For a decade, the Great South Bay Music Festival has brought a diverse roster of musicians to Shorefront Park in Patchogue, becoming a summer staple on Long Island. The four-day festival concludes Sunday with Graham Nash, Railroad Earth, Colin Hay, NRBQ and John Sebastian.
“The footprint has gotten a lot bigger since we began,” said festival co-founder and producer Jim Faith. “When we started we had two stages, now we are up to four. Everything has grown immensely.”
Folk Americana pop band Miles to Dayton has been playing the festival since day one and has grown along with it. They delivered a hot set on the Dream Stage on Saturday afternoon warming up the crowd before Main Squeeze, Dopapod, Blues Traveler and Umphrey’s McGee.
“We’ve reached many new ears by participating in the festival year after year,” said guitarist/vocalist Jon Preddice of Port Jefferson Station. “It’s been great exposure for us.”
Preddice cited the diversity of the artist roster as the key to the festival’s success and longevity.
“They have been able to tap into a bunch of musical genres — country, blues, alternative, jam bands and rock,” Preddice said. “It’s allowed the festival to grow over a decade and also provide opportunities for local artists like ourselves to participate.”
Bruce Steinberg, 59, of Centereach and his son Cameron, 22, enjoyed the down-home feel the festival generates, creating a friendly communal atmosphere.
“There’s a great camaraderie here. Everybody is a neighbor,” Steinberg said. “I’m a Deadhead so it reminds me of back in the day.”
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Part of the fun for the crowd is enjoying festival foods like a doggy bowl of chicken fingers and fries, giant turkey legs or a pile of Saratoga chips, plus craft beers Hoptical Illusion and Mosaic Session IPA at the Blue Point Brewing Co. beer tent. Kids can artistically express themselves by contributing to Studio E Art wall mural or partake in activities at the Kidzone. There are also arts and crafts booths to shop at between band sets.
Trasa Seymour, 41, of Rocky Point was jamming out with her son Quinn, 7, and 5 year-old twins Shay and Mac in their encampment next to the sound booth.
“They just love it,” she said of her children. “I was here when Quinn was a baby and pregnant with the twins. Now they all come both days with me. We wouldn’t miss it!”
Great South Bay Music Festival
WHEN | WHERE Sunday, July 17, noon-10 p.m., Shorefront Park in Patchogue
INFO $39-$41.50 (ultra VIP $127), 877-987-6487, greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com