10 Rules for a Successful Music Festival

Returning after a record-attendance season, the Great South Bay Music Festival celebrates its 9th year by adding an extra day and new sounds. Producer Jim Faith took a look back and revealed his (conveniently numbered) guide for how he’s successfully brought eight years of music to Patchogue’s Shorefront Park and what to expect on this go around:

1. Quality, Not Quantity
Give people something of quality and they will appreciate that and come.

2. Make It An Experience
What’s so great about festivals is you’re not just going to hear bands, you’re staying for the day. The beer tents will get a little more interesting with Blue Point bringing in games, charging stations and couches.

3. New Music Is Key
We brought in Carolina Chocolate Drops a few years ago and now they’re really well known. This year we’re hoping to do that with Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds… Laying new music on people is important.

4. …But Get Bigger Headliners, Too
This year’s big name acts: 311, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, plus a possible reunion between members of main attractions Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. If they get up and play together—it’s not planned—but it would be a wonderful thing. It’d be historic.

5. Weather Is the Enemy
Prediction for the weekend is sunny and 80s, we’re going with that.

6. Grow Smartly
You start with the artists and as the artists get bigger and you start spending more money on them, it goes back into the festival. Then you get more staging, add a tent and another stage, better sound, etc. Little by little, everything improved.

7. Safety First
We go out of our way to really sit with the village and bring in tons of security and EMS and do everything right. That’s important when you’re bringing in 20,000 people.

8. Keep the Site Fresh
Ask yourself: What do you see when you walk in? What do you walk past? Is that stage too loud and bleeding over?

9. Keep the Stages Fresh
The opposite stage will always have opposite music. For example, between the 311 and Mighty Mighty Bosstones sets, the second stages will all be playing country.

10. Community
For the fifth time the festival has partnered with WBAB for the “Sticky Fingers Run” which supports Mather Hospital Fortunato Breast Health Center. PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Society) is a new sponsor and GSBMF continues to support and be supported by Long Island Cares (volunteers will be pouring beer this year). The festival also supports the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, a non–profit that celebrates and preserves the local music community.