The Great Blue Heron Music Festival in Sherman, New York, took place once again the first weekend in July. For nearly 30 years, this annual event has drawn thousands of fans from across the U.S. It is a tradition for many young and old, as an event to celebrate music, nature and the spirit of self-expression.
This year, The Heron organizers have expanded on this concept with an extended summer music series, aptly named, “Beyond the Blue.”
These weekend events, running from the middle of July through Labor Day weekend, are an extension of the long-standing Great Blue Heron Music Festival with its eclectic and diverse lineup of artists. This concept of smaller-scale festivals was piloted out of necessity during the pandemic. Organizers now embrace the approach as an opportunity that best aligns with the farm’s commitment to regenerative stewardship of the land while still honoring their mission to transform lives through music, agriculture, art and education.
“Our goal of this season, and the future, is to create a vibrant Great Blue Heron experience that honors both the traditions of the past and the land, by operating at a scale that doesn’t over-stress the natural and human resources we are entrusted to care for,” Julie Rockcastle, festival co-founder states. “The genre-focused Beyond the Blue mini-festivals present diverse and family-friendly experiences all summer long that enable us to welcome more people who share our passions for music, the outdoors, and sustainability.”
Beyond the Blue I kicked off the summer series with sweet harmonies, funky bluegrass and soulful rhythms from artists Dirty Blanket, Folkfaces and Bella’s Bartok.
The series will continue on July 30, with Beyond Blue II, a full day of progressive Reggae beats, island vibes and thunderous Native American sounds. Event headliner, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, often referred as “The Grateful Dead of Reggae,” will grace the main stage, along with Keith Secola, Root Shock and Mosaic Foundation.
On August 20, Beyond the Blue III is jam-packed with electrifying funk and electro-rock with event headliner, Jimkata. This trio, based in Ithaca and Los Angeles, stretches boundaries with bold arrangements fueled by swirling synthesizers and anthemic hooks.
The season finale, Beyond The Blue IV, will take place on Labor Day weekend with more than 20 artists gracing the stage including Pokey Lafarge, a musician influenced by old-time country, blues, folk, and Western swing. Another headliner, the acclaimed singer/songwriter Ryan Montbleau has spent much of his life crisscrossing the globe on a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and understanding. A quest that’s defined not only his music, but his very sense of self.
While widely known for its connection to music, The Heron is also an award-winning campground with amenities suitable for those who prefer comfort as well as secluded, primitive sites. Families and groups are welcome to enjoy the land with its lush pastures, deep woods and wetlands, along with a sandy swimming beach. Voted the #1 campsite in the U.S. by HipCamp, The Heron is open daily for seasonal camping from May through October along with the Green Heron Growers Farm Store.
Beyond the Blue II & III feature a full day of music on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to come just for the day, or make a weekend out of it by camping Friday and Saturday night to truly enjoy everything The Heron Farm has to offer.
Beyond the Blue IV is a full weekend festival, with music scheduled Friday through Sunday.
Tickets for all events can be found at https://theheron.org/events
Reggae and Native Rock: July 30, 2022 Event Link
Funk Fest: August 20, 2022 Event Link
September 2-4, 2022 Event Link