The ninth annual Main Street Music Fest kicks off in Old Ellicott City this weekend with more than 40 independent artists playing live music at four indoor venues and six outdoor stages across Ellicott City, all for free.
The event, hosted by Ellicott City Partnership, kicks off Friday at 5:30 p.m., and continues Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., with artists performing a range of music, including acoustic, Americana, blues, funk, jazz, rock and soul. Headliners the Kelly Bell Band will play the Main Stage in parking lot D starting at 6:15 p.m.
Dirty Secret will headline the Homegrown Stage at The Wine Bin, starting at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s festival will feature a carnival atmosphere on lower Main Street, from noon to 5 p.m., with corn hole, a bounce house, a giant inflatable slide and other kid-friendly offerings, as well as a DJ on-site from 1-5 p.m.
SoBar will offer its line of alcohol-free mocktails, and various food trucks will be available all weekend. Booths featuring craft brews, boutique wines and artisan crafters will also be at the event.
Free shuttles will run throughout the day. Cyclists can park their bikes in lot E, courtesy of Bike HoCo.
Jeni Porter, owner of Little Market Café in Old Ellicott City, is one of the original creators of the festival. She said the event was created to give artists and attendees the opportunity to play and hear all different types of music.
“The idea really was that we wanted to give unsigned artists the opportunity to showcase their music,” she said. “The idea was also to expose the public in general to all different types of music, not necessarily one genre or another.”
Porter said the event will give the community a chance to come together while also exposing Ellicott City to newcomers.
“[The festival] gives us an opportunity to really all work together on a super cool event and also bring more people into town to discover how amazing the historic district is,” she said. “[It’s] always a wonderful thing when we can get new visitors that haven’t been here before and now they get to experience our town and we hope that they’ll come back again and again.”
For more information on the free event, visit https://visitoldellicottcity.com/msmf/.