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3-day Great South Bay Music Festival

Where can you hear tunes, see a tortoise and nosh on tacos all in one place this weekend?

The fifth annual Great South Bay Music Festival at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, that's where.

More than 45 rock, folk, jazz, blues, country and funk musicians will perform across three stages at the three-day fest, which is expected to draw nearly 20,000 music lovers.

New this year are a traveling pet zoo of reptiles, hedgehogs and parrots (oh, my!); live painting by FRESH Art Long Island artists; and a Friday night dance party with a DJ spinning electronica music between 10 and 11 p.m.

James Faith, co-producer of the festival, says he aims to present music folks "haven't heard before, instead of picking the obvious." To that end, Faith says he spent "a little bit more on performers" and "upgraded the lighting and sound" this year.

Still, affordability reigns supreme. "You're seeing David Bromberg and Hot Tuna for $33," Faith says. "It would cost more money to see one of those artists in a regular concert situation."

Local blues impresario Kerry Kearney, who has performed the past four years, agreed, adding, "The stage has gotten very, very big, and the audience has grown immensely."

"The draw of the national acts that are coming through is putting it on the map, and you get to see some of the local people that are really, really good," he says.

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Some of these locals include Caroline Doctorow and Jay Scott, along with touring acts that have Long Island connections, such as Randy Jackson (the one from Zebra, not "American Idol") and Antigone Rising.

The "mix of great music . . . in our own backyard" is partly why Cathy Henderson -- Glen Cove resident, lead guitarist and founding member of Antigone Rising -- will perform for a second time.

"We're primarily a Long Island-based band, and it's a lot of fun to play with local bands as well as national talent," she says. "And it's fun for all ages, which is another thing we love about it because a lot of times we have fans who aren't bar age or club age."

While the music fills your ears, you can eat your fill of vegetarian dishes, hamburgers, hot dogs and fish tacos.


 

Some festival highlights

 

TOMORROW

* Kerry Kearney Band (6:50 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): Prepare for amazing guitar riffs in the Blues-Roots-Delta musical stylings of this Long Island bluesman.

* David Bromberg (8 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): Bluegrass, blues, folk, country, jazz and rock meets quirky lyrics, meets lauded multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter.

* Electric Hot Tuna (9:30 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): First formed more than 40 years ago, the band is still bringing electric and acoustic versions of blues and rock songs.

SATURDAY

* James Maddock (8 p.m., Jambalaya Stage): Former Wood front man showcases meaty acoustic singing and songwriting you'll want to devour.

* Umphrey's McGee (9 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): Dazzling tempo changes and rhythmic shifts are common with this uncommon progressive rock jam band.

SUNDAY

* Antigone Rising(5:20 p.m., Jambalaya Stage): All-female rock band blends country and folk elements into its music, known for its unique harmonies.

* Marc Broussard (7 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): Serving up Louisiana-fried funk, blues and R&B, with sides of catchy pop and rock to keep you in a groove.

* .38 Special (8:30 p.m., Blue Point Brews Stage): American rock band draws on its Southern roots.

KID STUFF

On Saturday and Sunday, The Kid Zone offers entertainment for little ones and tweens, including Dix Hills singer and "My Jeans" YouTube sensation Jenna Rose; Super Sprowtz vegetable characters; Dr. Planet's educational music; and Ye Pyrate Brotherhood, a troupe of pirates that explores history while leading children on a search for buried treasure.


 

The Great South Bay Music Festival

 

WHEN | WHERE 4:30-11 p.m. tomorrow, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; and 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday, Shorefront Park, Patchogue

COST $26.99 if purchased online, $30.50 at door; three-day passes are $61 online, $70.50 at door, excluding fees. There are discounts for Patchogue Village residents, seniors and students; kids 8 or younger are free

INFO 631-331-0808, greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com

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