ITHACA, N.Y. — Although it may not feel like it with snow in this week’s forecast, summer is right around the corner and will bring with it glorious days on the lake, outdoor festivals, and the second annual Cayuga Sound music festival, organized by Ithaca’s very own X Ambassadors.

More than 4,000 people went to last year’s festival at Stewart Park to see more than a dozen bands, such as The Roots and the X Ambassadors. The latter helped organize the event along with DSP Shows and This Fiction.

“All kids are super eager to leave their hometown and strike out into the big, wide world,” keyboardist Casey Harris said last year before the festival. “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. Every time we come back, we discover something new to appreciate, some new magic about the city… It’s a special place.”

Related: X Ambassadors return home to host, play at inaugural Cayuga Sound festival

The band is made up of Harris, his brother and vocalist Sam Harris, and drummer Adam Levin. The brothers are originally from Ithaca and credit the city’s inclusive environment for being a place where local music can thrive. They started the festival as a way for local musicians to play in the same space as national and globally renowned artists.

In addition to bringing the festival to Ithaca, event organizers donated $50,000 to 10 local nonprofits last year, including the Community School of Music and Arts, Friends of Stewart Park, Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Ithaca Underground, Ithaca City of Asylum, Ithaca Youth Bureau, Planned Parenthood, Southside Community Center, Vitamin L and Youth Farm Project.

Lead vocalist Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter of The Roots Photo by Ed Dittenhoefer

The festival this year is featuring the X AmbassadorsYoung the GiantMatt and KimSOFI TUKKERTalib Kweli,Buddymorgxn along with some of the top local and regional performers in the area, including KNEW,No-Comply and Lady D & The Shadow Spirits. More performers are expected to be announced soon.

The Cayuga Sound muisc festival is happening Sept. 21 – 22, a full weekend this year as opposed to last year’s one-day performances. Tickets are going on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and can be purchased here.

Keep up with new announcements about the festival by following the Cayuga Sound festival Facebook Page. 

Featured photo of Sam Harris by Ed Dittenhoefer