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2020 Lilac Festival music lineup brings familiar sounds 

click to enlarge The 2020 Lilac Festival music lineup includes (clockwise from top left) Amigo the Devil on May 8, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on May 11, The New Mastersounds on May 13, and Mikaela Davis and Southern Star on May 17. - PHOTOS PROVIDED
  • PHOTOS PROVIDED
  • The 2020 Lilac Festival music lineup includes (clockwise from top left) Amigo the Devil on May 8, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on May 11, The New Mastersounds on May 13, and Mikaela Davis and Southern Star on May 17.
Each year, the Lilac Festival is the first major signifier that warmer weather is here again, and summer is on the way. The music lineup for the 2020 Lilac Festival, running from Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 17, brings more of what Rochester concertgoers have come to expect from the free springtime celebration. The headliners and supporting acts include numerous artists making return visits to Highland Park for the festival, as well as touring and regional acts familiar to local music fans.

Among the headliners sure to draw big crowds is the beloved Rochester reggae-jam band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (May 11), popular 90s-era rock band Blues Traveler, with its harmonica-wielding frontman John Popper (May 12), and the Rochester jazz festival alums in the soul-funk outfit Mingo Fishtrap (May 16) Additionally, The New Mastersounds, a jazz-inflected British soul-funk group, is not a band to sleep on (May 13).

Tribute bands are well represented once again in headlining roles, with perennial festival favorite Zac Brown Tribute Band playing two sets on May 9, The Allman Brothers tribute band Blue Sky Brothers performing May 15, and The Lizards, a tribute to Phish, closing out the festival on May 17. Big Eyed Phish, the Rochester-based Dave Matthews Band tribute, as well as local favorite Mikaela Davis and her band Southern Star, will play in support.

The Lilac Festival’s 2020 supporting acts may give festival-goers reason to arrive early. Amigo the Devil, the solo project of Danny Kiranos, presents his haunting yet folksy original murder ballads and dark love songs on opening night, May 8. Music fans may also remember Brooklyn roots rock band The National Reserve (playing May 13), Rochester native and soul singer Kat Wright (May 14), and Syracuse reggae-soul band Root Shock (May 15) from recent local gigs.

While the concerts are free, VIP presale tickets are now available at $15 and $40. For more information, go to rochesterevents.com/lilac-festival.

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