Lehigh Valley

Musikfest names replacement for opening night

The Craig Thatcher Band replaces ZZ Top, who cancelled for band member's health issues.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Main Stage at Musikfest will no longer be dark on opening night.

Local blues icons The Craig Thatcher Band and Musikfest partner Coordinated Health are teaming up to provide a free concert on the Sands Steel Stage.

The band will perform its popular "An Evening with the Allman Brothers" show with guitarist Mike Dugan at 7 p.m. Friday, August 1st.

The performance will also include local rock band the joEs.

This will be the first ever free concert on the main stage in the festival's 30 years.

It will replace the ZZ Top show originally scheduled for the opener. The band cancelled several shows on its tour because a band member needed surgery to remove kidney stones.

According to ArtsQuest Senior Vice President of Programming Patrick Brogan, Craig Thatcher was on the road in Nashville doing events for CF Martin when he received the call on Monday.

Some members of the band were committed to other performances Aug. 1, but were able to rearrange schedules for the Musikfest appearance, where the band has been performing for more than 20 years.

The gates to the Sands Steel Stage will open at 6 p.m., with the show kicking off at 7 p.m. with the joEs,

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