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GrassRoots Festival Returns With More Music, Camping, And Community

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Four days, four stages, and 75 bands from all over the world make up the 28th annual Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival. The event kicks off on Thursday at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds and organizers say it usually draws around 15,000 attendees in a single day. 

"The GrassRoots Festival is all about homegrown music," says John Chmiel, Marketing and Media Relations, "We have bands from all over the world and the United States that come in and they play what they play where they're from. That's what's grown us into a legendary event because you're exposing yourself to music from all over the world."

Chmiel says the festival has become a community all of its own, with many of the same people coming back year after year, pitching their tents and taking in the weekend of music. 

"My first time was like 18 years ago that I came to GrassRoots and I'm still friends with the people that I met 18 years ago. We just pick up our relationship as we bump into each other at GrassRoots," says Chmiel.

This year, there's more camping space, with the festival purchasing land across the street behind the Shurfine grocery store. 

Headliners include Patty Griffin, Donna and the Buffalo, Toots and the Marytals, The Wood Brothers, and Valerie June. For a full lineup and for ticket and camping information, visit the GrassRoots website.

The GrassRoots Festival happens once a year, but the organization also hosts Culture Camps throughout the year for musicians, dancers, and songwriters to come together and learn from eachother. Information on upcoming events like this can also be found on the GrassRoots website.