Live on the Vine fest extended one week

Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks take the Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks take the stage at the Winterfest Live on the Vine kickoff party in Riverhead. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

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The popular Winterfest Live on the Vine music festival -- created to bring visitors to the East End wineries during the winter months -- has been extended by a week.

Seven new performances have been scheduled for March 21-23.

Season passes that provide access to all performances will be honored, and guests with single tickets to events that were canceled because of bad weather can use them for the new events. Guests can still purchase a regular $20 event ticket, which includes a glass of wine.

The program, started in 2006 as Jazz on the Vine, has grown each year and changed its name this year to Live on the Vine to reflect the expanded musical performances to include not just jazz but blues, soul and country.

This year's concert series has already brought 7,500 people to various vineyards, tasting rooms, hotels and other East End performance venues. "It's as many people as all of last year," said Winterfest spokeswoman Kathryn Simos.

The concert series, which started Feb. 7, includes more than 100 live performances.

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"A lot of people come from the west, or from the city," said Christine Battelli, music coordinator at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead. "We also get a lot of bus crowds . . . it's more of a destination thing."

The East End Arts Council coordinated the bands in the past, but this year each vineyard could pick its own entertainment. "A lot of vineyards stayed with the jazz," Battelli said. "I like to do tribute bands and jazz."

The full Jazz on the Vine schedule is available at the Winterfest website -- liwinterfest.com.

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