Funfest will celebrate the superheroes of rock and roll when The British Invasion Experience and Monsters of Rock take to the festival’s Premier Stage at Broad and Wyoming streets during Funfest 2016 on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11. Once again, Funfest entertainment will be spread out all along Broad Street with performances at three locations: the Premier Stage, the Church Street Performance Area near the intersection of Church and Broad streets and Pocket Park Stage in between Laurel and Wyoming streets, right across from Funfest Headquarters, the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce office.
The British Invasion Experience will perform Saturday from 5-7 p.m. The band, which is based out of Maryland, pays tribute to The Beatles from their introduction on the Ed Sullivan Show throughout their career, ending on the roof top of Abbey Road Studios. The group also performs well known hits from other British groups such as The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, The Zombies, The Yard Birds, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and many more, ending with the psychedelic era of such groups as Cream and Pink Floyd.
The band features Jon Pheasant on lead vocals and guitar, James Mathias on lead vocals and guitar, Dave Romero on bass and vocals and Ben Pheasant on drums/percussion and vocals. Inspired by these music icons, the members of The British Invasion Experience are dedicated to engaging their audiences as they flashback to the British groups of the 60’s era and how they have impacted music and our culture as we know it today.
Gary Danish and Joe Sweet, co-hosts of the popular A Magical Mystery Tour with The Beatles radio show that has aired on 103.5FM WHLM since 2005, will air interviews with Jon Pheasant and Dave Romero on their radio show this Saturday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and will introduce the band prior to their performance at Funfest. The interviews will air during the 9 a.m. hour of the radio show, which is broadcast Saturday mornings from 8-10 a.m. Rebroadcasts of the show air on the station Sunday mornings from midnight to 2 a.m. Danish is a past chair and present board member of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Sweet is a local musician and one-half of the popular acoustic duo The Two of Us, which will perform Saturday from 12:30-3 p.m. in the Church Street Performance Area.
Danish said it was already evident during the interviews how excited The British Invasion Experience members are to be taking the stage at Funfest.
“The band’s energy and excitement about playing at Funfest really stood out during our time with them. It then translated to the music they performed for us. It was a great interview and their performance at Funfest will be a very uplifting experience,” he said.
For more information on The British Invasion Experience, visit www.thebritishinvasionexperience.com.
Monsters of Rock takes to the Premier Stage Sunday from 5-7 p.m. Monsters of Rock is Hazleton’s ultimate 80’s tribute band playing all of your rock and classic rock favorites. If you long for the days when bands like Journey, AC-DC and Van Halen ruled the planet, then catch Monsters of Rock. They bring back with a vengeance the days before rock turned to rap with their high-octane performance. The band features Vic Lutsky on drums, Cindie Ortiz on vocals, Jim Slick on guitar, Jim Penkala on bass and Mark Hydock on keyboards. Their set list includes everything from 4 Non Blondes to Yes and everything in between. For more information, visit www.monstersofrock.info.
Additional Saturday entertainment includes North of 40 playing southern rock, classic rock, country and 80's tunes from 12:30-3 p.m. on the Premier Stage and alternative/indie band Shock Value performing from 5-7 p.m. at Pocket Park. A Latin Festival will be held inside the Altamont building from 4:30-7 p.m. with Latin music featuring DJs, bands and dancers. A variety of community groups, dance groups, singers and performers will take to the Pocket Park Stage from 12-5 p.m. and song-man and troubadour Danny Farole will be strolling along Broad Street between Church and Laurel streets from 12-3 p.m. performing with both his guitar and accordion.
Additional Sunday entertainment on the Premier Stage includes songs of worship during the CommUNITY Interfaith Service from 10:30-11:30 a.m., followed by Hill City Church acoustic trio from 12-2 p.m. Also on Sunday, Johnny Cash tribute artist Anthony Duncan will appear from 12-2:30 p.m. in Pocket Park. The annual Funfest Parade kicks off in West Hazleton at 2:30 p.m. and will make its way down Broad Street to downtown Hazleton.
Funfest runs Saturday, Sept. 10 from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. No pets and bikes are allowed at the event. For more information on Funfest, contact Julie Ferry at 570-455-1509 or email . Information is also available online at www.funfestpa.org, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FunfestHazleton) or on Twitter (@funfesthazleton).