ITHACA, N.Y. – Between the Apple Harvest Festival, Grassroots, Chili Fest, The Ithaca Festival, and Porchfest – to name a few – Ithaca is the home and neighbor to many fond celebrations and gatherings throughout the year. This fall, Ithaca will make room for one more; the first annual Cayuga Sound Festival, with events set to begin on September 22.

With the festival right around the corner, here are a few things to know before it’s upon us:

  1. Cayuga Sound was founded and curated by Ithaca natives, X-Ambassadors. After major attention in 2015, songs such as “Renegades” and “Unsteady” made it to Billboard charts the following year. Now, the locals have decided to return to their hometown, curating an event with music representing their diverse taste growing up as artists. In a previous interview with The Ithaca Voice, keyboardist Casey Harris, who grew up in Ithaca with his brother and X Ambassador’s vocalist Sam Harris, said Cayuga Sound was their way of connecting their favorite Ithaca festivals.”We haven’t seen all the world, but we’ve seen a lot of it. It’s pretty awesome, but there’s something about Ithaca,” Harris said. “Every time we come back, we discover something new to appreciate, some new magic about the city… It’s a special place.”Not only will the band be playing at the festival, but there will also be an opportunity to hear them talk about the band’s history in a more intimate setting. As part of the festival’s talk series, ticketholders are welcomed to The Ithaca Mariott Downtown on Friday afternoon from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to hear members of the band discuss their history and making it big in the music scene.
  2. Plan ahead for parking and lodging! While the festival will take place at Stewart Park, there will be no on-site parking available to those attending. Unlike some local festivals, there is also no room available for camping or other forms of lodging.Free parking will be available at designated sites throughout the city with free shuttles going to and from the festival. Parking will be available at Ithaca High School, Boynton Middle School, and street parking on the TCAT 13 routes. While the shuttle is free to ticket holders, you must have your ticket before boarding the shuttle as proof. The buses will run ever 15-20 minutes from these sites from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  3. Don’t miss the pre-parties! While the festival itself begins on Saturday, events are scheduled to kick off the weekend on Friday night. After the talk series at the Mariott, local musicians will get the weekend started with a showcase at The Dock. Entry for this event is $7, which is set to begin at 7 p.m., showcasing artists such as Namarah, The Miserable Genius, No Comply, Tender Cruncher, and Beau Mahadev.The Haunt will also be hosting a pre-party, bringing artists such as Jukebox the Ghost and The Blind Spots to the stage. This event is scheduled to being at 8 p.m.
  4. What not to bring: as part of the festival’s general safety, there are a few guidelines set to keep the weekend running as smoothly as possible. While we love our furry friends, pets will not be allowed inside the festival this time. Plan ahead and make sure your pup or other pets have accommodations while you’re gone!Unlike Grassroots, no outside alcoholic beverages will be allowed into the festival. However, if you do want to enjoy a few drinks while celebrating, vendors will be available inside the gates to help you out. Ithaca Beer will be selling beer and wine – don’t miss out on their new IPA created just for this event, The Cayuga Sounder!Outside food is also restricted from coming in, but plenty of vendors will be offering gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options for those with dietary restrictions. Many local favorites will be set up, including Silo Truck, Cayuga Lake Creamery, Monks on the Commons, Gimme Coffee, Lou’s Hot Dog Stand, and Agava, amongst many others.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and celebrate Ithaca’s first annual Cayuga Sound Festival. For more information be sure to visit the Cayuga Sound website and Facebook page. Happy Sounding!

Featured image courtesy of the Cayuga Sound Facebook page.

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.