The story behind this festival’s beginnings is truly heart-warming. It started off as a humble benefit concert to help raise funds for the fight against AIDS and it grew into a nationwide festival that hosts over 80 groups throughout its four day duration. Its philanthropic philosophies still run true even two decades later as they reintroduce a camp leading up to the festival called Grassroots Culture Camp, an event that gives the general public an opportunity to learn different art forms directly from highly seasoned performers.
During this four day event, ticket holders will join workshops led by a wide array of artists that participate in the festival. The Grassroots Culture Camp will take place from July 16-19 and the festival will run from 20-23 – both events are held at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds. There are multiple ticket options ranging from $125, all inclusive, four-day pass, to a $15 pass to enjoy a dance performed by local artists that will take place after the workshops.
Some of the workshops include: “fiddle, banjo, guitar, the art of guitar and cello, bass, mandolin, accordion, improvisation, singing, children’s sing song, country songs old and new, Cajun songs, songwriting, father and son duo, Native Americana, the spirit of the Native American drum, Moog synthesizers, Afrobeat drumset rhythms & concepts, bodhran, scrubboard, triangle, dance, acrylic painting, yoga, youth percussion, and youth square dance. Advanced musicians as well as beginners are welcome!” The workshops will be held during the day and at night, a dinner and dance will be held for the public to enjoy.
Co-founding member of Donna the Buffalo, Tara Nevins, describes the event perfectly saying,
GrassRoots Culture Camp offers first hand learning experience with masters of traditional and contemporary art forms, including music, dance, visual arts, and culinary arts in a fun and positive setting, promoting community and the importance of tradition and culture in our society.
All of these classes will be taught by the performing artists and include one of the festival’s founding groups, Donna The Buffalo, Driftwood along with the Horse Flies, Preston Frank and His Zydeco Family Band, Keith Secola, Balfa Toujours, Los Texmaniacs, Big Mean Sound Machine, Jennie Lowe Stearns, the Blind Spots, Richie and Rosie, Bobby Henrie and the Goners.