Ruth Eckerd Hall Announces Blast Friday Lineup

For Immediate Release Monday, November 6. 2017

Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road Announces The Return Of Clearwater’s Blast Friday Presented By Bank Of America

The Series Kicks-Off Friday, January 26 With Richard Elliot And Continues With Free Monthly Concerts Through May

Tickets Go On Sale Friday, November 10 At 10 AM

Blast Friday returns to the Cleveland Street District in Downtown Clearwater for its 8th season. Presented by Bank of America, this free food and craft festival kicks-off featuring a live concert starring Richard Elliot on Friday, January 26 from 5:30 to 10 pm on the Tampa Bay Times Cleveland Street Stage. Food trucks and vendors will be serving a wide variety of freshly prepared specialty food and beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages that will be available for purchase. Concert goers are welcome to bring their lawn chairs to watch the concert. Please see concert listings below (line-up, date and time subject to change). Tickets go on sale Friday, November 10 at 10 am.

A Beer Garden at Station Square, located in the 600 block of Cleveland Street, with live local music and a sampling from New Belgium Brewing and more. A local art experience will also be featured at each Blast Friday.

Friday, January 26 Richard Elliot Veteran saxophonist Richard Elliot is long known as the “James Brown of Contemporary Jazz” for the intense soul inspirations of his recordings and joyfully exhausting onstage performances. Elliot has a bestselling discography of more than 15 recordings since 1986’s Initial Approach, including hit songs like Inner City Blues, Chill Factor and When A Man Loves A Woman.

Friday, February 23 The Romantics The original members of The Romantics, Wally Palmar, Jimmy Marinos, Mike Skill and Rich Cole, formally became a band on Valentine’s Day, 1977. Nearly 30 years later they are still known for having created some of the most influential and beloved rock and roll of all time, including their hit songs like What I Like About You, Talking In Your Sleep and One In A Million.

Friday, March 30 Billy Joel Legends “Lords of 52nd Street” The famed line-up that backed singer-songwriter Billy Joel from 1976 to 1981, The Lords of 52nd Street make their way to Clearwater performing renditions of the recorded originals by the Piano Man’s original band. Led by three former members of the Billy Joel Band: multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata, drummer/percussionist Liberty DeVitto and guitarist Russell Javors, four of the five Joel albums released during the foursome’s 1976-81 tenure reached the Top Ten on the Billboard charts: The Stranger, 52nd Street, Glass Houses and the live Songs in the Attic.

Friday, April 27 10,000 Maniacs One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last three decades, 10,000 Maniacs In 1987 the Maniacs recorded and released In My Tribe. Produced by Peter Asher (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt) this album broke into the charts, where it stayed 77 weeks, peaking at #37 and selling over two million copies. In My Tribe featured the hit singles “Don’t Talk,” “Hey Jack Kerouac,” “Like The Weather” and “What’s The Matter Here?” It was voted one of the 100 most important releases of the decade by Rolling Stone magazine.

Friday, May 25 Home Cookin’ – Greg Billings Band & The Black Honkeys Returning for the first time since their sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre this month, The Greg Billings Band returns. The band is a continuation of a phenomenon that began when popular ‘80s Florida band Romeo signed to Epic Records and released its first album after a name change to “Stranger”. The band features two members of Stranger, lead vocalist Greg Billings and bassist Tom ‘King’ Cardenas and also includes lead guitarist George Harris, drummer Mark Busto, guitarist Kyle Ashley and Rob Stoney on keyboards.

Known for their soul, funk and rhythm ‘n’ blues music, The Black Honkeys have won awards in multiple categories for three years running in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Reader’s Choice Awards. Front man, Brother Phil Esposito, is supported on vocals by the lovely Nicole Simone, with guitarist Greg Czinke, Will Harris on bass, Steven Tanner on drums, John “Dash” Dixon on keyboards, along with the fabulous Ebony & Ivory Horn Section with Scott Myers on trombone and Terry Clark on trumpet.

A limited number of SUPER VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $49 are available, which includes a ticket with seats in the first three rows of reserved general admission seating directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage, a meet and greet opportunity with band members and two complimentary beers or wine and access to super VIP tent, which includes snacks. In addition, a limited number of VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $29 are also available, which includes a general admission ticket in the reserved seating section directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage and two complimentary beers.

VIP and SUPER VIP packages are on sale now. Packages are available in advance at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Patrons may also purchase tickets at 24/7. Packages may also be available the day of each concert at the Capitol Theatre Box Office

Be a part of BLAST FRIDAY and join in Clearwater’s premier FREE street festival! Become a vendor to offer specialty food items, refreshments, crafts and homemade goods.

Every participating vendor receives a reserved 10’ x 10’ space at one low fee. Blast Friday is held the last Friday of every month through May. Vendors should reserve their space by downloading and filling out the online application here. For more information, please email

Contact: Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations – p 727.712.2774 – Lacy Herman, Public Relations Assistant – p 727.724.5383 –