The Long Island music scene is incredibly fertile and diverse. It is rare to have an event that brings everyone together in one place, from the hardcore kids out east to the classic rock loving dads from Glen Cove, to celebrate music, art, and unity. Great South Bay Music Festival achieved this in strides with their incredibly colorful lineup of popular acts ranging from Sublime with Rome to Electric Hot Tuna. Located directly on the water of the south shore of the island at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, NY from July 12-15, the festival grounds is the optimal place to see live music on a hot Long Island summer day.
Unlike other festivals around the nation which focus in on one single genre of music, Great South Bay is a family-oriented festival that mixes up the genre of music played each day to give everyone a chance to enjoy themselves. Music lovers who attended each day went through a journey of seeing hardcore/punk bands on Thursday night to ska/reggae groups on Friday night to jam bands on Saturday night with blues/classic rock acts capping off the weekend on Sunday night.
The overall vibe of the festival was incredibly relaxed, despite how many people attended, and festival goers had the option to sit back on the grass in their lawn chairs and blankets or head up front to stand in the pit if they wanted to get closer to the music. Because of how drastically the music changed from night to night, the crowd tended to change with it, creating a different feel for each day of the festival.
Jim Faith, the man responsible for putting the event together, started Great South Bay Music Festival to create a Long Island music festival which would keep the spirit of music alive, positively change people’s lives, and create a space safe for people of all races and ethnicities to come together and celebrate different kinds of music. His goal is to inspire people to listen to new music as well turn younger folks onto legendary artists they might not have heard. The festival is not designed to be an over the top production, but rather a place to bring people together and get to the heart and soul of the community- which it certainly achieved.