5 Late-Summer Festivals That Are Worth the Trek From NYC

From Corvette gatherings to fiber-optic art shows, it’s time to head Upstate

Luma Festival in Binghamton
Luma Festival in Binghamton
Van Zandbergen Photography
By Shari Gab / July 16, 2019 8:13 am

Each July, every New Yorker will at some point stare ponderously at their little digital calendar and exclaim, “Wait … summer is half over?!” 

Make the most of what’s left of it like so.

The Hudson Valley — and the various and sundry Upstate communities that lie beyond it — is one of the country’s premier breeding grounds for music, arts, food and other niche-interest festivals.

Below, we’ve rounded up our five favorite that are still to come, from kickin’ around to some live bluegrass to a vintage ‘Vette spectacular. Gas up the car (or, more likely, rent one), grab some allies and hit the road. 

(Instagram/@huichicamusicfestival)

The Huichica Fest
Hudson Valley, NY

This intimate traveling festival (there are only a handful of bands at each edition) combines live tunes, the outdoors, good vibes, wine and all the farm-to-table fare a fella can shake a stick at. On August 10th, it will stop in Hudson Valley community Kingston in honor of the passing of the legendary Roky Erickson, the founding member of psych-rock group 13th Elevators. The heavy-hitting lineup will feature sets from Destroyer (Dan Behar of the New Pornographers), Helado Negro and Purple Mountains (Dave Berman of the Silver Jews).

August 10 – tickets

(Instagram/@billystrings)

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 
Oak Hill, NY 

A homecoming for the genre’s fans, the Grey Fox fest is jam-packed with 40+ award-winning bluegrass acts, including star of the strum Billy Strings, as well as the Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, Tommy Emmanuel and many more. It’s the largest acoustic gathering in the Northeast and comes complete with camping, workshops and loads of food, drinks and family-friendly entertainment.

July 18-21 – tickets

(Facebook/@DLF42)

Deposit Lumberjack Festival 
Deposit, NY 

You can’t tell us you’re not just a little bit curious about formalized lumberjack competitions. And this affair comes with a whole heck of a lot more than choppin’ it up. There’s a parade, cornhole tournaments, fireworks, dancing, horseshoes, an antique car competition and, of course, a battle of the axes. Plus, on site, Saturday features just about every local brewer in the area, from Roscoe Beer Company to Galaxy Brewing to Cooperstown.

September 8 – Free

(ILoveNY.com)

Adirondack VetteFest Show 
Glens Falls, NY

You don’t have to be a gearhead to appreciate beautiful things. In this case, that’s all-American muscle. From contemporary sports cars to time-treasured vintage rides, it’s the Northeast’s largest ‘Vette show of the year. Plus, DJs, drinks and eats, with proceeds going to benefit VetHelp, an organization that aids veterans in need. You might not enter an enthusiast, but you’re certain to leave one.

July 19-21 – Free

(Van Zandbergen Photography)

Luma Festival 
Binghamton, NY 

Truly an affair like no other, the Luma Fest is the only gathering in the U.S. that focuses on “projection mapping performances.” The event sources the top lighting and projection choreographers from around the world to create a visual feast that will boggle the mind and delight the senses. From the story of Zeus taking his revenge on Prometheus  to the journey of a young hero with an innate and supernatural ability to control the forces of nature around him, get ready for the best visual stimulation a grown man can legally experience.

September 6 & 7 – Free