This year’s Ameribeat Festival of Arts will be the 77th Sterling Stage music festival since its start on Memorial Day Weekend in 1995. The fest will take place at the Sterling Stage Kampitheater in Sterling, New York from June 26-29th. Sterling Stage has been supplying good vibes and music to the Upstate area for almost 20 years. What makes Sterling Stage so special is its intimate atmosphere and beautiful location on an old Christmas Tree farm. With two stages and only around 1500 people in attendance, the small fest draws an eclectic crowd that always seems to be a recipe for a heady party in the woods.
Nestled in the quiet back woods of Upstate New York, Sterling Stage has been home to many local artists and others from the Northeast. Sterling Stage hosts four festivals each summer, each featuring a variety of music styles. Upstate bands such as Sophistafunk, Ryan Montbleau, The Blind Owl Band, Aqueous, Subsoil, AudioInflux, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Primate Fiasco, Big Leg Emma, The Blind Spots, House on a Spring, and Thunder Body have all performed at Sterling Stage. Other notable acts include Cabinet, Anders Osborne, Jatoba, and John K Band. Not only can you find a combination of bands that will satisfy anyone’s musical needs, but it also has many other attractions for festivalgoers.
This year’s Ameribeat Festival of Arts features bands from Upstate New York and across the country. The headlining band for the weekend is Nahko and Medicine for the People. Nahko is an acoustic Roots/Hip-Hop group from Portland Oregon. The group formed in 2008 and has been gaining immense popularity, touring and playing festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Spiritual Rez is a Boston based Reggae Rock band known for their soothing feel-good dub. Northampton Massachusetts’ The Primate Fiasco will be performing their all-original jazzy brass jam to keep things fresh as well. Local bands featured at Ameribeat are Subsoil from Rochester, Our Friend’s Band from Oswego, Jesse Collins Quartet from Syracuse, and Turkuaz from Brooklyn. A special treat for those local music fans will be a special performance by this year’s Ameribeat Orchestra. Members of Tim Herron Corporation, Sophistafunk, Our Friend’s Band, and Upstate favorite Lucid will be combining to create this all-star ensemble. The weekend won’t disappoint with its wide range of music, from Hip-hop Fusion to Jazz to Reggae, everyone will be able to find something they like.
At Sterling Stage, one can find many local vendors selling clothing, jewelry, instruments and more. There are also several food stands that have out of this world breakfasts and a booth that will deep-fry anything you bring them. One of Sterling’s must see attractions is the Artist Village. Located between the Main Stage and the Sinatra Lounge, the Artist Village displays a number of local artists and even has a black light art gallery for those who find them selves wandering the grounds late at night. Other things to do while at Sterling Stage include daily yoga classes with Brother Jon or one of the seemingly endless drum circles that can be found scattered throughout the woods.
For only $70 for the advanced weekend pass, Sterling Stage’s Ameribeat Festival of Arts is a hidden gem in Upstate New York that wont break the bank, but will offer an unforgettable experience. Tickets are available online at www.sterlingstage.com or from select local vendors.