This summer will go by without the Great South Bay Music Festival, which has been postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic, but founder/promoter Jim Faith will not let 2021 end without a musical event on Long Island. The Aurora Music Festival will be coming to Shorefront Park in Patchogue from Oct. 1 to 3.
"We moved Great South Bay earlier this year because we didn’t think it was safe," says Faith. "As the pandemic numbers started to get better, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri wanted to have a Long Island party celebrating the receding of this nightmare. Aurora means first light of dawn. This festival is like everybody coming out and seeing the first light."
The overall vibe of the festival will be very similar to Great South Bay except scaled back. The location is the same but capacity will be reduced from 7,500 to 4,000-5,000. Instead of four stages, the Aurora Music Festival will utilize two — the bandshell and main stage. Bands and artists have yet to be announced.
"We will feature emerging local artists as well as national headliners," says Faith. "Friday will focus on punk, rock and reggae. Saturday has a jam band theme and Sunday is more classic rock-based."
GSB usually has 65 bands in four days but Aurora will showcase 35-40 over three days. There won’t be an ultra VIP tent or kids' tent, however the food court, arts and crafts vendors, and beer tent remain the same. Additionally, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame mobile museum tour bus will be on-site for everyone to visit.
All seating is general admission and concertgoers are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs. A VIP tent with elevated seating will be made available for an upgrade. Although prices haven’t been determined, Faith says, "Tickets will be really fair and affordable."
In terms of COVID-19 protocol at the event, Faith is deliberating as to how he will handle the issue.
"By October we will have a much better idea of what’s going on with the pandemic numbers and if we are really out of the woods," he says. "We are going to see what other venues are doing. Once that happens we will determine what is the safest way to approach it."
When asked if the fall weather is a concern, Faith says, "Early October is gorgeous. It might be a bit cooler at night, though."
Tickets will go on sale soon and more information is available at greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com. However, tickets are currently on sale at the website for next year’s Great South Bay Music Festival featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, moe., The Weight Band, Circa Survive, Brandon "Taz" Niederauer and more. For more information, call 631-331-0808.