“As the festival has grown, we’ve had the opportunity to include more free events such as the Record Show and enabled us to collaborate with more members of the Lowell community.”
By now, you have also hopefully come to learn that The Town and The City Festival in Lowell is one of the Bay State’s great new-ish traditions. And for the fourth edition of the event “celebrating the adventurous spirit of renowned Lowell native author Jack Kerouac,” they’re bringing “an eclectic line-up of artists that would make Kerouac proud including Buffalo Tom, Dalton and the Sheriffs, Rhett Miller, John Doe Folk Trio, Ted Leo, Peter Mulvey & SistaStrings, Alisa Amador, Pile, Vapors of Morphine,” among others.
The 2023 festival will take place at various venues throughout the town and the city on April 28 and April 29, and will also feature Future Teens, Downtown Boys, Troy McAllister, Hilken Mancini, Savoir Faire, The Nocturnal Adoration Society, Laney Ryan, Opal Canyon, Crow Follow The Jacklights, Jetty, Artisin, Nervous, Troubadour Davis, Evan Kelley, and Big Fat Family and Emily Desmond.
More highlights from the organizers—Porter Productions, Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, and the Lowell Cultural Council—below:
New to the festival this year is a special edition of Earfull, a performance series featuring writers and musicians doing their respective things in intimate settings which will take place Saturday, April 29th at the Academic Arts Center. Writers read from their new books, and in this case The Town And The City Festival will present two authors who are also musicians. Bill Janovitz, a founding member of the rock group Buffalo Tom, has just written “Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History.” due out in March. A member of the Del Fuegos and a former vice president of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Warren Zanes will read from his forthcoming book “Deliver Me from Nowhere- The Making of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.”
Also on Saturday April 29th, The Town and The City Festival will present noted singer/songwriter, and UMass Lowell alum Jen Kearney in concert as part of Points of Light, a free celebration of unity and renewal that brings together the food, music, and traditions of Lowell’s diverse cultures. The performance will take place at Ecumenical Plaza on the West Canal in Lowell. The centerpiece of the night is a special ceremony in which participants personalize water lanterns that will be released onto the Western Canal, creating hundreds of floating points of light. The concert also features music by UMass Lowell Cambodian Music Ensemble Wong Pleng Khmer.
The inaugural edition of The Town & the City Record Show will host some of the area’s best independent record dealers from 10:00am to 3:30pm on Saturday April 29 on Mill No. 5’s bustling fourth floor (at 230 Jackson Street). The show will include Lowell’s iconoclastic landmark shop RRRecords and the mill’s Vinyl Destination. In addition, the show will focus on independent dealers offering a bit of everything, appealing to all tastes and ages. There will also be live music on the Hi Hat Stage throughout the day, a special poetry/spoken word program at the Luna Theatre called “Defining Moments: Stories and Poems of Transformation,” and later the music shifts up to the fifth floor for The Town & The City Festival’s live show at The Overlook.
“The Town and The City Festival’s first three years were met with great enthusiasm from music fans, performers, the venues and the community,” festival producer Chris Porter said in a statement. “As the festival has grown, we’ve had the opportunity to expand programming to include more free events such as the Record Show, and enabled us to collaborate with more members of the Lowell community to present events like The Points of Light Lantern Celebration.”