Laurens, South Carolina – The City of Laurens has decided to cancel this year’s Piedmont Blues and Roots Music Festival which had been planned for May 6, but City Administrator Eric Delgado says the festival will return.
“It’s not going away. It’s just that logistically it’s kind of hard to pull off right now,” Delgado said. “Especially with the construction going on at the (Historic Laurens County) Courthouse, it’s hard to show off the city in its best light.”
After several years of trying to work out the details and then delays due to Covid, the one-day Piedmont Blues and Roots Music Festival was finally launched last May. Musicians influenced by Laurens natives Blind Rev. Gary Davis and Pink Anderson came from Atlanta and even Chicago to perform at the inaugural event.
Music consultant Hunter Holmes had already made plans with some musicians for the festival, and Delgado said the city hopes to bring them in later in the summer or early fall to highlight their music as part of a Friday Night Live or similar program.
“We have one of the best public squares in the state and the Plaza will be a good place to showcase their music,” Delgado said.
Right now, however, city staff will be focusing its efforts on ongoing services, such as the city’s splash pad, which opens Monday, May 1, for use each day. Soon, the city will be remodeling the former Dominick Motor office beside the splash pad into a public restroom, and possibly a concession stand eventually.
“We will program the splash pad for use for daylight hours,” Delgado said.
With the cancellation of the music festival, the city is looking toward its annual Freedom Festival.
“We are making sure the July 3 program will be the premier event in Laurens,” Delgado said. “We won’t be able to have the light show until the Historic Courthouse is completed, but that will be our focus right now.”
This story originally ran on Page 1 of the Wednesday, April 12 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.