Anyone who says there’s nothing to do in CNY is crazy, and once all the snow finally melts in mid-June, that’s even less true. The 315 is home to a bunch of great music events you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for a place to provide a live soundtrack to your Syracuse summer, look no further–20 Watts has your back.
K-Rock’s Dysfunctional Family Barbeque and K-Rockathon 18 May 18 and July 27
Local rock radio power K-Rock keeps its chokehold on the Syracuse rock-festival scene with its two annual concerts. The Dysfunctional Family Barbeque took place Saturday, May 18 in Oswego and featured hard rock band 10 Years and the international metal outfit Volbeat, among other lesser known rock acts.
This year’s K-Rockathon features rock acts Chevelle, Sevendust, All That Remains, Three Days Grace, and Flyleaf, among others. The all-day event begins at noon, so head down to the New York State Fairgrounds early to catch your favorite bands.
Balloonfest June 28, 29 and 30
Music takes a back seat to balloons and food at this unique festival at Jamesville Beach Park, but the artists are still quality. Classic rock acts Eddie Money, Starship and the dude from Foreigner all headline separate nights, with smaller acts filling in. This might be the only weekend-long party in the 315 where, for a hefty fee, you can ride in a hot air balloon.
Part of the reason for Syracuse’s legendary position in the jazz world is Jazz Fest. The Jazz Fest is a free three-day event at Jamesville Beach Park. Acts ranging from area high school jazz bands to local favorite Sophistafunk to 70s rock icons the Doobie Brothers. Leave the booze at home for this one though–it’s not allowed at this family event.
NY Country Jam July 12, 13, and 14
Last July, the inaugural NY Country Jam at the Madison-Bouckville Antiquefest grounds brought in 4,000 fans, mostly from the Syracuse area. The second annual NY Country Jam is moving to Syracuse at the New York State Fairgrounds this summer, and it’s bringing along Uncle Kracker, Billy Currington, and American Idol singer Kellie Pickler.
moe.down August 9, 10 and 11
moe.’s self-titled festival takes place just an hour and a half to the north of Syracuse University’s campus in the Adirondack Mountains, quite possibly the perfect spot for a jam band junkie’s dream. Besides moe., the lineup includes established jammers like Conspirator and Stanley Jordan Trio. Area jam bands round out the festival, which has an earlybird price of $110.