GrassRoots Festival relaunches with 2021 summer concert series

Jun 8, 2021

Donna the Buffalo will perform throughout GrassRoots Festival Weekend, July 23 through 25, in Trumansburg.
Credit Chris Mortensen / CITY

In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all.

In lieu of the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival, which had been effectively canceled in March, festival organizers have announced “Finger Lakes GrassRoots Live!” a series of concerts running from July 9 through 31 — including performances on the originally scheduled GrassRoots Festival Weekend, July 23-25. That weekend will feature multiple performances by hometown favorite and versatile rock band Donna the Buffalo and sets from acts such as Rochester’s pedal steel icons The Campbell Brothers, Rochester jazz fest alums Western Centuries, Fabi World Music Trio, and more.

The remaining six individual concerts throughout the month will feature a blend of captivating national artists and regional darlings that GrassRoots fans have come to expect. Popular rock-Americana outfit Railroad Earth will open the series July 9, with support from two of the Finger Lakes region’s most exciting young bluegrass players, Aaron Lipp and Max Flansburg. On July 10, Rochester’s reigning soul queen Danielle Ponder continues on her world-beating trajectory, opening for New Orleans funk band Galactic featuring vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph.

Several upstate New York bands with committed local followings — including the spirited, Binghamton-based Americana group Driftwood, Syracuse’s funk-hip-hop trio Sophistafunk, and Rochester’s own reggae-inflected jam band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad — will each perform as part of the series. “Finger Lakes GrassRoots Live!” concludes on July 31 with a performance from the ‘90s-era hitmakers Spin Doctors.

Here’s the complete series schedule:

July 9 - Railroad Earth w/ Aaron Lipp & Max Flansburg
July 10 - Galactic feat. Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph w/ Danielle Ponder
July 16- Sam Bush Band w/ Driftwood
July 17 - Cory Henry w/ Sophistafunk
July 23-25 - Donna The Buffalo’s GrassRoots Weekend
July 30 - The Return of Jimkata & Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
July 31 - Spin Doctors

Tickets for the physically distanced events are available now, and are being sold as separate sections or PODS accommodating up to four people. In addition to this “personal outdoor dance space,” a dance area near the stage will be available for vaccinated concertgoers. Camping reservations, provided by Hipcamp, will be made available later this week.

For tickets, as well as COVID-19 guidelines and additional info, visit grassroots.org.