Griffis Park Summer Music Festival
by Leif Reigstad, photos by Cory Perla
Sunday, August 18
11am to 6:30pm Griffis Sculpture Park, 6902 Mill Valley Rd, East Otto (griffispark.org) $10 for adults, children 12 and under free
The scenic, 400-acre Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York—about an hour’s drive from Buffalo—is hosting its first summer music festival, featuring a full slate of big-name bands with Buffalo roots. The family event is $10 for adults and free for kids under 12-years old. There’s a ten-minute walk uphill to the stage, from which John & Mary and the Valkyries, Sly Boots School of Music, Randle and the Late Night Scandals, The Observers, and The Jony James Band will entertain the crowd. Griffis Sculpture Park knows how to put on a good show—in the mid-1990s, 6,000 fans packed the park to see 10,000 Maniacs, and top acts like The Band and Canadian indie-rockers Blue Rodeo and Lowest of the Low also played there. The performances this Saturday promise to offer a variety of different sounds and styles. John and Mary and the Valkyries—featuring John Lombardo on the guitar and Mary Ramsey on the violin, both former members of 10,000 Maniacs—bring a harmonic folk-rock feel to the table. Sly Boots School of Music is an African drum group while Randle and the Late Night Scandals, winner of Artvoice’s 2013 Battle of Original Music, plays an energetic brand of blues-rock fusion. The Jony James Band is blues with a heavy dose of soulful Motown, and The Observers have an indie-folk feel. In between acts, grab a bite from one of the food trucks—Amy’s Place or Cheesy Chick—or get a cold one from the beer and wine garden. Tours of the park will also be available, along with an arts-and-crafts tent for kids.
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