Joe Pug
Joe Pug

OU-Lancaster Gears Up for Joe Pug Concert

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The people of Lancaster have the opportunity to see folk musician Joe Pug before he hits it big.

“Joe is an amazing singer-songwriter,” said Lancaster Festival Director Lou Ross. “People who are reviewing him liken him to Bob Dylan. His writing is so creative and it crosses over a number of genres.”

Pug is playing at Ohio University Lancaster’s Wagner Theatre on Saturday, May 4 as part of a partnership between the Lancaster Campus and the Lancaster Festival.

Up-and-coming artists will be brought in to play on the theatre stage each fall and spring. The intimate 500-seat venue works well for songwriters like Pug, according to Ross.

“Songwriters have that ability to reach out to you. You can listen to them and you can talk to them and they can talk to you. Joe has the ability to talk to the audience,” he said. “Songwriters, for the most part, are baring their soul to you and in a more intimate setting like Wagner, can share that with you. A rock band plays at you, where a singer-songwriter sings to you.”

Pug, who is based in Austin, Texas, was born in Maryland and did most of his early work in Chicago. After quitting his job as a carpenter to focus on his music career, he attracted the attention of the music scene by giving fans free copies of his songs. Pug still makes his music available for free on his website,

Joshua P. James, often seen around Columbus with his band The Paper Planes, will open Saturday’s show with a solo set.

“Joshua is an amazing songwriter. He’s getting well known already for his lyrics and his performance style…very high energy,” said Ross. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun having him open for Joe Pug.”

Local favorites Dying Breed will also play during a pre-show event in the Lancaster Campus parking lot. A hospitality tent will be open from 6-8 p.m.

“The Pizza Cottage food truck will be here,” said Ross. “I think it’s well worth the money for you to come out and discover an act you may not have heard of.”

Visit for tickets and information.