Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Talking With Jim Faith- Promoter of The Great South Bay Music Festival

This weekend, The Great South Bay Music Festival returns for the 4th year with a dazzling lineup for everybody's taste of music. It will take place at Shorefront Park in Patchogue from Friday July 9th until Sunday July 11th featuring 47 performers on three stages! This event is the brainchild of Long Island's favorite promoter Jim Faith, who spoke to me during a rare break days before the big show....

MICK: It's quite a lineup you have this year for the Festival. How do you choose the bands that are coming?
JIM: I try to book a little of each genre of American music. I want to get some folk, some funk, some blues, definitely contemporary and classic rock, some gospel, a little bit of everything. Initially it was more of a blues thing mixed with American music but I decided I wanted to be different and not just have one type of music. Besides headliners, I try to bring in new bands and give them an opportunity to play. They usually go on early. There's a few local bands, a few very young bands and then there's the headliners. We were very proud to bring in Odetta, a legendary gospel singer, a few years ago right before she passed away. It was one of the last shows she did.
This year we have John Gorka, Aztec Two Step, and we also have James Maddock who is new on the scene. We really try to mix it up ans I think it works very well.

MICK: Are there any last minute additions?
JIM: Not at this point. We were changing and adding up till last week. Some people had to pull out. Susan Cowsill had to pull out because of her tour schedule. Other than that, we aimed at a certain group of people. We actually we were looking to bring in Greg Allman and thank God we didn't because he just had a liver transplant and we would have lost our main headliner. We also try not to do commercial music. The acts we bring in are very high quality and cultural. Brother Joscephus is a New Orleans gospel group; Sarah Psalm is a really true gospel singer; War is classic R&B; The New Deal is very big in the jam band world and they are creating a whole new genre of dance jam music.

MICK: How many people do you expect to attend this year?
JIM: We are hoping for 25,000 to 30,000.

MICK: What's happening with the Brookhaven Amphitheater concerts this year?
JIM: All I can say at this point is there's nothing happening this year. It's truly a political thing. This is something I'd like to talk about after the Festival.

MICK: I know the Long Island Music Hall of Fame acquired the old bank on Main Street in Port Jefferson as it's new home. Has there been any progress with that?
JIM: No, that's also a town situation. The village is very excited about us coming there. We didn't purchase the building, the village passed a resolution that said we could use the building for the Hall of Fame and Museum. It's just taking a long time, not moving fast at all. It's a perfect location and great for the village. There's going to be a resource room. We envision school buses coming here all day from all over the Island and the city and using the resource room to learn about Long Island musical history.

MICK: Is there going to be an induction show this year?
JIM: Yes there is! We are looking at the Oheka Castle possibly for the end of October or early November. It's a wonderful location. We were suppose to go to the Tilles Center but we just couldn't get it together.

MICK: What other events are you promoting this year?
JIM: I just confirmed August 29Th in the back of the Blue Point Brewery the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart and BILL Kreutzman . There's only going to be 1500 seats. We are probably going to sell all of the tickets on Facebook and word of mouth. You can also get them at the Festival this weekend. It's going to be a very intimate kind of thing. They will be with the Rhythm Devils. It will be an amazing show for sure!

Purchase tickets online at the Great South Bay Music Festival until July 8Th (online tickets sales end that day at 6 p.m.) or on the days of the festival. Ticket prices range from free for children 10 and under to $15.50 for Patchogue residents (if tickets purchased online) to $18.50 general admission for one day. There are also Three-Day General Admission passes for $44.50 to $50 and VIP passes are also available. Visit the Great South Bay Music Festival tickets page for more ticket info.

For more information, including a detailed list of the musicians who will be playing, please go to Great South Bay Music Festival.

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