Flood City Music Festival is a music event that takes place in Johnstown, Pennsylvania each year. It is organized by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association. It was initially held during the Labor Day weekend but has since been moved to the first week of August.
The first-ever festival took place in 1989 as a street fair in the historic Cambria neighborhood. It was conceptualized as a way to pay homage to the 100th Anniversary of the Johnstown Flood.
In 1990, the venue stayed the same, but the event was renamed “The National Folk Festival.” It went through another rebranding in 1993 and became “The Johnstown FolkFest.” In 1994 AmeriServ Financial came on board as the main event sponsor. In 2004, the event was moved to downtown Johnstown, catapulting the festival to new heights. Flood City Music Festival became its name in 2009.
While the festival initially featured only acoustic music, it now showcases performances by bands and musicians from many different genres. Artists who have played at Flood City Music Festival in the past include Rubblebucket, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, The Smithereens, The Hackensaw Boys, Robert Cray Band, John McEuen, Sugar Ray, The Flow Band, Driftwood, Blues Traveller, Derek Woods, and Carolyn Wonderland.
Camping nearby in this historic community offers travelers a fun way to step back in time and observe the ability of human survival and ingenuity.
Guests can choose between General Admission and VIP weekend tickets for the Flood City Music Festival. Single-day tickets are also usually offered. Prices range from $25 for single-day festival passes to $65 for Oilhouse (VIP) passes. An Oilhouse pass will give you access to a VIP lounge, full-bar, flushable restrooms, and exclusive viewing areas.
Tickets can be purchased online or in-person at the Cambria County War Memorial. E-tickets need to be printed out and brought to the venue. Children under the age of 12 can enjoy the festival for free, but a ticket-holding adult must accompany them. For more information on tickets and pricing, take a look at the festival website.
The City of Pittsburg is about 70 miles from Johnstown where the Flood City Music Festival takes place at Peoples Natural Gas Park. Johnstown Expressway, also seen as PA-56, Broad Street, and other local street names. Detailed driving instructions from larger cities in the area are usually provided on the festival website. Road and weather updates for Pennsylvania can be reviewed online or by calling 511, or via the 511PA app.
The festival takes place in the downtown area where paid parking is offered. You can park at one of the downtown parking lots or garages or opt for street parking. A few free spots are available, but you’ll need to get to the area early to nab these. Accessible parking spots are available close to the train station. Remember to note the size of your camper or rig when choosing parking options; some options may have height or length restrictions.
Fans can look to get to the festival venue by train. The nearest railway station is walking distance away from the grounds. There are also a number of bus routes that will get you there and the buses come equipped with bike racks. The easiest way to get there is often by using a ride-hailing app.
Onsite camping or overnight parking is not permitted on the festival grounds. Fortunately, there are some great RV parks within the surrounding communities, often within 20 miles of the festival site.
There are a couple of RV parks and campgrounds to choose from close to Johnstown. The nearest one is about 12 miles from the downtown area. Since these are located away from the city center, it’s a good idea to stock up on basic supplies and groceries before heading to your campground. Cambria County also offers camping options in the area, or Prince Gallitzin State Park is about an hour away by vehicle.
Bikes, scooters, skates, skateboards, ATVs, golf carts, and other personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed into the venue. Most parts of the venue have paved surfaces and sidewalks, making them easy to navigate by wheelchair. Accessible portable toilets will be available, and the restrooms in the VIP areas have wheelchair-accessible stalls.
Go dressed comfortably in lightweight, warm weather clothing. Most festival guests will be wearing jeans or shorts and t-shirts. You can always take your look up a notch with a pair of stylish sunglasses or a hat. You’re likely to be on your feet all day, so make sure you wear a pair of comfortable shoes.
Fans can bring a few essentials in a small bag or choose to go bag free to gain faster entry into the venue. Be sure to take a valid form of identification with you. You’ll need this to collect your tickets or to purchase any alcoholic beverages. Folding chairs are not allowed, so it’s a good idea to carry a lightweight blanket for sitting.
Keep an eye on your belongings and stay close to your group at all times. Weapons of any kind, outside alcohol, and drugs or drug paraphernalia are strictly prohibited. If you’re drinking alcohol, do so in moderation and pace yourself so that you can enjoy the festival from start to finish.
Campfires are typically allowed at campgrounds in the region. You can also cook using a portable propane stove or grill. Many of the sites come with fire rings or pits. Make the most of these facilities by cooking up tasty soup with delicious soda bread. It’s your responsibility to make sure your fire is kept in control and supervised at all times.
Travelers will find no shortage of restaurants, bistros, and bars to eat at in Johnstown. Local favorites will let you dig into sandwiches, soups, and pizzas. Be sure to try some of the mouth-watering desserts on offer in the community. You are also likely to find excellent Italian food in your travels.
Event organizers aim to showcase the food of the region by prioritizing local and regional vendors. Whether you’re in the mood for fast food like hot dogs and french fries or slow-cooked barbecue with homestyle sides, you’ll find it at Flood City Music Festival. In the mood for something a bit more exotic? Try the Polish-style pierogies or the halushki.
Private security personnel and local police officers will be providing security for the venue. All bags will be checked before entry, so make sure you’re not carrying any prohibited items. You can exit and re-enter the site at will as long as you’re wearing a wristband and are prepared to be searched each time.
While the weather is generally pleasant, rain can affect the proceedings. The main stage is completely open-air, but the audience areas of the smaller stages are fully covered. Performances will go on as scheduled. Be sure to check if any weather or road alerts have been put out for Ohio, the City of Johnstown, the greater Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas, or other parts of the mid-Atlantic.
A first aid station will be located on the Flood City Music Festival site. There will also be an ambulance available to rush guests to the nearest hospital. If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can flag down one of the medical officers or festival staff. Any special requests related to the medical facilities on offer can be made by contacting the organizers directly.