It’s officially summer and we’re kicking it off by celebrating the 14th anniversary of The Great South Bay Music Festival. We got invited to cover the first day of the festival with headliners Grouplove, Manchester Orchestra, and Bayside and additional acts Family Dinner, Zuli Jr., Like Minded Criminals, The Montauk Project, Scared 20, The Dude Ranch, and Bohemians. The Great South Bay Music Festival is Long Island’s longest-running four day music, art, and culture festival taking place from July 7 to July 10.
I hung out at the main stage where alt-R&B artist Zuli Jr. was the first to go on. Due to technical issues affecting the first few acts, Zuli Jr. had only played a few songs but killed his entire set.
Indie band Family Dinner went next as they passed the guitarist’s joint around throughout their set. The crowd, though unfamiliar with the local LI band, was very into them. I spoke with a few guests on the barricade who were camping out for the headliners; “I didn’t know who they were but I was very pleasantly surprised. They were amazing, they did great,” said one guest.
The second local Long Island band Bayside, based in Long Beach, LI, stepped foot on stage as the crowd was roaring. The entire festival flocked to catch their set from start to finish. Many excited fans that were lined up on the barricade had been waiting for them and the amount of love can be felt through the crowd as they proudly screamed every word of their songs until the end of their set.
As the day fell dark Manchester Orchestra was next to hit the main stage. The Great South Bay Music Festival has a very wide demographic in attendance each year. A good majority of the crowd of all ages were specifically there to see Manchester Orchestra. Unlike most of the artists playing at the festival, Manchester Orchestra is an indie rock band from Atlanta. Their members consist of guitarist-singer-songwriter Andy Hull, lead guitarist Robert McDowell, bassist Andy Prince, and drummer Tim Very. Just as the crowd eagerly ran to see Bayside the entire festival was enjoying the Atlanta band killing their set.
Having had the pleasure of photographing our last headline of the night “Grouplove”, I spoke with a familiar group of fans who were at a majority of their shows including our coverage from Brooklyn Steel (view it here). Like all the other shows they’ve attended, the time had come when their idols Hannah Hooper, Chris Zucconi, Andrew Wessen, Daniel Gleason, and Benjamin Homola would take the stage after a long day of camping out at the barricade at the main stage. The entire energy of the music festival shifted as everyone screamed the lyrics simultaneously with the band. The last act of the night went past the festival’s curfew leaving a grand ending to the first day of The Great South Bay Music Festival.