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Frozen Harbor Music Festival descends on Baltimore with acts like Reel Big Fish, The Bridge and Waterloo Revival

Koasty of One Koast Entertainment poses with promotional cards for Frozen Harbor Music Festival, which the entertainment firm co-organizes.
Koasty of One Koast Entertainment poses with promotional cards for Frozen Harbor Music Festival, which the entertainment firm co-organizes.

Over 100 musicians, bands and DJs (and their fans) brave the possibility of winter weather and cold temperatures for the Frozen Harbor Music Festival in the Inner Harbor area this weekend. Whether the Inner Harbor actually freezes over or not, here’s what you need to know to have a good time.

What’s Frozen Harbor?

Frozen Harbor is a two-day music festival presented by arts nonprofit Feed the Scene and promotions and management company One Koast Entertainment. It’s been running annually since 2014, according to One Koast managing partner Frank Lewis.

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Koasty of One Koast Entertainment poses with promotional cards for Frozen Harbor Music Festival, which the entertainment firm co-organizes.
Koasty of One Koast Entertainment poses with promotional cards for Frozen Harbor Music Festival, which the entertainment firm co-organizes.

What kind of music?

A huge mix. The 100-plus artists on the bill represent a mix of ska, jam bands, hip hop, EDM, country, Americana and beyond. The idea is to represent an eclectic variety of acts from the Mid-Atlantic region, albeit defined broadly.

“'Local’s not the right answer on that one. I would say ‘regional,’" Lewis said. “Think about a map: Raleigh, North Carolina, out to Cleveland, Ohio, up to Buffalo, New York, and back to Baltimore. We book bands from almost everywhere around [there].”

Koasty, the mascot of One Koast Entertainment, poses near the crowd during the Frozen Harbor Music Festival in 2019.
Koasty, the mascot of One Koast Entertainment, poses near the crowd during the Frozen Harbor Music Festival in 2019.(Racheal Spence/Courtesy of RNS 3 Photography & Art Studios/Racheal Spence)

Why highlight Baltimore?

Because Baltimore’s got a really varied musical world, in both local and touring acts. Lewis pointed to the variety of venues represented at Power Plant Live!, the festival’s setting and an entertainment complex that accommodates Frozen Harbor’s nine stages.

“I believe that Baltimore is the second-most eclectic music scene in the country, second only to New Orleans,” Lewis said. “We have a little bit of everything. PBR is country music for us, Luckie’s Tavern is going to be hip hop bands on Friday night and reggae rock bands on Saturday night. ... Mosaic is EDM, we have a lot of eclectic stuff this year.”

Previous lineups also reflect that mix well; for instance, ska band Less Than Jake and rap duo Method Man and Redman performed at last year’s festival. If there’s any cohesive thread, it’s that most of these acts will get you partying.

Reel Big Fish are one of the 2020 Frozen Harbor Music Festival's headliners.
Reel Big Fish are one of the 2020 Frozen Harbor Music Festival's headliners.(Courtesy of Earshot Media/Courtesy of Earshot Media)

So who’s headlining this year?

The biggest local act headlining is The Bridge, a landmark jam band from Baltimore that has previously broken up and reunited at festivals like Frozen Harbor. They play Rams Head Live! on Friday at 10:15 p.m.

Perhaps the biggest name at the festival is Reel Big Fish, a gold-certified ska band that found fame in the ’90s with the song “Sell Out” and a cover of A-Ha’s “Take On Me.” They play Rams Head Live! on Saturday at 10 p.m.

There’s also DJ Bad Boy Bill, an influential figure in the history of Chicago house music. He plays Mosaic on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. (technically Sunday).

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If that wasn’t enough, country music duo Waterloo Revival takes the PBR Baltimore stage on Friday at 9 p.m.

Other headliners include local rockers Charm City Devils, ska punks Big D and the Kids Table and electrorock quartet Aqueous.

Rapper Redman crowdsurfs during a set with Method Man at the 2019 Frozen Harbor Music Festival.
Rapper Redman crowdsurfs during a set with Method Man at the 2019 Frozen Harbor Music Festival.(Racheal Spence/Courtesy of RNS 3 Photography & Art Studios/Racheal Spence)

When and where is it all taking place?

Friday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, Feb. 29 at Power Plant Live!, at 34 Market Place in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore.

Saxophonist Junior Bryce performs during the Frozen Harbor Music Festival in 2019.
Saxophonist Junior Bryce performs during the Frozen Harbor Music Festival in 2019.(Racheal Spence/Courtesy of RNS 3 Photography & Art Studios/Racheal Spence)

How much are tickets? And how does it work with nine different stages?

They range from $20 to $225 before fees, depending on how much you want to see. Lewis emphasized the variability of the setup, which allows people to see different bands without paying more for another act or night that they might not want.

“We basically have an a la carte festival, so you can create your own experience,” he said. “You can buy a ticket to just go to Rams Head Live!, or you can buy a ticket to go to the [smaller] Power Plant Live! venues.”

Purchase tickets ahead of time via Eventbrite and visit the Frozen Harbor Facebook page to see which bands perform where and when.

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What’s up with that bear?

Oh, that’s Koasty. That’s One Koast’s mascot. If you go, take a picture with him.

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