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Musikfest returns Aug. 1 To Aug. 10 with Moody Blues, Steely Dan, Sheryl Crow

If there's one time every year I look forward to most, it's Bethlehem, Pa., Musikfest. With more than 300 live acts presented for free (and a few biggies you have to pay for), it's time to get your kicks walking from stage to stage and seeing the greatest variety of music of any such fest in the country. Ready to join me?!

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Moody Blues, Steely Dan and Sheryl Crow are among the headliners who will perform Musikfest Aug. 1-10, 2014.

SteelStacks-Photo by Jonathan Davies

Fireworks complete for attention with the majesty of steel stacks left over from the Musikfest site's former life. Jonathan Davies photo.

The headliner schedule for The Sands Stage at PNC Plaza is: Aug. 2: The All-American Rejects Aug. 3; Jason DeRulo Aug. 4: Sheryl Crow Aug. 5: Moody Blues Aug. 6: Steely Dan Aug. 7: The Avett Brothers Aug. 8: Alan Jackson Aug. 9: Weezer Aug. 10: Keith Urban SURGERY PROMPTS DELAY IN START OF ZZ TOP TOUR ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill is slated to undergo surgery to remove two kidney stones this week, necessitating a delay in the start of the group’s US summer tour. The kidney stones were discovered in the course of a routine physical examination where Hill’s doctor advised him that they should immediately be removed, lest they cause more serious problems down the line. ZZ Top dates affected include Morton, MN (July 25), West Bend, WI (July 26), Cincinnati (July 27), Louisville (July 29), Asheville, NC (July 30) and Bethlehem, PA (August 1). Just after we heard the news of the delay of the start of ZZ Top's tour, Billy Gibbons, the band's front man, got in touch with an update from bandmate Dusty Hill. Billy recounted the lines of the immortal Robert Johnson blues "Stones In My Passway" while Dusty Hill chimed in, "I got stones in my passway," then going on to sound a positive note, added, "..but my doctor says not for long." With a bit of r&r, ZZ Top will soon be back on the road as Dusty, taking yet another cure from Robert Johnson, notes, "we're booked and we're bound to go," adding, "I had stones in my passway but you know those old boulders couldn't last, I had stones in my passway but those stones will soon be in my past." Unfortunately, it won't be in time for MusikFest. Of the 300-plus acts slated to appear at the10-day festival, the headliners' performances are the only ones for which tickets must be purchased. Ticket prices range from $29 to $75.

ZZ Top

ZZ Top. Publicity photo

Click here for the full list of acts scheduled to perform at the 2014 edition of Musikfest. The remainder of the 500-plus performances scheduled to appear at the other 13 Musikfest venues? All offered free of charge as part of what is billed as the nation's largest free music festival, which is presented by ArtsQuest. Other Musikfest highlights include: Sam Hunt: The country singer-songwriter will perform Aug. 3, 2014, at Aetna Americaplatz. Hunt has co-written hits such as Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” the latter of which earned him an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award. He has also released popular singles such as “Raised on It” and “Leave the Night On.” Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: Fans of today’s hottest pop tracks will enjoy the amazing experience that is Postmodern Jukebox when the group, led by jazz pianist Scott Bradlee, performs Aug. 9, 2014, at Aetna Americaplatz. The dynamic ensemble is known for taking songs by artists such as Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen and Madonna and transforming them into vintage jazz, swing and doo-wop tunes. The group’s take on Lorde’s “Royals,” featuring Puddles Pity Party, has become an Internet sensation, receiving more than 7.5 million views on YouTube.

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox at Musikfest 2014

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox.

Puddles Pity Party: Puddles fans, rejoice: Te “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” will perform his own show Aug. 8 in the Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling. King Paris: The guitarist formerly known as Rick Vito will dish out an electrifying blend of rock, world and blues music Aug. 2. The Grammy-nominated performer, Fleetwood Mac alumnus (1987-91) and W.C. Handy Music Award winner will bring his stage show to Pennsylvania Lottery. Other artists slated to perform during Musikfest include: • 30-piece contemporary marching band Mucca Pazza, Aug. 2-3; • Black Violin, the classical/hip-hop fusion sensation rated as one of the Top 5 act of SXSW 2013, Aug. 2; • Zydeco star Curly Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Aug. 3; • Blues guitarist Carolyn Wonderland, Aug. 1; • Celtic rockers Scythian, Aug. 5-6; • Amsterdam-based global bass group Kuenta i Tambú Aug. 9; and • Southern Hospitality, featuring lap steel guitar master Damon Fowler, guitarist extraordinaire J.P. Soars and keyboard wizard Victor Wainwright, Aug. 7. Tickets for all Sands Steel Stage concerts are on sale now at and 610-332-3378. The list of the more than 300 performers coming to this year’s festival is available at Stay up to date with festival announcements by following Musikfest at or Presented by the nonprofit ArtsQuest, Musikfest is made possible thanks in part to the support of more than 125 corporate partners, 1,900 volunteers and 2,000 supporting ArtsQuest Members. The festival takes place throughout Bethlehem’s Historic District, as well as the Steel Stacks arts and cultural campus located on the site of the city’s former Bethlehem Steel plant. Through a public-private partnership, this industrial site, one of the largest brownfields under redevelopment in the nation, has been transformed into a dynamic destination for music, art, festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Public and nonprofit partners working together to bring new life to the former steel mill include the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority,City of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Area School District, Northampton County,ArtsQuest and PBS39. For more information on Steel Stacks, visit