Moonlight Drive, 18 Strings and more kick off Morgantown’s biggest-ever summer of live music.
While COVID-19 has come and gone—and come, and gone—the City of Morgantown has steadily upgraded the Ruby Amphitheater on the river downtown. This Saturday, we get to enjoy it in action as the great riverfront concert setting it’s become. It’s all free, and a summer of free concerts follows.
“The Morgantown Music Festival this Saturday is really the kickoff for the whole summer of music we’re planning here at the Ruby Amphitheater,” says Vincent Kitch, the city’s director of Arts & Cultural Development. “We thought one great way to do that would be to start what we’re calling the Morgantown Music Festival, which I hope will be a first annual festival and will grow.”
The Grym Sins get things started at noon, followed by The Edge at 1:30 p.m., Motorcycle Drive-By’s at 3, and Jason Good Blues Band at 4:30. Grab your dinner at one of the food trucks that will be on hand and settle in for the evening’s entertainment: Moonlight Drive at 6 p.m. and 18 Strings at 7:30.
“We’ve got regional bands covering country, rock, blues, covers, and bluegrass,” Kitch says. “With the food trucks and face painting for the kids, it’ll be a great start to a summer-long celebration of music.”
Your Fridays are Booked
The celebration continues with the Ruby Summer Concert Series, which showcases opening bands at 6:30 p.m. and headliners at 8 most Fridays through Labor Day.
“The series features nationally touring acts as well as local and regional musicians in free concerts all summer long,” Kitch says. “We’re excited about the variety of artists.”
That variety includes homegrown artists like Charles Wesley Godwin on June 17; top tribute bands like Almost Queen on June 3 and Beatlemania Magic on June 24; hot national performers like Don McLean on June 10 and Béla Fleck on August 26; as well as Christian rock, Latin-based world music, and lots more.
“We’ve lined up the kind of entertainment that I think will make this summer series one of the biggest and best in the region,” Kitch says.
Fireworks on the Fourth
And plan now to spend your Fourth of July on the riverfront, too. Live entertainment starting at 5 p.m. will include the Motown Strutters’ tap dance tribute to all branches of the military and headliners The Jukebox Band from 7 to 10 p.m.—plus food trucks all evening long and fireworks at 10.
Even if you attended the Fourth of July or another event at the Ruby Amphitheater last summer, it’s undergone many improvements since, Kitch says. “We’ve added new seats under the covered, roofed area, and we’re going to be replacing all of the aluminum bench seating in the bowl of the amphitheater in June,” he says. “And we’ve cleaned out some of the trees from the riverbank so you can see the river.” Lighting and sound can now be hung from the stage roof for more professional event production, too.
Haven’t been to the Wharf District in a while? This Saturday is your perfect opportunity. Six parking garages and multiple lots are situated within a 10-minute walk of the park—so park easily, walk a little, and enjoy the show.