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Music Is Art

11 years strong, the last big festival of the season returns this Saturday

Now entering its 11th year, the Music is Art Festival has become an end of summer tradition for the Buffalo arts scene. For the third year in a row the festival will be held at Hoyt Lake this Saturday, September 21, with stages spread throughout the park. From the steps of the Albright-Knox to the shoreline of Hoyt Lake and the grassy hills behind it, the area has become the perfect spot for big stages and hidden performance areas. “We’re in the groove here,” says Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls’ bassist and president of the not-for-profit organization that throws this event. Music is Art was founded in 2004 with the goal of reconnecting young people with music through things like music education programs, summer camps, and instrument collections, which have put hundreds of instruments back into schools and into the hands of students in the last 10 years. “The event gives us a chance to talk about this,” says Takac. For more information on what Music is Art does and how to get involved, visit their tent at the festival. With over 100 bands, 70 displaying artists and photographers, dozens of dancers and DJs, and even a kids village, there are a million ways to have a great time at the Music is Art Festival.

Music is Art

Saturday September 21, 10am - 10pm

Delaware Park behind the Albright-Knox Art Gallery


If you’re starting your day off early, check out DJ Mario Bee on the main Casino stage at 10am. Take a walk over to the Lincoln Parkway stage for a series of acts by Relativity BellyDance, Danceamour, and DJ Panic. By this time it will be around 11:30am so it might be time for a coffee break at Rolling Joe mobile coffee shop. Once you’re all hopped up on caffeine you’ve got a few choices; head over to the comedy tent where Kristen Becker will be hosting comedians Tyrone Maclin and Dan Fisher; check out The Beggar’s Best, a blues punk band that takes the Ballroom stage at 11:45am; or if you’re in more of a mellow mood check out Michael Audet on the American stage. From there it’s a nice walk over to the Sky Mound stage, an awesome DJ booth built at the top of a hill by the water where Trak Benders will be spinning starting at 1pm. Take a lunch break and walk up to the row of food trucks where you can grab a braised beef banh mi sandwich from the Black Market Food Truck, pizza from Louie’s, Just Pizza, or Pizza Amore, gourmet mac and cheese from Macarollin, or vegan fare from Amy’s Truck. Once you’re all full, head over to Stage 3 where hip hop group Essential Vitamins Crew will be partying at 2:15pm or head back to the Helium Comedy Tent for some laughs with comedian Shaun Murphy. At 2:45pm head over to the Ballroom stage to catch Buzz Records rock band Breckenwood or get psychedelic at the Casino Stage with DJ Projex. At 4pm Medison takes the stage at the Casino to throw down some house and bass music, but if you’re looking for something more like good old folk-rock, check out the Carolina Gentlemen on the Americana stage at the same time. Either stick around the Americana stage for a performance by two-piece folk band Nashville Technique at 5pm or head over to Stage 2 for some lo-fi dream-pop from Small Smalls. New Jersey’s Brenyama takes Stage 1 at 5:30pm to deliver their brand of indie rock music. At 6:30 head over to Stage 2 where the Kevin K Band—headed by Buffalo punk pioneer and former member of the Toys, Kevin Kalicki—will make the crowd feel like they’re back at CBGBs in the 1980s. Take a break for some burgers from the Roaming Buffalo food truck, or a taste of alligator from Mattie’s on Site for dinner. DJ Basha will throw down some bassy vibes on the Sky Mound stage at 7pm while Rufus Gibson delves into some some disco-house at the same time on the Casino stage. Indie rockers Kevin Sampson & the Jealous Unknowns step onto Stage 2 at 7:15pm followed by hard rock band Necktie Tourniquet on the same stage at 8pm. DJ Paul Kuenzi should be taking the stage at the Casino just as the sun is setting. This might be a good time to grab some dessert from Sweat Hearth or the Village Sweet Shoppe before power-pop band This is Fiction takes Stage 1 at 8:30pm. Head back over to the Americana stage to catch a high-energy set from the Andrew J. Reimers Country Punk Extravaganza at 9pm before closing out the festival with Buffalo original rock band Cowboys of Scotland on Stage 1 at 9:30pm. Of course this isn’t the only route you can take through this all day festival. For a complete schedule of events and performances check out

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