Press Release 2016

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  The 25nd Annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival: Regional Music Gathering Celebrates Silver Anniversary July 1, 2, 3, 2016   The Heron, Sherman, NY – While many believe that longevity leads to greater wisdom, the co-founders of the Great Blue Heron Music Festival might suggest that wise choices are equally essential to long term success. Which is why, as David Tidquist and Julie Rockcastle prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this annual celebration of music and dance, they continue to seek ways to adapt the event to the changing needs of a deeply loyal audience that now spans multiple generations.   Since 1992, music lovers of all ages have trekked to the Heron, the Chautauqua County farm that hosts thousands of family and friends each year over Independence Day weekend. Many who started coming to the festival with their parents now return with children of their own. Grandparents teach dance steps to grandkids in between swapping stories with old friends at the Café in the Woods. Parents and children swim in the spring-fed pond or create colorful masks and other crafts in the vibrant kids’ area. And the older kids attend music workshops, then throw dance parties or watch movies in the teen tent.   While the site has gradually expanded to accommodate the growing number of visitors, the fundamentals of the festival remain the same: Present a diverse assortment of original music from regional and national artists; Create a collaborative artistic space where all are encouraged to participate and interact; And foster a cooperative and positive environment for celebration, while ensuring a safe and satisfying experience for the whole community.   “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being part of something that has had such a positive impact on so many lives,” says Julie. She and her husband Steve raise grass-fed cows and organic shitake mushrooms on the land, in between planning and preparing for the growing number of activities that take place on the property throughout the year (visit for a complete list).   Great Blue Heron co-founder David Tidquist assembles the eclectic lineup of performers that are the festival’s heart and soul. Having booked shows in and around Jamestown since the late 80s, his close relationships with regional musicians such as 10,000 Maniacs and Rusted Root have encouraged repeat returns to the roster. But the only band that lays claim to 25 consecutive years is Sugar Hill recording artist Donna the Buffalo, whose highly contagious brand of danceable Americana rock has been a crowd-pleasing staple of the event since the very start.   Joining Donna the Buffalo and veteran festival favorites The Horse Flies are two national acts making their debut on the Heron lineup: Grammy-winning songwriter Jim Lauderdale and legendary Bay Area band New Riders of the Purple Sage. Rounding out the lineup are regional powerhouses including electro-rockers Jimkata, indie roots champions Driftwood, and the brassy afro-pop of Big Mean Sound Machine.   For tickets and more information, go to   Contact: David Tidquist, Phone: 716-487-1781, Email:

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