The Second Annual Borderland Music and Arts Festival, taking place at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, NY, just 2 hours from Toronto, on September 21st and 22nd features more than 20 bands on three stages over the two days celebrating the Western New York region with Americana and roots music.
Borderland Festival is a fully immersive experience with gates opening at 11am each day. In addition to the national and regional artists on stage, the festival will feature live artisan exhibits, craft vendors, culinary experiences from some of the region’s best restaurants, and the region’s best wine, craft beer, and spirits. Additionally, there will be a designated kids zone with arts, crafts, and musical instrument demonstrations each day from 11am-6pm. Kids age 10 and under are free general admission with a parent.
Saturday’s headlining acts include Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, The Wood Brothers, the Grammy award-winning The Infamous Stringdusters and The Sheepdogs from Canada. Sunday’s line-up features Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves, Keller William’s Grateful Grass featuring Dead and Company’s, Oteil Burbridge, and the rock n’ roll hall of fame legend, Mavis Staples.
For the Stringdusters, the festival is a part of the summer tour schedule but something new for the band. Andy Hall was able to chat with us about the festival, music genres and what’s on tap for the band.
TheSceneInTo: Do you feel there’s added pressures after a Grammy win? Do you feel there’s this extra attention on you?
Stringdusters: I don’t think we felt extra pressure after the Grammy win. We’ve made 8 studio records now and many other live and special releases.
Our plan is to do this for the long haul so I think have that long-term perspective. You can’t control the world of awards so we just make what we feel is the best music we can and let the universe decide what happens after that.
TheSceneInTo: You’ve been described as Blue Grass but not. How would you describe your music, especially for someone looking to come to the festival to explore some new genres?
Stringdusters: Well we all as musicians spent a lot of term learning the tradition of bluegrass, so that sound is certainly present in a lot of our music. But our influences are wide ranging, and you’ll hear rock and funk sounds, psychedelic jams, even some folk or country thrown in there. But it’s all wrapped in this high energy unique Stringduster sound that is unique to us. Best to just come check it out 😊
TheSceneInTo: What’s next for you and your record label? Have you signed anyone recently? Touring with anyone from your label or collaborations we can look forward to?
Stringdusters: There are a few albums that we’re looking into to being a part of so it’s an active thing. But nothing solidified yet. We love having this outlet to put out awesome new music when it’s right. And of course, the Dusters are always writing so another project from us won’t be far behind!
TheSceneInTo: What was the draw to join this festival?
Stringdusters: Well we know the promoter, and it’s an amazing lineup! I’m from upstate NY so any opportunity to play in New York is always welcome. We were booked to play it last year and our bus got stuck in the mud and we had a huge debacle and missed our set here which was awful! So, we’re extra stoked to get up there and jam extremely hard for the folks on our re do at Borderlands.
TheSceneInTo: What makes this festival standout?
Stringdusters: We haven’t been yet so there will certainly be more to add, but the lineup is really well thought out and going to be full of unique moments and collaborations I’m sure. Lots of friends on the lineup! The crowds in New York always show big love as well so I’m sure it’ll be one to remember.
TheSceneInTo: Any bands you’re excited about performing alongside with?
Stringdusters: For sure. The Wood Brothers, Grant Farm, GSBG are all buddies. On Sunday we get to do a Grateful Grass set with Keller Williams and Oteil so that should be a really fun collaboration. And well as our own set Saturday.
TheSceneInTo: Who’s on your current playlist?
Stringdusters: Been doing some Tool, some Tycho, Tyler Childers, Lotta T’s!
3-Day VIP and 2-Day VIP tickets are sold out for the festival. 2-Day General Admission tickets are available for $125 and a limited number of single days tickets are available starting at $75 for Saturday and $70 for Sunday. Ticket prices, both 2-Day General Admission and single days will increase as the festival date approaches. For the full line-up and to purchase tickets, visit www.borderlandfestival.com
Cover photo by: Aaron Farrington