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Taste of Syracuse to Feature Gregg Allman & Over 40 Bands (Syracuse Blog)

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Taste of Syracuse 2011: Food, Music & More

Taste of Syracuse, Gregg AllmanThis weekend downtown Syracuse will be filled with the nonstop sounds and smells of pure local talent. The Taste of Syracuse festival, which takes place on June 3rd and 4th, 2011 is no doubt one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Free admittance and food samples for only a dollar each are just some of the reasons the festival is so appealing. The Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” has already recognized Syracuse as a worthy place to eat, but the food isn’t everything when it comes to getting a true “Taste of Syracuse.”

Over forty different performers ranging in genres such as blues, rock, pop, funk and folk will be providing entertainment for festival-goers, and it’s one of the most impressive lineups the city has ever seen. This year, the festival’s headlining act will be the Saturday night performance of Gregg Alman.

“It’s all there, and I’ve never seen a better selection to fit someone’s musical taste,” Ashley Cox, who will be performing Saturday with her band Professional Victims, tells me.

“We played with Kim Munroe in Austin, TX, during SXSW. Her and Chris Eves were great just as a duo. Pale Green Stars will be a perfect compliment to the food and drink with a turn-to-your-right-and-toast-your-friend kind of feel, Nasty Truth will be a hit, bringin’ the funk in full effect.”

These are just a few of the bands that will be taking to one of the three stages set up in and around Clinton Square. From 11am until 11pm each night, bands will be playing their hardest and giving their all to make sure the people of Syracuse have the time of their lives. But playing hard and working harder isn’t something that is new to the bands selected to play the Taste of Syracuse festival.

“I started performing on street corners in Armory Square, when I was 22. I’d wait till the bar crowd got out, watch the bills and change land in my guitar case, grab a slice and go home” Cox explains.  “Standing on a corner drew some attention, and next thing you know I was offered gigs.”

This kind of dedication and patience is something that all the performers in Syracuse can relate to. Some bands included in the lineup, like Catastrophe Me and White Picket Fence, are still in their younger years. Other performers, like Under the Gun and The Flashcubes, have been known in Syracuse for well over a decade. Veterans and newcomers alike, it’s safe to say that it’s an honor to be playing one of the biggest festivals C.N.Y. has to offer.

“It’s great for us musicians, to play for a large all ages crowd and earn new fans,” Cox points out. “We get to reach a ton of new listeners that would never be able to see us, because they don’t stay up as late as we play, or they’re not old enough to get into bars.”

Gaining new fans is an important way that the Taste of Syracuse gives back to it’s performers, but for some of these local groups, the chance to play a big stage with a larger-than-life sound system is a perk all in its own.

“I always look forward to hearing our music through those speakers the way it was meant to be heard,” Cox admits.  “It’s not the same when it’s just coming out of a couple of 12″ horns and a subwoofer.”

These bands were meant to be loud, and summertime in Syracuse was meant to be spent eating, drinking, and dancing in Clinton Sqaure. As for what to expect as an attendee, Cox gives a last word of advice, “Turn it up Syracuse, we’re ready to rock.”

–Elise Miklich is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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