One of the best annual music festivals in Western New York will return to Riverworks this weekend after being virtual last year. The Music is Art festival is entirely free, which means everyone can go, and it is being held on Saturday, Sept. 11.

This year marks their 19th year, and Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls bassist and founder of Music is Art, said that the festival has “really taken on some inertia of its own.”

“We’ve had amazing sponsors over the years and Erie County’s been amazing in helping us with some financial support and logistical support just to make the event happen every year,” Takac said. 

The event, as mentioned above, is entirely free, but what you may not realize is that the Music is Art organization is a not-for-profit, which means the sponsors for the festival really take on a more involved role in the event being successfully executed, all while continuing to be free to festival-goers. 

“We’ve been doing a lot of creative funding [and] we found a lot of amazing new sponsors,” Takac said, specifically giving kudos to Oxford Pennant, a Buffalo merchandising company and the lead sponsor for the festival this year. 

There is something for everyone at the Music is Art festival, with about 200 bands performing across 21 stages at Riverworks this year.

“We have tons of bands, musicians, artists, dancers, DJs, poets, gymnasts, circus performers — all from the Western New York area,” Takac said. “They get together every year and put their hearts into making this festival a pretty exciting thing for the people of Western New York.”

If you can’t make the event in person, there is no need to worry -- the Music is Art festival will be broadcasting from a majority of their 21 stages this year so you can watch from home.

This year, Takac said, “We do have a component where we will be broadcasting about six or seven of the stages live.”

The festival goes from 11 a.m. until midnight, and it’s free, whether you come out to Riverworks or view the online stream.

You are encouraged to donate online if you are able to help keep the event free for next year. 

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