Blues lovers from around the country won’t be able to help but attend the three-day Blast Furnace Blues Festival over summer in July in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. As a live music festival dedicated to the art form of blues music, there’s no better place to experience the best in local, regional, and national blues performers.
The Blast Furnace Blues Festival is held at the ArtsQuest Center and Levitt Pavilion of SteelStacks in the heart of Bethlehem. Thousands of visitors descend upon the venue, ready to dance, jive, and groove to the sweet, melodic sounds of many talented blues performers.
If it’s not the blues performers that astound you (which they will), it’s the venue itself. SteelStacks used to be an iron-making plant in Bethlehem but has now been transformed into several venues for festivals, concerts, and other events in one expansive property under the umbrella of an arts campus.
If you’re an avid blues lover who’s ready for an RV trip to Pennsylvania, there’s every reason to start planning a visit today. The Blast Furnace Blues Festival waits for no one.
For those making a vacation of the festival, it’s also worth checking out what else the Lehigh County and the Northampton County City of Bethlehem has to offer. Musikfest brings over one million people to the city every August, while the Monocacy Creek is a popular spot for sport fishing and relaxing.
Organize an RV rental in Pennsylvania, or dust off your own, and start planning for the annual Blast Furnace Blues Festival.
In the past, tickets for the Blast Furnace Blues Festival started at $20 to $45 for a single day, up to $99 for a three-day pass. However, in recent years, the concert has been free for general admission with VIP options by fee. That means that any blues lovers from across the state, or out of state, can enjoy a cost-effective RV vacation to somewhere exciting.
The SteelStacks venue is in the heart of Bethlehem, PA, bordering the Lehigh River. Those traveling from the direction of Philadelphia will revel in the short 50-mile trip, while New York City-goers will enjoy a scenic 80-mile journey. The city is also near Allentown and Easton, making it central to life’s necessities and fun things to do. Those who are unfamiliar with Pennsylvania may like to use a traffic aid like 511PA to help guide the way along main routes such as I-78 and US-22.
RV-goers can take delight in the knowledge that parking is not only plentiful at the SteelStacks venue for the Blast Furnace Blues Festival but also free. Parking spaces are organized into lots encompassing the venue. These do fill up fast, however, so consider making use of the nearby parking garages that are available for a fee. Travelers in oversized Class A campervans may like to park at a nearby RV campground and arrange public transportation for convenience.
While travelers can use their motorhomes as their primary mode of transportation, there’s no harm in utilizing what the beautiful City of Bethlehem has to offer. Getting around on foot is made more comfortable with the help of a walking guide at the Visitor Center, but the regional public transportation system ticks all the boxes, as well.
The Bethlehem LOOP bus system (through LANta) runs regular routes of the city, including stops at SteelStacks for a fee. Otherwise, blues fans can book a taxi or rideshare to get to and from the Blast Furnace Blues Festival.
SteelStacks is an expansive multi-venue facility, but it doesn’t have anywhere for campers to set up overnight. Fortunately, that won’t be a problem for anyone who has taken an RV road trip to Pennsylvania. Book in advance and enjoy a handful of different Bethlehem RV camping options to suit everyone’s requirements.
Set your sights to within 30 miles of Bethlehem to find somewhere to stay with an RV that caters to your needs. RV parks near Blast Furnace Blues Festival are available, but booking in advance is crucial.
Those who prefer convenience can enjoy service hookups and more at Allentown KOA near New Tripoli and within 25 miles of SteelStacks. RV travelers who are seeking adventure can also experience primitive RV camping at Bald Eagle State Forest or Hickory Run State Park on their way out of Bethlehem after the festival.
The Blast Furnace Blues Festival is an action-packed event that sees thousands of visitors through its gates. Because of how popular this event is, the safest and best way to get around is on foot. Wear the most comfortable footwear and leave bikes, scooters, and other personal transportation modes back in your motorhome.
The humid continental climate of Bethlehem means that while summers are often sticky and hot, they can also be wet. Pack light, summery clothes for those dry days, but prepare for a bit of rain by packing a raincoat and waterproof footwear.
Such clothing can also prove convenient for the adventurers in your travel group who want to go exploring at Tuscarora State Forest in New Germantown or golfing at Michaux State Forest in Shippensburg.
Bringing as little as possible to the Blast Furnace Blues Festival can help blues fans have a more enjoyable experience. SteelStacks officials ask that festival-goers only bring what they need and leave coolers, chairs, outside food and beverages, umbrellas, and other large items in their motorhomes. The less a festival-goer brings, the faster they can make their way through security, but don’t forget cash and payment cards for those times you’re feeling snackish.
Whether you’re fishing at Rothrock State Forest or dancing to the beautiful blues music at the Blast Furnace Blues Festival, thinking about health and safety is paramount. Bug spray, a first-aid kit, and sun safety supplies are all essential for outdoor adventures, while drinking water is necessary for the blues event. It also helps to carry enough medication onboard your motorhome for the entirety of your trip, if applicable.
RV camping can open the doors wide for new cooking experiences. Take advantage of onboard cooking appliances in your motorhome, or even haul out the charcoal cooker if rules allow. Some of the best RV campgrounds near the Blast Furnace Blues Festival also offer communal cooking areas for getting to know fellow campers. Grocery supplies for preparing delicious camp-style meals are also available at a grocery store within four miles of SteelStacks.
No RV trip to Pennsylvania is complete without trying some of the state’s iconic dishes. Everything from cheesesteak and soft pretzels to vanilla ice cream and tomato pies is a must-try dish and is available in the heart of Bethlehem. Many takeout joints, cocktail bars, and quaint cafes are within a few miles of the SteelStacks.
Outside food and beverages are not allowed at the Blast Furnace Blues Festival, which means blues fans may like to bring cash and payment cards to indulge in vendor offerings. SteelStacks has its own dining establishments onsite for convenience, but food trucks also make their way to the Blast Furnace Blues Festival to offer more of a variety for guests.
SteelStacks venue staff and Blast Furnace Blues Festival organizers do their best to make sure the festival is as safe as possible. Strict screening processes are in place at the gate, so a “less is more” approach can help guests speed through security with ease.
Outside of the festival, travelers should ensure they lock their campervans and travel trailers and secure valuables out of sight. For any queries or concerns, the Bethlehem Police Department is under two miles from SteelStacks.
Hot and humid conditions are common during summer in Bethlehem, with travelers also needing to prepare for rain between moments of sunshine. A quick check of a weather service can make any festival-goer knowledgeable on what weather to expect. Keep an umbrella or two in your RV for outdoors exploring, and make sure your heating and cooling units aboard your motorhome are fit for use.
First-aid care is close at hand for anyone attending the Blast Furnace Blues Festival. If anyone in your traveling party requires medical attention, locate a member of staff to lead the way to the first aid area. Otherwise, dial 911 or visit the nearest hospital under two miles from SteelStacks.
Travelers who plan to go kayaking or fishing at Pinchot State Forest or another outdoor attraction in Pennsylvania may want to stock up with first-aid supplies at the pharmacy within two miles of SteelStacks.