Below you will find Indie on the Move's compiled listing of annual music festivals and conferences in the state of New York, helping bands and musicians increase their industry knowledge, broaden their networking reach, and better promote and showcase their music, shows, and tours.
From AfroPunk Festival to CMJ, we did our best to include a thorough and comprehensive index, but if for some reason we've overlooked a specific event, please let us know through the contact page located HERE so that we can add it to the site ASAP.
With regards to any larger festivals, be sure to think outside of the box. While many of them do not regularly book independent acts as part of their official showcases, the national and international bands that do perform often draw some of the biggest built-in crowds imaginable, and provide a huge influx of music lovers and enthusiasts to each respective event location.
So try booking a show at one or several of that city's smaller local venues/bars/restaurants during the festival itself and take advantage of the vast number of music fans located in one place at one time. Even playing an ad-lib acoustic set in the event parking lot can go a long way in gaining you new fans and selling some merch.
-MOVE Music Festival - Dates: Mid to late April
"The festival will consist of approximately 100 bands performing at ten venues across Albany. In addition to the music showcase, MOVE will be holding a merchandise trade show and interactive round table sessions with industry professionals."
-AfroPunk Festival - Dates: Late August
"Described by the New York Times as putting “rock and rebellion squarely in the category of African-American music,” the Afro-punk Festival has become a Brooklyn intuition, the focal point for the burgeoning Afro-punk movement. Over the past seven years, the festival has presented new artists before they hit it big, such as Grammy-nominated Santigold, The Noisettes and Janelle Monae. Afro-punk mainstays like Saul Williams, The Dirtbombs, and Dallas Austin have also graced Afro-punk’s stages."
-Brooklyn Folk Festival - Mid April
"The 3-day festival includes 30 bands, vocal and instrumental workshops, a family-friendly square dance and swing dance, jam sessions, film screenings, the famous Banjo Toss contest and more!" - Submit to Perform
-Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival - Dates: Early July
-Brooklyn Music Festival - Dates: Late August
-Northside Festival - Dates: Mid June
-TailPlay Music Festival - Dates: Early April
-Catskill Chill Music Festival - Dates: Mid September
"Tucked away in the rolling hills of the western Catskill Mountains lies beautiful Camp Minglewood, home to the Catskill Chill Music Festival. An intimate event that features top quality music, this festival prides itself on having a big show experience in a more personal setting. Musical appetites are satisfied by diverse line ups, featuring all variety of jam bands, reggae music, funk, jazz, blue grass, electronica, DJs and rock and roll. Attendees enjoy free camping and parking at this scenic campus while a wide variety of vendors provide food and beverage, as well as merchandise and souvenirs."
-Falcon Ridge Folk Festival - Dates: Early August
-Mountain Jam - Dates: Early June
"Mountain Jam is a four-day, multi-stage event, featuring approximately 50 bands on 4 stages in one of the Northeast’s most pristine natural amphitheaters. Attendance is limited to 15,000 people (camping is limited to under 5000 people) in order to foster an intimate, fan-friendly environment. Rolling Stone Magazine, along with many other noteworthy national publications, consistently rates Mountain Jam as one to the top music festivals in the country."
-Camp Bisco - Dates: Mid July
"Camp Bisco is an outdoor music festival held at the beautiful Indian Lookout Country Club, a world-class property located near Albany, NY. Camp Bisco is a 3-day rain-or-shine event with camping. Attendees may arrive beginning Thursday morning, July 12, 2012. Camp Bisco 11 will feature 3 days and nights of music on 5 stages, including 2 side-by-side MAIN STAGES, 2 DANCE TENTS featuring top international Dance acts as well as a SILENT DISCO and an UP & COMING stage. This event is not to be missed! Join us at Indian Lookout Country club for our 6th anniversary at ILCC and our 11h installment of this amazing event."
-Spring for Sound Festival - Dates: Mid June
-Montauk Music Festival - Dates: Mid May
"The Montauk Music Festival is a four day musical celebration featuring talented up-and-coming independent artists, set against the back-drop of one of the most idyllic beach communities on the east coast - Montauk, NY. Over 100 artists boasting a wide variety of musical styles (from alternative, rock, folk, pop, Americana, reggae, blues, jazz, bluegrass, to flamenco, rap, hip-hop, country, metal, and more), will be performing for free in the spirit of sharing original music with audiences and fellow musicians." - Submit to Perform
-APAP - Dates: Early January
-Electric Zoo - Dates: Early September
-Governors Ball Music Festival - Dates: Early June
"The Governor’s Ball Music Festival is a two-day, two-stage festival featuring some of the biggest and best acts in live music. The event will be one big party, so bring your foot spray – it will get funky."
-Latin Alternative Music Conference - Dates: Mid July
-Nikstock - Dates: Late June
-Pleasantville Music Festival - Dates: Mid July
-Great Blue Heron Music Festival - Dates: Early July
"Located in the Amish-inhabited rolling hills of Western New York's Chautauqua County, the site virtually planned the layout for us. The main stage would fit nicely amid some pines at the foot of a naturally amphitheatric, maple-shaded hillside. The many acres of woods and trails seemed perfect for tent-campers, and we saw that adjacent fields could accommodate those who preferred to attend in campers or RVs. As our enthusiasm grew, we envisioned trucking in sand to create a beach alongside a large pond, the land's signature feature. As for performers, our experience in presenting local club shows had established relationships with many talented folks. As we contacted them with our idea, many went for it; most for little or no monetary reward. They included, along with ‘Donna’; Rusted Root, The Heartbeats, John & Mary, Rasta Rafiki and the late Colorblind James." - Submit to Perform
-Jam in the Valley Festival - Dates: Early July
"Jam in the Valley is a three day country music and camping festival held annually at Buffalo Hill Village Campgrounds in Varysburg, NY on the weekend closest to July 4th. The event draws 20,000 plus people from all over the WNY region, as well as fans from the entire Northeast. It features first class musical entertainment on two live stages, dozens of vendors and exhibitors, and a couple thousand campsites. While Jam in the Valley may be known for its concerts and camping experience, the Saturday night fireworks show is considered by many industry insiders, to be one of the top private (non-municipal) fireworks shows in the entire country."