Roots and Blues poster.jpg

A poster for Roots & Blues by artist Fred Rodger. 

After being canceled for 2020, Lancaster Roots & Blues is scheduled to return next year with a three-day event in the fall.

Organizer Rich Ruoff publicized Wednesday that for 2021 the musical festival is scheduled for Oct. 15-17, a switch from its traditional February time slot Ruoff hopes will allow enough time for the ongoing pandemic to subside.

“The caveat is that the vaccines work,” he said, while adding that in a worst-case scenario, the next Roots & Blues could be pushed until spring 2022.

But right now, Ruoff said he is working to put together venues and acts for a fall festival that builds on an event that in February 2019 featured 65-plus acts and drew some 10,000 attendees.

“I’m going to go at it full steam and am trying to make it bigger and better,” said Ruoff, who launched Roots & Blues in 2014.

Ruoff made the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of Roots & Blues before the pandemic, announcing in November 2019 that he was calling off the festival so he could help care for his wife, Claudia, who was battling brain cancer. She died in March.

As he dealt with his wife’s illness, Ruoff was also try to manage with lingering debt from the festival, which at one point ballooned to around $200,000. On Wednesday, Ruoff said he had sorted out his financial problems.

“All the bills have been paid, or are being paid,” he said.

What to Read Next