October 23, 2021

Seedstock looking at 10th year

Music fest runs Friday to Sunday

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Tyler Coakley, Seedstock music festival organizer, puts the finishing touches on the main stage on Route 215 in Cortlandville in this 2016 Cortland Standard file photo.

Seedstock is like coming home, said Alex Caminiti.

“It’s like pretty much everyone you know in town, all of your friends, literally everyone I know goes there. And all the band friends I have ever worked with plays there,” said the Ithaca man, a former resident and owner of Studio Zoot music studio.

“I have run into Charbel Karam from Pita Gourmet there, my parents have gone there,” said Caminiti, a musician and music producer. “It’s basically one of the best days of my life in Cortland.”

Seedstock X is this weekend at 3336 Route 215, Cortlandville, across from the Reed’s Seeds barn. It started out as a one-night house party among friends and has grown to a threedayfestival with two stages and 26 acts.

The music starts 5 p.m. Friday and runs to 6 p.m. Sunday. People can get tickets, which range from $10 to $85, depending on the number of days and whether they want to camp, at www.seedstockfest.com or at the door.

Parking is tight. Carpooling is encouraged.

Chris Merkley of Cortlandville, musician and owner of Old Boy Records, and Tyler Coakley of Homer, a William George Agency employee, are organizing the event with a crew of volunteers.

“We have a lot of new bands on the bill,” Merkley said.

“There are minor changes on the festival. It’s a similar format of the last two years.”

“It goes pretty well. We have (seen) more and more campers as years have gone on,” Coakley said. “People are receptive to it.”

“I went last year and a couple of years ago,” said Jane Witty of Cortland of the Cortland Downtown Partnership. “It’s a tiny little gem at the top of the hill. It’s in a beautiful setting … Some stay for three days. Some for a few hours. Anytime you pop in, the atmosphere is incredible.”

She plans to go this year and wants to see Molly and the Badly Bent Bluegrass Boys, Kitestring and Root Shock.

Bands at Seedstock

Friday: Syracuse bands Sophistafunk, Root Shock and Skunk City, as well as Molly and the Badly Bent Bluegrass Boys, Space Carnival, Ridgeline Duo and DJ Shannon M.

Saturday: Digger Jones, The Unknown Woodsmen and Small Town Shade. Regional acts include The Blind Spots, Gunpoets, Mike Powell and Black River, Thousands of One, Charley Orlando, and Denton Rex. Additional local up-and-comers include Gnosis, Vintage Pretty and the Von Barnes Band. A late-night silent disco ensues with a drums vs. DJs set featuring EMan of Sophistafunk.

Sunday: The Neighbors, featuring members of Driftwood, Dirty Blanket, Kitestring, Zachary Rowland, Colleen Kattau, and Bess Greenberg.

Among the 14 new bands to the festival are Gnosis, Von Barnes Band and Small Town Shade.

“We concentrated on bringing back more local and regional bands to keep the Central New York region highlighted,” Merkley said.

Sophistafunk of Syracuse, the Blind Spots of Ithaca and Root Shock of Syracuse, all touring nationally, will be there.

And the music runs the gamut: rock, blues, funk, reggae, world, country, Americana.

A new feature will be a silent disco featuring a playoff between the drummer from Sophistafunk and DJ Shannon M and DJ EMan.

People will wear head phones and hear one of these three acts, and the listeners will be able to switch from one artist to the other.

“It’s a weird thing to watch,” Coakley said. People are out there dancing in the quiet, giving each other thumbs up or high fives to each other.

Merkley said they are dancing in three different styles.

The festival is family friendly, Coakley said. “We encourage family to bring kids. 12 and under are free. There are kids activities throughout the day.”

Merkley has seen 2-week-old babies and 92-year-olds. Over the course of the weekend, it draws almost 1,000 people.

Also, the fest has a sculpture garden featuring work by artists from the Summerhill Sculpture Parkand.

They have a private security firm, “more to assist and help,” Merkley said. “We never had an issue with the festival. Just to have extra help. We talk to the state troopers, invite them to swing through and make sure everything is looking good.”

People are welcome to bring food and beverages but no glass containers are allowed. Kate Icenogle from Cortland Harvest is creating a menu with local ingredients. Food from Main Street Farms and other local growers can be accessed, Merkley said.