The season for summer festivals may be drawing to a close, but there are at least three more chances to catch a major music act outdoors in Harford County over the next six weeks.
The weekend of Sept. 13 and 14 will usher in the Lunar Bay Music & Arts Festival for the second year, this time at the Ramblewood campground in Darlington.
In Aberdeen, Lynyrd Skynyrd will play Ripken Stadium on Friday, Sept. 12, as part of a fall tour through North America.
The southern rock band, which gained fame in the 1970s with the hits "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird," released the album "Last of a Dyin' Breed" in 2012.
Also coming up is a two-day event, called Camp Fever: An Outdoor Adventure Fest, that will bring country singer Dustin Lynch and country-rock musician Uncle Kracker to Ramblewood on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.
Launched last year at Steppingstone Farm Museum as a jam-band festival, Lunar Bay Music & Arts Festival is changing location and hoping to draw up to twice the crowd with some logistical changes.
Zappa Plays Zappa, a Los Angeles-based tribute band to Frank Zappa, led by his son, will play a double set the night of Sept. 13.
The Bridge, a major Baltimore band, will also play a double set Sept. 14.
"We wanted to step outside the norm," Kelley Duncan, now sole owner of the festival, said about the headliners. "With the Saturday headliner, we wanted to have something unique."
She said the bands should bring in younger attendees as well as people interested in more classic rock.
Other performers include Fiction 20 Down, Slim Pickinz, Tweed, Public Comfort, Carl Filipiak, Pimps of Joytime, Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons, Deltanine, Elm, Twiddle, Annie in the Water, B Side Shuffle, Rayland Baxter, Big Something and Snarky Puppy.
Duncan said the new location means camping and cabin facilities, which the public requested. This year's festival also has fewer bands, which she said is also in response to public request to be able to see all of the performers.
"Last year, we had so many they overlapped," she noted about the music groups.
Duncan said she is selling 3,000 tickets this time, about twice as many as last year. Ticket prices range from $50 per day for a general pass to $120 for a two-day VIP pass.
"The sales have been going well," she said, adding the event was approved last week by the county's liquor control board.
Besides the main stage, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., an indoor stage will allow shows to comply with county noise ordinances and play until the bar closes, at about 2 a.m., she said.
A moon bounce, face-painting and dinosaur characters who teach about science are also geared to make the event family-friendly, Duncan said.
Another addition will be an alcohol-free area, she said, explaining: "We try to offer everyone an area of comfort."
Duncan thanked sponsors who made the event possible, which include National Bohemian, Union Craft Brewing, Sobo Sports, Blue Moon, Webixi, Vulcan, The Home Depot and Dixie Construction.
More information and tickets are available at LunarBayFestival.com.
Ripken Baseball hopes the arrival of southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd on Sept. 12 will help encourage other similar performances at the baseball stadium, spokesman Joe Harrington said.
Harrington said Ripken Baseball officials are discussing having themed concert events, such as those targeting oldies music, jazz or rock.
"We would really like to develop some sort of concert series," he said.
Harrington also said they are "excited" to bring Lynyrd Skynyrd to the stadium, which has previously hosted Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
Ticket sales for the Skynyrd show began around the start of August and "it's going well," he said. "We have gotten a good portion of tickets sold."
"We have gotten a little bit of an older demographic for the band because they have been around for a while," Harrington said, adding that IronBirds fans have mentioned they plan to come out and support the show.
"There's definitely been a buzz," he said.
"I am hoping that it's going to be a night where we are all going to go, 'This is great.' I think we have an idea of, we can present an entertaining night out for people in the area and beyond," Harrington said.
He said stadium officials are still working on getting food and looking for vendors, which may include businesses like Rita's Italian Ice or Seasons Pizza.
He said the food typically available for IronBirds games will not be open for the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.
In October, Dustin Lynch and Uncle Kracker will perform as part of the two-day Cabin Fever: An Outdoor Adventure Fest at Ramblewood, spearheaded partly by Ramblewood operator Harry Leff.
Lynch is known for the 2012 song "Cowboys and Angels," while Uncle Kracker gained prominence with "Follow Me" in 2001.
Tickets are $35 for one day or $60 for two days of Cabin Fever, which also features survival and weapons training; the same event was held last year under the name Disaster Preparedness, with no musical entertainment.
Organizer Moe Izadpanah, who is based in the Miami area, said he wants to "teach a mentality that, with the weather pattern shifting, with power outages that are going to be more prevalent in the future, you could be more proactive."
He hopes the musical guests will bring out more people who can also take part in activities like archery, firearms training and self-defense classes.
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Cabin Fever will also include bonfires, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, classes on edible plants and classes with pugil sticks, perhaps best known from the show "American Gladiators."
Tim Guraedy, known as "Mountain Man" from the hit reality show "Duck Dynasty," will also make an appearance midday Sunday to sign autographs.
Izadpanah said turnout for the event, even with promotion, was relatively small, so he decided to add a country-music theme.
He said he hopes disaster readiness can pull "the community together and stop the fear-mongering."
The event will also feature a "country throwdown," with local bands competing online to perform at Cabin Fever.
"People are pretty excited. The folks who came last year were definitely excited," Izadpanah said about the event. "A lot of people are just interested in Dustin Lynch and Uncle Kracker, so I think it will be a good mixture of different folks."
More information is available at CabinFeverOutdoor.com.