The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance started over 20 years ago as a concert to benefit local AIDS support organization AIDSwork at the State Theater in Ithaca NY. Featured artists were Donna the Buffalo and pals The Horse Flies, and Neon Baptist.
Encouraged by the success of that night, members of Donna the Buffalo conspired to create a festival that would continue to raise money for the fight against AIDS and other worthy causes, provide regional and national exposure for excellent local musicians, and expose the local and regional music lovers to excellent national and international artists.
The idea proved a success, and with the help of zillions of volunteers, and the generous support of many friends in the musical community, GrassRoots came into being as an annual event. In the intervening decade(s), GrassRoots has grown from humble beginnings to become a nationally recognized event, unique in its focus on traditional and contemporary roots music, and one of the few self-sustaining non-profit arts organizations in the state.
The festival is presented over a four day period (Thursday-Sunday) on four stages which run ridiculously long hours to accommodate the 60 some bands that play the festival. The band selection reflects the eclectic tastes of our ‘amorphous committee’, a difficult to nail down group of musicians and artists who lean toward roots related & world music.
GrassRoots doesn’t hesitate to bring you great music you’ve never heard of before. Every year wonderful new bands are discovered and presented along with many old and true friends. Check out the list of previous years artists for a general idea of what’s in store for the future.
GrassRoots is held at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds in Trumansburg New York, located about 10 miles north of Ithaca NY on Rt..96 on the west side of Cayuga Lake in the very scenic Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s all about having a grand time, generating a feeling of community, and giving something back to enhance our town, our society, and our world.