While the Great South Bay Music Festival is still on hold until next 2022, the event organizers have something up their sleeve for this fall.
The GSBM team is presenting its first Aurora Music Festival at Patchogue’s Shorefront Park Oct. 1 to 3.
Jim Faith, founder and promoter of the popular Long Island festival, said this year’s substitute is essentially the Great South Bay festival but “half the footprint.”
The festival typically boasts more than 60 artists playing on four stages across four days for 7,500 people when sold out. The Aurora Festival will see 35 to 40 artists playing for 4,000 to 5,000 festivalgoers.
Headliners will perform on the main stage with emerging acts playing on the clam shell bandshell.
As for the festival’s name, “Aurora,” Faith said it is the perfect word for the upcoming Long Island celebration. “It means first light or goddess of the dawn,” he said. “This is like the first light, everybody coming out.”
Faith and Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri felt fewer people would make the festival more manageable for any safety protocols that may need to be implemented in October. Faith said he will be monitoring case numbers, hospitalization, vaccinations and public desire to attend as October draws near.
“I want to have an event that’s safe to bring my kids and grandkids to,” he said. “Otherwise we shouldn’t have it.”
Faith said the headliners have been booked and themes for the three days have been sorted, but he could not disclose any acts at this time. “Friday is typically is the rock, reggae, punk kind of feel,” Faith said. “Saturday is more of the Jam Band, Americana, and Sunday will be more of a classic rock thing.”
Faith said he expects tickets to go on sale next Thursday, July 22, and that single and three day tickets will be offered. People can also purchase tickets for the 14th Great South Bay Music Festival, slated for July 7-10, 2022.
Pontieri said the village is “getting back to some normalcy” with the arts and live entertainment starting to come alive in the Village, from the Patchogue Theater to the Patchogue Arts Council.
“The Great South Bay Music Festival has become an iconic event here on Long Island,” Pontieri said. “To have missed it another year, without at least touching base with that sense of community music brings, entertainment brings, didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
Faith said 2020 was “a nightmare” for the live music industry. As a concert promotor, and as a husband to a nurse, he said he has been constantly keeping up to date with health guidelines and trying to coordinate the various events he promotes.
“We had moved the festival three times,” Faith said. “Last year, we moved it from July to September thinking that’s plenty of time, it’ll be fine by then. Then we moved it to July this year, and then earlier this year we just decided its still not safe enough, or it might be but we don’t know. It just wasn’t worth taking the chance in July, in my opinion.”
Check back at GreaterPatchogue for more details on the Aurora Music Festival and Great South Bay Music Festival.
Top: Scene from a year’s prior Great South Bay Music Festival (credit: Benny Migliorino of Benny Migs Photo). IMG_0258-1