Between a Roc and a Hard Place: Let The Festivals Begin!

It’s the end of June Rochester and you know what that means: another Rochester International Jazz Festival. I only ever get to sample the free stuff, and this year will be no different, even that is difficult with restaurant employee’s schedule,but there will be plenty of great music to be enjoyed. Oh, and is it just me or does Daryl Hall look a little like Thor now?

Steve Martin will be joining us this year, unfortunately not for free. I wonder how many people even realize how talented a musician he is. Most people have forgotten he got his start as a comic. Hopefully they will give themselves a chance to check him out because he really is an amazing all around performer. Government Mule I am a little less excited about because, well, how are they jazz?

What the upcoming festivities really mean, though, is the beginning of the summer festival season. Yes Party in The Park has already started, as has the East End Fest and the Greek Fest has come and gone, but the former two go on all summer and the latter is just a precursor. No, the real fun starts with the Corn Hill Arts Festival and moving through the summer with a dozen or so other similar festivals around the county.

We go to these, not for the art, though we may pick up some along the way, but for the energy. Despite what we say, we go for the crowds, to people watch and to remind ourselves that we are social creatures (not a hard and fast rule, I am pretty sure my dad goes for the art.) We go for the oh-so-horrible-for-you festival grub. We go for the local bands. We go to spend a day walking in the sun taking in the sounds and smells. I complain every year about the quarter million suburbanites descending on my neighborhood, but really, I love it.

There is one last reason I think we love the festivals so much. In Western New York we spend almost six months cooped up indoors, even in a mild winter like the one we just enjoyed. The festivals are a chance to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. I know I could use some, and  hopefully I will see you out on those closed-off streets.


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