The New York State Blues Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer in Syracuse, New York, drawing blues music fans from all over the region. If you're on the fence about attending, here are five top reasons why you should mark your calendar and make your way to this three-day festival this June. This year’s festival dates span from June 15 - 17, 2023.


Free to Attend

This festival is free, making it the perfect option for a group outing or something you can even bring the whole family to. Take advantage of the opportunity to see a ton of artists you couldn’t see for free anywhere else and save your money for snacks and drinks from the many vendors present. Parking will be available in the Fairgrounds' Brown Lot for $10 per vehicle, and $5 per motorcycle. Proceeds from parking help offset expenses to keep the festival admission-free. Check out VIP options for individual day passes. Sample tasty foods from one of their fantastic vendors while relaxing in the VIP area. Grab a drink from the VIP bar and enjoy special seating where you can catch all the action the festival has to offer!


The Music

The New York State Blues Festival boasts an incredible lineup of talented musicians, both local and national. From soulful ballads to upbeat blues-rock jams, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Past headliners have included Blues Legends as well as up-and-coming artists making a name for themselves in the industry. This year’s headliners include Buddy Guy, Southern Avenue, and Blood Brothers ft. Mike Zito & Albert Castiglia.


The Atmosphere 

The festival takes place at Chevy Court on the NYS Fairgrounds, a beautiful public space that has been a music hub for years. With plenty of room to spread out and relax, you can enjoy the music while soaking up the sun and the awesome views the fairgrounds has to offer. The festival is family-friendly, so bring the kids and make a day of it!


The Food

What's a festival without some delicious eats? The New York State Blues Festival has plenty of food vendors offering everything from classic festival fare like burgers and fries to more gourmet options like BBQ and vegan dishes. There are also plenty of craft beer and wine vendors on hand to quench your thirst.


The Community

One of the best things about the New York State Blues Festival is the sense of community it fosters. Blues music has a way of bringing people together, and the festival is a celebration of that spirit. Whether you're a die-hard blues fan or just looking for a fun day out with friends and family, you're sure to feel welcome and included in the festivities.


Where to Stay

With tons of convenient hotels near the Fairgrounds, booking your stay for the festival can be done easily. The Holiday Inn Express Syracuse-Fairgrounds, is located just minutes from the fairgrounds and offers an exclusive festival rate you don’t want to miss out on. Additional hotels offering discounted rates during the festival are Holiday Inn & Suites Syracuse Airport, the Quality Inn Farrell Road, and Embassy Suites at Destiny. No matter where you decide to stay, you’ll find the hotels filled with fellow blues fans and even the artists themselves! Check out this comprehensive list of Syracuse hotels today.


The New York State Blues Festival is a must-attend event for anyone who loves music, food, and community. With an incredible lineup of musicians, a beautiful setting, delicious eats, and a friendly atmosphere, it's sure to be one of the highlights of your summer. Don't miss out on the chance to experience the magic of the blues in Syracuse this June!

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