Great South Bay Festival to Rock the Patchogue Shore

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Great South Bay Festival to Rock the Patchogue Shore

The Great South Bay Music Festival has cemented itself as LI’s biggest music festival. Now in its ninth year it’s gotten even bigger by adding a fourth day and putting together another perfectly blended lineup of big-name headliners, local favorites and emerging artists among the more than 60 performers on four stages over four days from Thursday July 16 through Sunday July 19 at Shorefront Park in Patchogue. There will be various vendors and food and drink aplenty, of course, including newly revamped Blue Point Brew tents, which will have a makeover and feature couches, games and phone charging stations. But it’s really all about the music.

According to festival creator, producer and promoter Jim Faith: “I believe that this fest resonates with true music lovers. Music lovers that can really appreciate all styles of music and are open to new sounds and musical experiences. I’ve received the best feedback from people who say, ‘I loved Carolina Chocolate Drops (or Umphreys McGee, or Martin Sexton). Thanks for turning me on to them.’ I love that!”

This year’s big names include Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, 311, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Lotus, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Zen Tricksters, as well as Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri on opening night, which will be Thursday for the first time this year. Faith explained, “Our Thursday show on one hand is a big departure for us, I typically stayed away from pop, but on the other hand, the two headliners are real artists, touring with the likes of Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and Jason Mraz. All positive messages, great voices, amazing songs.”

Along with the big name headliners, GSB always delivers an eclectic mix of local bands and emerging artists spanning a wide range of musical genres. This year, you’re going to want to catch Long Islanders Kerry Kearney, Heavy Duty Super Ego, The Bohemians, Oohgee Wawa, Noah’s Arc, Butchers Blind, Katie Pearlman, Cassandra House and Miles to Dayton of course. But bands you may not know now, but will hear about the Monday after the festival include Twiddle, The Green, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Bird, and potentially any of the other dozens and dozens of bands who will take over the field down by the bay where many of us played softball as kids. Faith’s pick for this year’s Carolina Chocolate Drops? “I’d have to say Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Bird.”

The festival’s emergence and growth over the better part of the last decade has paralleled the revitalization of Patchogue Village, which with its thriving Main Street and Riverfront has become the heart of the South Shore’s food and drink as well as art and music communities on Long Island. And the Great South Bay Festival comes back to anchor it every July. “I know the Mayor has mentioned that we are a big part of the Village’s success, and I think that GSB and Patchogue Village have come up at a very special time, benefitting each other,” Faith said. “Our success is in no small part due to the support and love we get from the Village. They are a special group of people, for the most part on the same page, and have a great approach to new business and growing pains. And the Mayor is a rock star!”

The festival will naturally have its share of great tunes, food and drink, arts and crafts vendors, fun activities for the little ones in the KidZone, but will also give you the chance to experience one of those special moments in between. In one of the first years of the festival, this writer was privileged to randomly wander into a small tent just in time to witness folk legend Odetta sing “House of the Rising Sun” a capella from a wheelchair to packed crowd of dropped jaws. Faith also noted this as one of his favorite memories of festivals past, saying, “Odetta’s second to last performance (and standing ovation) was extremely emotional.”

Last year also saw one of the final performances of a legend when B.B. King took the stage. His chops weren’t what they once were, but there was still magic in the air. The crowd just felt lucky to be there, many of us near the front of the stage only a few feet from an absolute icon. Faith said, “After last year’s uneven and loose performance by a physically weak B.B. King, but then hearing the crowd yelling for an encore and ‘We Love You BB!’ made me very proud of Long Islanders and our crowd. They knew they were witnessing something very special, and were there to be in the presence of someone who for over 50 years had put blues on the map. It renewed my belief that people are basically good!”

Visit for more information or to purchase tix.

The Lineup


Rachel Patten

Colbie Caillat & Christina Perri



Funkt Up

DJ Neil Wrangler

Little Red Men

Oogee Wawa


Maui Waui

The Green

Yankee Rebel

Heavy Duty Super Ego

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Six Gun

Ancient Tongue


Joe Bayer Band





Butchers Blind


John Putnam & Used Blues

Frog Café

WEHM Winner

John Sparling


Jess Ingui

Robert Bruey


Jack’s Waterfall

Cassandra House

Sister Sparrow & Dirty Bird


Memphis Crawl

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Ladies Drink Free

Shecky and the Twangtones


Miles to Dayton



Laurie Berkner

Kerry Kearney

The Lawn Boys

Count to Ten

Zen Tricksters

A Band Called Sam

Two Cent Sam


New Riders of the Purple Sage

Montauk Project

Jefferson Starship


Quarter Horse

Lou Gramm

Noah’s Arc

J Randy

Katie Pearlman

Funkin’ A

Hot Tuna

Photo: Faces of Festivals -- Patrick Hughes

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