Artscape 2015 draws big-name headliners for three-day event

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic will be the headliners at this year's Artscape festival, topping an entertainment schedule that will also include performances by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

Clinton and his band, 1997 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will close out the first day of Artscape; their performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 17. The following day's festivities will be capped by performances from Peyton and his band at 6 p.m., followed by the roots reggae of Michael Franti & Spearhead at 7:30 p.m. Artscape's final day, Sunday, July 19, will finish with a 6:30 p.m. performance from jazz artists Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.


Also at Artscape, cast members from "The Wire" will lead a panel discussion on "empowering Baltimore's youth," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced during a Tuesday morning news conference at the University of Baltimore's John and Frances Angelos Law Center.

"I'm so excited to welcome this year's acts," Rawlings-Blake said, singling out Trombone Shorty as "one of my favorites" and noting of Reverend Peyton, "the reverend with a big damn band – I'll take it."


In addition to the headliners, dozens of local, regional and national acts will be performing on Artscape's three stages. Included will be the winners of this year's "Sound Off Live!" competition: Martian Architect, Slow Lights, Reve, Purple Orange, Inde, Kanika, Goat, Subtle Hustle, Quinton Randall, 10 Step Groove, The Upstarters, D.T. Huber, 9 Mile Roots, The Slanted Sound and Hollywood Banks.

This year's Artscape will be built around a water theme. The festival will feature performances from Baltimore's own aquatic dancers, Fluid Movement. Bill T. Jones and the Arnie Zane Dance Company will present a piece, "D-Man in the Waters."

The water theme will also be reflected through the AquaLounge, a Morgan State University art installation of a giant water molecule, "Brocean City," from the Baltimore Rock Opera Society and various other art installations throughout the festival. That includes the painting and stenciling of 45 storm drains scattered throughout the festival site.

For nourishment, this year's Artscape will focus on local food and beverage vendors, with 95 percent of vendors hailing from the Baltimore region.

The 34th annual Artscape, billed as the nation's largest free arts festival, is set for July 17-19, centering on Mount Royal Avenue between Howard and Charles streets.