Carousel Kings

Carousel Kings

An avid music junkie in Lancaster would have no problem getting his daily fix of tunes, thanks to the prominent local music scene.

Whether it's attending a show at one of the many local venues, or learning about the next up-and-coming bands through social media, central Pennsylvania and, more specifically, Lancaster, has grown into a hub for musicians looking to break through to the next level.

This week, promoter Jeremy Weiss and CI Records will look to showcase some of the most promising young artists at the fourth annual 7-1-7 Fest.

The event, from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, will feature 15 area bands on multiple stages at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

"It's really a celebration of the local music scene in Lancaster," says Weiss. "There are no restrictions when it comes to the genre of bands we present. I feel like a lot of the time music becomes fragmented. This way, not only can different groups of fans interact, but the bands can interact as well."

Weiss, who coordinates the LAUNCH Music Conference and owns CI Records and the Harrisburg club The Champ, began 7-1-7 Fest four years ago at The Champ.

"Last year we moved to the convention center because we outgrew The Champ," says Weiss, "so it was a good problem to have."

It also allows smaller acts to get a taste of what it's like to play in a bigger venue like the convention center. Weiss looked at one of his favorite festivals, Vans Warped Tour, as a blueprint for setting up his own event.

"I've always loved Warped Tour, just to be able to see this tent city pop up with bands interacting with the community is such an awesome experience."

Some headliners of this year's event include Hot Jam Factory, From Under the Willow and Carousel Kings.

One thing that allows the Lancaster music scene to thrive is the camaraderie that many of the bands share.

"The coolest thing about 7-1-7 Fest this year to me is the brotherhood between all of the headlining acts,” says Wes Good, vocalist for From Under the Willow. “My Heart To Fear, One Year Later and Carousel Kings are some of our best friends, and I couldn't think of a more stacked and more fun lineup of bands to be around."

Many of the bands have used a blue-collar work ethic, snagging one fan at a time on their way to becoming staples in the local music scene.

Bands also see the success of local bands like LIVE and August Burns Red as motivation to take them to the next level.

"I think when bands see national acts coming through and see the success of bands that preceded them, it gives them that determination to become better as musicians," says Weiss.

With the explosion of bands popping up around central Pennsylvania, the competition also forces bands to strive to become better.

"There's something in the water here in Lancaster — the bands rise up to the top of the local scene so quickly because they're given so many great opportunities to play,” says Andrew Zell, bass player for One Year Later. “One of the driving factors of success is competition, and with the hotbed of local talent, it becomes clear what it takes to gain a strong fan base very quickly."

Zell also agrees that, despite the competition, 7-1-7 Fest is a great way for bands, big and small, to interact with one another.

Rounding out the festival band lineup are Picture Perfect, Eli and the Pursuit, Beneath the King, Avalar, Within a Difference, The Casual E, Covers, Almost Honest, Brenden Starr and Sincerely Yours.

So how exactly does one thrive in the Lancaster music scene?

"The biggest advice I would give to a new band or musician is to play and go to shows,” Weiss says. “It's one thing to play your music, but nobody ever makes it as a lone wolf.You need to be a part of a community and interact with people."

Tickets for the all-ages 7-1-7 Fest are $10 in advance and are available at CI Records, 226 N. Prince St.

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