether you are an athlete, music fan or both.”

Registered runners will have access to a curated playlist of tunes and a print-at-home bib. Participants can complete their distance all at once or over the course of the three days to receive their perks, which consist of a custom printed ROC’n RUN t-shirt, a medal and a buff that can be worn a variety of ways, including as a face mask, organizers said.

This year, festival producers are encouraging runners to wear their favorite band t-shirt and take photos of music-related landmarks such as music venues, artwork or performance while completing their route.

ROC’n Run sponsors include Abilene, Anthology, Fanatics, House of Guitars, Iron Smoke Whisky, Lovin’ Cup, Princeton Medical Supply, Record Archive and Three Heads Brewing.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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Lilac Festival signs 10 headliners

Rochester Lilac Festival organizers this week announced 10 headliners that will perform free shows at the 122nd annual event. The festival takes place from May 8 through May 17 this year.

Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler

Musical acts include: Devil Makes Three; Zac Brown Tribute Band; the New Mastersounds; Giant Panda Gorilla Dub Squad; Blues Traveler; the Record Company; Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears; Blue Sky Brothers: A Tribute to the Allman Brothers Band; Mingo Fishtrap; and the Lizards, Phish Tribute.

The Lilac Festival is known for showcasing musical talent and this year will feature 10 supporting acts.

“It’s going to be another amazing year of live entertainment at the Rochester Lilac Festival with a variety of music everyone will enjoy,” said festival producer Jeff Springut, of the Springut Group Inc.

Festival organizers will again offer the VIP Ultra Lounge, which offers festival-goers an exclusive, up-close viewing experience. VIP upgrades include front stage access, in-tent and outdoor lounge area, full, private cash bar, private restrooms, complimentary chair massages and more.

The Recipe 21 High Spot Party Deck will return for a second time, as another way for guests to enjoy the music, complete with a tented full bar and private, climate-controlled restrooms.

The Rochester Lilac Festival is presented by Five Star Bank and hosted by the county of Monroe, the city of Rochester and Visit Rochester.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Lilac Festival headliners announced

Rochester Lilac Festival organizers have announced 19 headliners and special guests to perform free shows at the 121st annual event this May.


“The Rochester Lilac Festival is known for bringing talented performers to Rochester right before, and in some cases right as, they’re stepping into the big-leagues,” festival Producer Jeff Springut said Tuesday. “Visitors come from all over to see their favorites and to experience up-and-comers at the festival, because you just can’t beat a free outdoor show surrounded by Rochester’s treasured and fragrant lilac collection.”

This year’s headlining acts include:
• Yonder Mountain String Band – May 10
• The New Mastersounds – May 11
• Big Something – May 12
• BB King Blues Band, featuring Michael Lee of NBC’s The Voice – May 13
• Julian Marley – May 14
• Lee Rocker of The Stray Cats– May 15
• Maceo Parker – May 16
• Classic Albums Live I Led Zeppelin II – May 17
• Zac Brown Tribute Band – May 18
• The Lizards – Phish Tribute Band – May 19
• Big Eyed Phish – The Dave Matthews Tribute Band – May 19
• Special Guest ARTHUR (PBS Kids, sponsored by WXXI) – May 13 and 14

Supporting talent includes:
• Willie Nile – May 11
• Kat Wright – May 12
• Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People – May 13
• Eli “Paperboy” Reed – May 15
• Cory Wong from Vulfpeck – May 16
• Alyssa Trahan – May 19
• The Blind Owl Band – May 19

Festival officials said there will be 70 group performances at this year’s event, which takes place from May 10 through May 19. Some 500,000 people are expected to be entertained by musicians this year. It is the largest festival of its kind nationwide.

A limited number of tickets are available per day for the Recipe 21 VIP Ultra Lounge and the new Party Deck, another way for guests to enjoy the music, complete with a tented full bar and private restrooms. Tickets go on sale March 7 at 10 a.m.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer