The 2019 installment of the four-day Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue also coincided with a four-day summer heat wave.
Outdoor concerts and athletic events around the tri-state area were being cancelled.
Newscasters were telling people to stay indoors.
Yet the bands played on in Shorefront Park in the village, but to lower than expected attendance numbers.
“The heat played all the role” in stifling the crowds, said Jim Faith, who organizes the annual festival, Long Island’s largest. “But it really wasn’t that bad down in Shorefront Park. The banners were blowing. There was a cool steady breeze off the bay.”
Faith had hoped some newscasters would have reported the comfortability by the bay.
“It was hot, but Patchogue really was the place to be,” he said.
Roughly 13,000 to 14,000 people showed, though the final numbers haven’t been tallied. By comparison, last year’s festival drew over 18,000.
Friday night’s lineup, which included headliners Slightly Stoopid and Sublime w/ Rome, was the best attended night this year, with 6,000 people buying tickets.
It still wasn’t known this week if the festival would break even, but Faith promised to be back in 2020 with an “even better lineup.”
He said the bands Dweezil Zappa and America were real crowd pleasers, as was 16-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, who played on Sunday.
Taz is currently playing with Gary Clark Jr. The teen actually played the festival at just 11 years old with the band BX2 at the bandshell, then he played with another band at 13 years old.
“He kind of worked his way to the main stage,” said Faith.
“Overall, with the festival itself, We liked the new layout and people really enjoyed the music,” he said. “The main stage was sort of a bottleneck, so we opened it up and took away a lot of the vendors, either moved them or didn’t take as many.”
The VIP section was moved a bit, and an ultra VIIP porch was erected near the water.
The box office was also moved to the street, and a busker stage was added.
As for the weather, Faith said he shouldn’t really complain.
“We’ve been so lucky in the past,” he said. “People have always commented that we’ve had such nice weather, but we’ll be back next year with an even better lineup.”
Photo: A glass-blowing vendor during this year’s Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue’s Shorefront Park. (Credit: Benny Migliorino/Benny Migs Photo)