Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, held just .3 mile from the Inn at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds from July 19, 2012 through July 22, 2012. Voted one of the “Top Ten Small Music Festivals” by USA Today Magazine, this volunteer-run event brings great music, area crafts, and great food to one location for an amazing fundraising event.
Originally created in 1991 as a benefit for AIDS work, a local AIDS support organization, the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival featured just three bands: Donna the Buffalo, The Horse Flies, and Neon Baptist. The success of the single-night event inspired Donna the Buffalo to continue the annual gathering of music, art, and education to continuously benefit AIDS research and cure development. The success of the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival gave rise to offshoot organizations in other states in the eastern US.
What was once a simple, one-day event has evolved into a renowned non-profit event lasting four days. Four stages now host over 60 bands, both "old" and new to the listening ears in attendance, with most performing some sort of world, folk, or ethnic music. The Festival hours are long - all night, in fact, as the bands provide Cajun and Zydeco music for all-night dancing in the dance tent. The event even offers a chamber music orchestra on Sunday morning for the quieter crowd.
Festival attendees are numerous and varied: about 15,000 made the trek to the GrassRoots Festival last year. Think of the event as a current Woodstock, with the attendees being just as important as the musicians in providing a memorable overall experience for everyone! This family-friendly event offers activities for the adults, the children, and even the teenage set, so no one will be bored.
And you won't go hungry, either. While you can bring your own food, there are more than 25 vendors in attendance to offer everything from vegan to burgers and more. Water spigots are available on the event grounds for your convenience, and ice is sold at the event. If you want to make a quick trip across the street, there is a local grocery store for you to grab what you've forgotten. While alcohol is not served at the event, you are welcome to bring your own - and remember that while you may bring glass bottles into the event, no glass bottles are allowed to be carried around on the grounds. All coolers and IDs are checked at the gate.
If you plan to attend, be sure to bring something to sit on (blanket, chairs, air mattresses), sunblock, plastic cups to hold liquids brought in glass bottles, a flashlight or headlamp for after the sun goes down, a cooler, wipes to keep fresh during the day, and an attitude for fun!
Tickets are available online (with credit card - printer needed) and at a number of area locations (cash only). 4-day adult tickets are $95 until July 15, and $110 at the gate. 4-day youth tickets are $65. Children 12 and under are free, but must be accompanied by an adult. One-day tickets range from $28 to $43, depending on the day you will be attending.
So plan your upstate New York bed and breakfast vacation during the GrassRoots festival. Stroll up the street to attend the event, and come back to the inn for evenings of relaxation and enjoyment. It's all about having fun, raising funds for great causes, and celebrating music!
Innkeeper Rose Hilbert
POB 95, 112 E. Main St.
Trumansburg, NY, 14886