TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. — As the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance came to a close for 2016, the 4-day, music filled weekend seemed to many to have once again come and gone with the blink of an eye. On Sunday, a stroll around the festival revealed the most committed festival goers still dancing, while others sat outside with friends and family or packed their bags.
For many, it may be difficult to quantify the Grassroots experience in a small handful words or numbers. However, taking a look at some numbers representing the festival may provide a new perspective on what goes on behind the scenes.
The full festival weekend features upwards of 80 performers, and wouldn’t run smoothly without the 1,600 volunteers who signed up to assist with set up, on site tasks, and breakdown.
The festival’s Art Barn housed pieces from more than 30 Finger Lakes artists.
Known as a festival staple, the annual GrassRoots mug allows festival goers to buy cheaper beverages at the main food tent. According to CTB owner Gregor Braus, each year the tent sells roughly 3,400 mugs, the size of this year’s order. Many GrassRoots lovers collect the mugs, and in subsequent years they receive increasing discounts on iced drinks from lemonade to coffee.
At the same food tent, an average of 100 dozen bagels are sold each day between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“There’s rarely a moment where there’s nobody in line,” said Gregor Braus.
Another stand out characteristic of the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival is the Renovus charging station. Always packed with festival goers charging phones, the 8,000-watt system has 128 charging plugs according to Renovus’s Dan Merwin. The station premiered at the festival in 2013, and it’s safe to say that many current day attendees couldn’t imagine Grassroots without it.
Of about 25 food vendors, Silo Food Truck stood out not only for their fried chicken, but also for the two-dollar bills they handed out as change. Festival goers had the opportunity to stamp the bills with a custom Silo stamp, increasing the bill’s value used at the truck from two to four dollars. In total, Silo had 600 two-dollar bills to give out as change.
“My hope was it would sit in people’s wallets and remind them of Silo afterwards,” said employee Jesse Steve.
In total, the festival held 62 hours of scheduled music across the four days. However, with bands playing late and cheers for an encore not unusual, the hours of live music played at the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival is likely even larger.