CORTLAND, N.Y. - The 9th annual Seedstock Festival of Music and Art returns to Cortland this weekend, featuring 27 performers appearing on two stages in a picturesque, rural landscape to ring in the first weekend in August.
The festival kicks off Friday, August 4, at Reed’s Seeds farm in Cortland. Popular central New York bands like Sophistafunk, Mosaic Foundation, and The Blind Spots are slated to perform, along with local acts like Quona Hudson, Rachel Beverly, and The Unknown Woodsmen.
Chris Merkley, a local musician, record producer and festival organizer, says the three-day event will feature plenty of bands the festival has never seen before, including Syracuse area performers Tanksley, The New Days and Root Shock.
“Last year was our first year for the full weekend, so we’re sticking with a similar schedule and trying to refine that experience,” Merkley said in an interview last week.
The idea for Seedstock was first born in the winter of 2008, when a group of friends set out to host a one-day party where some of the area’s musical acts could play for family and friends. The first festival was held in September of 2009, and more than 300 people attended. Since then, the festival has expanded into a 3-day event with over 1,000 annual attendees and two nights of camping, a late-night silent disco, and artisan vendors.
Seedstock is located at 3336 State Route 215 in the hills overlooking Cortland on an expanse of property that has been farmed by the Reed family for over 200 years. The adjacent land is now managed by Main Street Farms, a local organic vegetable farm that will provide all of the produce for “farm-to-table” food vending at the festival.
Local artist Ben Cottum will be sponsoring this year’s Meraki Forest, a wooded area on the festival grounds that provides some much-needed relief from the sun and a space for artists to display their sculptures and artwork. There will be a children’s activity tent sponsored by the Truxton Charter School committee, as well as a variety of art and sculpture installations by local artists throughout the festival grounds.
Cortland Beer Company will be serving beer this year, but otherwise the festival is still BYOB.
The festival wraps up on Sunday, Aug. 6, with a live performance from Floodwood, a side project from members of the popular jam-band moe.
Also new this year? The festival is being supported in part through a community arts grant from the CNY Arts Foundation.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by them and to have that support,” Merkley said. Other sponsors include Cortland Audiology Associates, which will give away free earbuds, and Renovus Solar, which will bring back their cellphone solar-charging station.